THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT CITIES, for the most part, so the format is essentially reviews of buildings, urban spaces, urban literature and so on (with the odd foray into food, movies and motoring). And pictures – see below.
It’s informal in tone, but underpinned by some (ahem) serious principles, as follows: (1) cities are processes, rather than monuments; if they’re not changing, they’re dead; (2) the future of cities is determined by what’s happening now in the global south; (3) the European ideal of the city is mostly about the aestheticisation of the core, which is just silly; (4) cities are polycentric metropoles, or they’re not cities; (5) a good city has room for everybody.
ABOUT ME: Richard Williams is professor of contemporary visual cultures at the University of Edinburgh. He was born in Washington DC in 1967, but grew up in Manchester, UK. Other places he has lived are London, Oxford, Madrid, Edinburgh, and for a time in 1985, a Bedford van in a Winchester car park.
STUFF HE HAS PUBLISHED: He is the author of a bunch of stuff on cities including the books ‘The Anxious City'(2004), ‘Brazil: Modern Architectures in History’ (2009), ‘Regenerating Culture and Society’ (edited with Jonathan Harris, 2010), and the forthcoming ‘Sex and Buildings’, due out from Reaktion later this year. A new book ‘Order and Disorder in Urban Space and Form’, co-written with Paul Jenkins is in the works, for a 2013 release. He has often written for the design magazine Blueprint, and is (sometimes) their unofficial space correspondent. He used to know about art – see the book ‘After Modern Sculpture’ (2000). But these days he prefers to make his own.
PHOTOGRAPHY: His photographs of cities have been widely published, in his books, and in magazines like Blueprint. An exhibition of his large-scale images of the ruined Atlantic liner SS United States was shown at Stills, Edinburgh in 2011, alongside videos by Allan Sekula. He’s recently upgraded to a Canon EOS60D from a long-serving, but rather battered G9. Assume the photos in the blog are his – if they’re not, it’ll be obvious.
TWITTER: you can follow Richard Willams on twitter. Look for @rjwilliams44