Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Home Forums Ireland DDDA / Docklands Miscellany Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany


Glad you made that excellent point again Gunter. Your posts are making me think a lot deeper into the whole issue than I otherwise would have. I like to take on board the Beijing, Hong Kong and Dubai models to shock people into awareness of the grander global picture. While there is no requirement for us to copy any of those places in Ireland, we still need to consider how ‘flat’ the world has become economically, to borrow Tom Friedman’s phrase. Where to a large extent the company is now joined up like a large network across the globe, via packet switching technology and abundant backbone fibre optic bandwidth. Also to underscore the fact that western civilisation as our parents experienced in the 20th century is now in decline. As the South Americas, South East Asian and hopefully Middle Eastern regions are in their ascendancy. I dug up an old Anthony Reddy essay the other day, where I recall he gave a short account of Dublin’s ‘golden era’ at the end of the 18th century, before the Act of Union. Dublin of course, then experienced a slow decline as a major destination in global terms. Perhaps, Reddy suggest in that essay, Dublin could be turning a corner again? (Note the Celtic Tiger optimism, reflecting the essays date)

The key reference I have been pounding everybody with this past year, is that of Stewart Brand. You can find a great lecture of his online if you search, about Squatter Cities. 1 billion inhabitants of the globe live in these makeshift settlements. Pretty shocking stuff to me. But this mass migratation from the rural countryside, these new hyper growing cities seem to be emerging on a scale we haven’t quite seen before. Stewart Brand points out that at current rates of growth, New York is really the only western city that will see exist on the top ten list of the world’s biggest cities. The Arup engineer who worked on the CCTV building, in his lecture here in Dublin lately, commented that China hardly had any architectural profession at all. That is, the pace of development in these new regions, is far outstriping the capacity of architects to keep up. That is partly why I wanted to link to some of the Hong Kong university architecture department papers too, to see the kinds of design problems they are facing. To expand the design problem/solution space, or context, within which the Dublin Docklands currently sits.

Brian O’ Hanlon

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