‘An autonomous Society is origin of the significations it creates -of its institution- and it knows it self as such. Autonomous Society is a society that self-institutes itself explicitly. This amount to saying: it knows that the significations in and through which it lives and exists as society are its work [oeuvre] and that they are neither necessary or contingent’
Cornelius Castoriades - The World in Fragments.
The goal of this exercise was to develop an ideal city based on the work of a specific philosopher. My project was an attempt to spatially interpret the work and theory of contemporary Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriades and his idea of an autonomous society.
The main purpose of an autonomous city is to resist against the pursuit of growth and development per se, and offer the ground for an alternative evolution of the communities.
The Autonomous city exists within a convention. Within a boundary, that is recognizable as such. The city features no infrastructure beyond this boundary; therefore cannot import or export goods or resources.
It needs to produce everything necessary for its survival, it cannot export, therefore trade (domesticated economy).
The main purpose of the autonomous city is to resist against the pursuit of growth and development per se, and offer the ground for an alternative evolution of the communities. The principal tool of this pursuit is the total elimination of external infrastructure (motorways, railways, airports, power grid, telecommunications). The existence of those amenities is driven by and built for growth. However, a domesticated basic infrastructure serves as a platform for the well-being and equality of the community’s members.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture - Urban Design Studio
Professor: Alexander D’ Hooghe
2012 Cambridge, USA