The ideal city project

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Title: The ideal city project
Author: Bracken, Elizabeth Devlin
Abstract: The ideal city project was a performance that presented the design for an ideal city with stories about how that imaginary city failed. The design was represented as a 4’0” x 4’0” wood and Styrofoam sculpture. Upon seeing this design, seven writers created scenes and monologues outlining the destruction of the city. The flaws they discovered were not designed into the city intentionally. In fact, the writers pointed to several different sources for the downfall ranging from issues with its layout to socio-political breakdowns. At the end of the performance the audience was left with the ruins of something that was once so full of hope. This piece was intended to serve as a reminder that cities are not predetermined utopias, but continually changing and evolving environments created by those who live in them. Even the best examples eventually fail or evolve into something different. However, this does not mean we stop trying to create better places to live. George Bernard Shaw said “A reasonable man adapts himself to his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Theater performances provide an excellent way to explore ideas and create dialogue about what these better places look like and how they function.
Subject: Scenic design Utopias Theatrical design Cohen New Works Festival Urban design
Date: 2011-05

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