The city that never was: Entropy

Robin Nagle, Bill Braham, and Iñaki Abalos consider waste and disorder as points of departure for new urban formats.

May 28, 2013

Recorded on February 22, 2013.

Urbanization is a fundamentally disruptive act that will inevitably produce material waste and social change despite any aspirations otherwise. Though there is an increasing body of research and scholarship to “design away” that disorder, we are more interested in embracing it. This panel engages the possibilities of waste and disorder as potential points of departure for conceptualizing new urban formats.

—Christopher Marcinkoski and Javier Arpa, from their introduction to the panel


This video from The City That Never Was, a February 2013 symposium that took the current economic crisis in Spain as a point of departure for rethinking global patterns of urbanization and settlement, presents highlights from the presentations and panel discussion organized around the theme of entropy. In these excerpts, Robin Nagle asks how we consider, use, and think creatively about the inherent destructive quality of urbanism; Bill Braham describes how dynamic, self-organizing systems cycle through their resources; and Iñaki Abalos presents several recent waste treatment projects in Spain.