The architect, planner, and landowner Clough Williams-Ellis dedicated his estate to an experiment in “propaganda for architecture.” How did it become best known as the cutest of all the fictional dystopias?
Owen Hatherley is the culture editor of Tribune. His latest book, Red Metropolis: Socialism and the Government of London, is now out from Repeater Books.
In the 1920s and ’30s, German publisher Willi Münzenberg built a network of magazines, newspapers, and film studios that terrified big business interests. It became the largest left-wing media operation in history.
This year’s Pritzker Prize, the highest award in architecture, went to French architects who rejected the demolition of public housing. Instead, the architects insisted on renovating and expanding public units to make working-class residents’ homes more modern, humane, and attractive.
In the twentieth century, socialists and communists used municipal power in Paris to build some of Europe’s most ambitious social housing projects — housing that was not only beautiful but made for and by the city’s working class.
Going to the movies feels fundamentally different from simply streaming videos: it’s a collective experience, and often inspires discussion and argument. In 2021, when the pandemic finally recedes, we should build socialist film clubs.
America’s experiment with public housing was far less successful than Europe’s — but this hasn’t made it any less influential.
David Cronenberg’s first three films track the progress of epidemics “from the perspective of the disease.” What they reveal is a North American society already on the brink of disaster.
British television has increasingly become an arm of the Conservative Party — yet many on the Left nostalgically remember an earlier, more open media landscape. Was the BBC ever ours?
British politics have become a strange form of World War II cosplay, where the European Union are the Nazis, 1945 is a betrayal, and Boris Johnson is the newWinston Churchill.
To solve the housing crisis, we may have to go back to the future.
The architect Philip Johnson had some good qualities. He was also talentless, a fascist, and a liar.
In the late sixties, radical architects expressed their scorn in satirical utopias, where the world’s landmarks and landscapes are eaten up by the power of capital.
When eco-socialism in one city becomes a gated community.
Elite arguments against tower blocks aren’t about safety — they’re about contempt for public housing.
Early Soviet filmmakers took great inspiration from Charlie Chaplin, but his critique of mass production put him at odds with them.
Soviet architecture had diverse and ambitious ideas for transforming the spaces people live, work, and travel in.
We will not go into the socialist city blindly, but with lessons from a century of experiments.
Though easy targets for fiscal hawks, public architecture that’s luxurious and dramatic — even excessive — should be ours as a right.