Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dieselpunk Lexicon Part 2: Manhattanism

People packed into urban spaces like sardines, living on top of each other. Life is as much vertical as it is horizontal. Skyscrapers seem to literally reach for the sky. Glass, steel and asphalt has chased away Mother Nature.The city is alive with it’s own heartless soul that never sleeps. The city no longer just a city. It’s become The City.

This extreme vision is known as ‘Manhattanism’, which was a term coined in 1978 by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In his book, Delirious New York, Koolhaas wrote, "Manhattanism is the one urbanistic ideology that has fed, from its conception, on the splendors and miseries of the metropolitan condition—hyper-density—without once losing faith in it as the basis for a desirable modern culture. Manhattan’s architecture is a paradigm for the exploitation of congestion."

Manhattanism is a theme that appears in a lot of Dieselpunk creations. The most famous being the proto-Dieselpunk movie 'Metropolis', which became the theme for so many Dieselpunk cities.

Metropolis (movie), 1927

Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (book), 1929

Just Imagine (movie), 1930

Batman (movie), 1989
New Cap City from Caprica (television), 2010

Metropolis in DC Comics
Click here for an interesting online article about Manhattanism, Star Wars and Metropolis.

1 comment:

Sarah Zama said...

I have never heard this word. Serious. But I've sure seen so many visual versions of it :-)