Lecture date: 2010-04-26
The enthusiasm that led to settlement in Houston, Texas has never faded, despite mounting complexities. The underlying positivity that motivates the suburban city has a long and fascinating history, firmly based on the European myth of America as utopia. The reality of modern suburban life is encumbered by new conditions, which must now be faced. The new city emerging on the formerly moist prairie, despite dramatic changes, will continue to draw enthusiasm in the face of a toxic ecology and a fading consumer society.
Lars Lerup is the Smith Professor of architecture at Rice University in Houston and currently Arnold W Brunner Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. He is currently completing a book on Houston called One Million Acres and No Zoning. With the German composer Jens Joneleit, he is working on an opera Phobos (the devil’s work) to be performed at Aedes, Berlin.