N. John Habraken (john@habraken.org)


The Tissue of the Town
Forum, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, 1964.

My first publication on the subject and introduction of the term 'urban tissue'. The article argues the urban fabric as an entity by itself with its own life and structure and worth serious study. In a series of aerial photographs it shows the transformation over time of the tissue of Amsterdam. Many images of other urban fabrics are shown.

My fascination with the living urban tissue is the source of all my studies, including the proposal to make the 'support - infill' distinction. An article like 'Cultivating the Field' deals with exactly the same fascination some thirty years later. And my book Palladio’s Children also advocates the autonomy of the urban field. Already in the sixties, this distinguished me from advocates of 'participation' who promoted the political idea of user involvement in things environmental and believed in the primacy of people over built form while, in contrast, the profession was seen as favouring built form over people. I have never been able to accept this opposition.


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