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Polished Cities

Jon Gorospe

Aesthetics linked to an era has encompassed many pages in philosophy. Sometimes going from one extreme to another. For example, what Gilles Deleuze wrote in “The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque” (1993), where Deleuze speaks about the fold as an aesthetic sign of the Baroque. In the other side of the spectrum we have what Byung-Chul Han, the South Korean / German philosopher wrote in his book “Saving Beauty” (2015), where he develops the idea of the polished as the key element of beauty in the 21st century.

From the iPhones to wax hair removal, Han describes the concept of the smooth surfaces; and how these are the aesthetic sign of our time. The goal is to create objects and experiences that do not exert resistance to the look or touch.
The urban cities are the context where this idea goes through our lives more deep. The place where urban and architectural design takes advantage of the concept of “polished surfaces” to create peace in the forms that presuppose peace for human beings.

Contemporary architecture propose cities without conflicts, in whose design the truth of a perfect morphology is imposed on the complexity of human life. This is how these polished spaces exercise citizen control with the slightest gesture.

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