Monumental Ecstacy & Deception
Paris as Urban Fantasy
by Columbia University-NYP Program
About the Book
During the Spring 2011 semester in Paris a collaboration took place between Columbia University’s New/York Paris Program and the École Nationale Supérieure d´Architecture Paris-Malaquais . Through the coordination of Patrick O’Connor, the two student bodies met over the course of the semester, in seminar format, to ignite a multicultural discussion to consider the development of Paris from a distinctively international point of view (Columbia), in comparison to the native perspective (Malaquais).
This body of work by architecture and urban studies students from Columbia University was produced as part of the Architecture, Planning and Preservation course of the New York/Paris program, instructed and edited by Michael Herrman and based upon the Chapters “Travesty: Architecture of Distraction” and “Illusory Cities” in Hypercontextuality: the architecture of displacement and placelessness (Michael Herrman, CNR 2009, Rome).
In conjunction the essays produced by a group of third year R6 students at the École Nationale Supérieure d´Architecture Paris-Malaquais, discussed and researched various themes related to representations of the city. The course “Paris: Capitale de Spectacle” instructed by Brent Patterson references two key thinkers who worked on the question of representation - Walter Benjamin and Guy Debord. These authors, among others informed the discussions about how Paris has been represented in various media, the impact this has had not only on perceptions of the city, but also on it´s built environment.
The end result of this collaboration is a rich collection of insights into how the city is perceived, questioned and represented, and the challenge it raises for architecture and urban planning. This publication contains a selection of the best student work produced during this collaboration as selected by Michael Herrman and Brent Patterson.