c. 3761 BC Garden of Eden
705-562 BC Hanging Garden of Babylon
1550-72 Villa d'Este
1931-36 Hoover Dam/Las Vegas
1954 Disneyland
1972 Las Vegas
1979 Atlantic City

viva Villa d'Este (Las Vegas as oasis reenactment)
I have given further thought to my idea regarding the hydraulic connection between Las Vegas and the Villa d'Este, and the title of the text will be "... via Villa d'Este." I may have a note or two already written concerning this topic, but just in case, the following is a list of the salient points:
a. the hydralic power behind the lighting of LV has never been mentioned by the "Learning from LV" camp.
b. Hoover Dam is analogous to Roman aqueducts.
c. it is interesting to note that R. Venturi has now turned his attention to "electronic" architecture whereby the "box" of the building is decorated with ever-moving murals composed of hundreds and thousands of tiny programmed lights.
d. LV's giant electronic signs and facades are analogous to the vast array of fountain types on display throughout the water garden of the Villa d'Este.
e. I could recall my personal experiment regarding the change in water velocity at the Villa d'Este.
f. I might also elaborate on the notion that LV is now more becoming an "oasis" and its architecture now reflects that motif.

2001.09.10 09:34
Re: travels in hyper-reality
Theming aside, at base there is the 'practice' of reenactment carried out at both Odiaba and Las Vegas. Stephen's final point about Odiaba being all on an artificial island is literally the base, of Odiaba, that is itself a reenactment of something otherwise natural. Las Vegas too has a basis that is a man-made reenactment of something otherwise natural, namely the 'oasis' spawned by Hoover Dam. While Learning from Las Vegas indeed recognizes the 'oasis' aspect within the 1960s hotel complexes, it does not recognize the overall oasis reenactment of Las Vegas as a whole. Along with all the 'caravans' that converge upon Las Vegas seeking 'pleasure' and 'comfort' in the desert, it is more the hydro-electric well spring of Las Vegas (via Hoover Dam) that engenders the entire cities life-givingness. In this sense, the animated electric signs along the strip (and now also within Fremont Street's electronic vault) are all at base hydro-electric reenactments of fountains splashing away.
My favorite reenactment place/city lately is Atlantic City, New Jersey, a true latter-day Las Vegas on the sea-coast, essentially a reenactment of a reenactment of a reenactment all right on the edge of a continent.
All the same, I believe it is safe to say that Las Vegas is the reenactment capital of modern times. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if one of the next waves of new casino construction comes to reenact Las Vegas of the 1960s, or, if I were ever the 'planning commissioner' of Las Vegas, I'd begin efforts to construct colossal wave pools all around Las Vegas so as to reenact Atlantic City. Reenactment is hyper-reality for sure.]

ae fragments/vitruvius
The importance/power of water remains vital with regard to electricity and urban design, specifically the power of hydro-electricity, and thus there is one more thing to "learn from Las Vegas" vis-ā-vis Hoover Dam. The history of both Las Vegas and Hoover Dam are inseparable, albeit, Las Vegas is there because of Hoover Dam--a new and electric (powered) oasis in the Nevada desert.
Like the multitudinous fountains of the Villa d'Este garden near Rome--a Cardinal's Renaissance retreat brought to life subsequent to the reinstatement of a long destroyed ancient Roman aqueduct--the multitudinous flashing (splashing) signs of the Las Vegas strip and the old part of town are indeed water fountains reenacted as spent electricity (water power energy!).
Las Vegas is nothing less than an enormous hyrdo-electric reenactment of an oasis (complete with caravans, watering holes, and even a pyramid), and thus it is not at all unusual that the whole notion of reenactment is now Las Vegas' predominant theme.

more reenactionary
"a museum of [someone's] shopping" -- focusing on the Ryerss Museum. reenact the museum in my own way (or should I say in a Piranesian way). Moreover, the sense of reenactment will be both clear and ambiguous because "Venturi Shops" weirdly reenacts the Ryerss Museum. I will be also reenacting "Venturi Shops", and I may even be reenacting Koolhaas et al.
Museum Collecting
"The Las Vegas Classroom" - the Las Vegas reenactment story which includes: the oasis / Villa d'Este reenactment; Atlantic City; Costa Iberica reenacting Learning from Las Vegas; and ultimately Las Vegas reenacting Disneyland and theme parks in general. Perhaps get the Huxtable and Sorkin books.
Acropolis Q reenacting New Canaan - this doesn't have to be a full exposition, but it will certainly deal with architectural experimentation (within one's own domain) and with the issue of a modern museum of architecture. ...now further reenacting Johnson (this could be the title) by first creating Quondam (which was very much a 'Glass House' during schizophrenia + architectures, and now begun a second "building" with Museumpeace).

2002.07.07 13:53
signs are a factor
Yes, signs are a factor of the (shopping center) metamorphosis, but never a complete 'picture' of the metamorphosis. There is much more retro-fitting that goes on inside and out, and yes, even whole buildings come and go (and Las Vegas is a prime example of that). What the shopping sites (at Olney at least) are more doing is reenacting themselves (and reenactment has never been an explicit Venturi et al design idea/analysis, although reenactment is occasionally a very implicit, and apparently even sub-conscious, Venturi et al design outcome).
More true or more false:
1. The more shopping centers sites (of Olney at least) change, the more they reenact themselves.
2. The more Las Vegas changes, the more it reenacts (the artificial oasis it's been since its beginnings).

2002.07.08 09:24
Re: more architectural photography: that which was staples
It is more true that the more shopping center sites (of Olney at least) change, the more they reenact themselves, in that they so far continue to reenact the metabolic nature of capitalism at the same spot. And, just like capitalism, the Olney sites morphed from primarily manufacturing to primarily consumption, while maintaining the same level of activity under both circumstances. These sites are still manifesting their same (original) metabolic, i.e., creative/destructive, process.
It is more true that the more Las Vegas changes, the more it reenacts (the artificial oasis it's been since its beginnings). The pattern of reenactment at Las Vegas starts with the artificial oasis manifest by Hoover Dam--a man-made reenactment of a natural lake engendered the man-made reenactment of a natural oasis. Big reenactment and big artificiality are integral to Las Vegas from its origin.

2004.06.01 14:53
Re: Any idea ?
The title Cadillac Desert reminds me of the notion that Las Vegas (via Hoover Dam) is an artificial oasis, and it seems that the Southwest USA in general is operating on the artificial oasis principle--a land of oasis reenactments via abundant BTUs?

2005.11.22 11:50
Your Ignorance is Inexcusable
pastiche 1 : a dramatic, literary, or musical piece openly imitating the previous works of other artists, often with satirical intent 2 : a pasticcio of incongruous parts; a hodgepodge
Reenactment and pastiche are not the same thing.
Reenactment, as a historiographic methodology, involves an imitation of the source event in order to better understand the source event and then learn from there. Reenactment as a design methodology works the same way.
Disney-fication is pastiche 1 without the satire.
Contemporary avant garde architecture in virtually any established setting unwittingly generates pastiche 2.

2009.06.28 11:03
what is the difference between paradise & utopia?
The entire January 1972 issue of Du magazine (Swiss) is devoted to "Utopia: Visionärer Städtebau gestern und heute" (Utopia: Visionary Urban Design yesterday and today). Unfortunately, all the text is in German with not even an English summery.
Off hand, the only specific architect[ural] rendition of Paradise I can think of is Terragni's Paradiso (room) within the Danteum.
There are, however, many oasis reenactments (i.e., paradise) within architectural design. Learning from Las Vegas notes the 'oasis' aspect of the outdoor pool areas of the various hotels, and even Dubai (and it's artificial islands) and Abu Dhabi may be considered reenactments of the oasis/paradise paradigm rather than following an utopian model.
Paradise as the ultimate in real estate?

2009.06.28 12:00
what is the difference between paradise & utopia?
Perhaps also related is Robert Geddes's "The Forest Edge" in A.D. 52 11/12-1982. The opening paragraphs:
"In 1753, Marc Antoine Laugier, the French theorist, proposed the primitive hut as the foundation of architecture in his Essai sur l'architecture. The frontispiece of his second edition shows the muse indicating architecture's true source and origin by pointing to a hut at the edge of the forest made of four trees acting as columns.
I suggest an additional interpretation of Laugier's engraving. I believe the muse is directing our attention not only to the building as the reconstructed forest [or the forest reenacted], but also to the edge of the forest itself. She is pointing out the ideal habitat of man, the forest edge, where the woodlands and grasslands meet."
and later...
"While the current focus of ecological and conservationist movements has given new life to Thoreau's view of wilderness, these political movements do not propose that man should live in the wild. The hold that man is a visitor and should leave no trace of his passing."
Without having now (re-)read all of "The Forest Edge", I nonetheless get the sense that the text may evoke ideas that are both paradisic and utopian, ending with examples of practical design applications.
Is the current "green" movement in some ways an advanced combination of the paradise and utopian paradigms?




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