Holes in the Whole. Introduction to the Urban Revolutions
By Krzysztof Nawratek
Translated by Kasia Nawratek
Published by Zero Books (October 2012)
Holes in The Whole seeks meaning and reasons for the existence of the city. It demonstrates the urgent need to expand the sphere of urban activity - to define the city not only as a territory of exploitation, but as space of human existence in its fullest dimension. The book defines the conditions under which the city can develop as an entity without falling into the trap of arrogant self-sufficiency. It identifies the mechanisms that promote independent fragments, including people, neighbourhoods and regions, so that they are not random, unsystematic bunches, but stable (yet flexible) structures.
Packed with fascinating and provocative insights
-- Anna Minton, author of 'Ground Control. Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city'
A refreshing book. In a context where only 'world cities' matter to most urbanists, Krzysztof Nawratek is a thinker equally at home writing about Katowice and Shanghai, London and Plymouth. In this unromantic, lapidary but ultimately optimistic work he offers a precise diagnosis of contemporary urban ills and offers some potential ways out of some worn-out ways of thinking the city. Never mind worrying about the Polis or the decline of public space - this book calls instead for a revolutionary new urbanism.
-- Owen Hatherley, author of Militant Modernism, A Guide to New Ruins of Great Britain and A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain
This is an engaging book – written in the first-person, and crossing genres of criticism, confession, analysis and polemic. It provokes the reader to think about urbanism as a dynamic intellectual field of ideas and experiences. Specialists and general readers will find this book stimulating as the author leaps around from idea to idea, always provocative and always full of insights. He relates issues in architecture, the city and urban life to a range of historical philosophical and cultural issues – from justice and ethics to creativity and community, public space and violence. There are few writers who take such a synthetic and wide-ranging approach in the English speaking world. Moreover, it intellectually reconnects Europe’s East and West, introducing a sense of flair into an overly laboured field of academic research.
-- Dr. Jonathan Vickery, University of Warwick
Dr Krzysztof Nawratek: lecturer in Architecture, M.Arch and M.A. in Architecture programme leader at Plymouth University. Educated as an architect and urban planner, worked in Poland, Latvia (e.g. for Riga City Council) and Ireland (Principal Urban Designer at Colin Buchanan, Dublin). Krzysztof worked as a Visiting Professor at the Geography Department at the University of Latvia and as a researcher at National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth, Ireland. Member of Board of Experts European Prize for Urban Public Space 2012 and member of selection panel for the Polish contribution to the 13th International Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2012. Krzysztof is an urban theorist, author of City as a political idea (Plymouth 2011) and several papers and chapters in edited books.