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Modern architecture in Berlin

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When one finds oneself on a busy street in modern Berlin — capital of a reunified Germany since June 20 1991 — it is difficult to believe that it has grown into this city in the course of seven centuries, at least as far as its written history goes. The latter records that in the […]

Posted inEqualityGeneralHealthMediaTech

Notre Dame, spirituality and technology

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The recent devastating fire that nearly destroyed the more than 800 year-old Parisian Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame, has put something important in perspective. One could not but notice that the shock caused by this event was not restricted to Paris, or even France, which one might have expected. Understandably, Parisians have always loved this architectural […]

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Literature, art, space, and the secret of life

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It never ceases to amaze me that the arts – foremost among them literature, sculpture, architecture, music, painting and cinema – are able to capture in their respective medium(s) virtually everything that makes life worth living; in a phrase, the ‘secret of life’. My recent re-reading of all my favourite John Fowles novels is what […]

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The pleasure of mountains

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We walk past the iconic bear at the entrance to the Seoroksan National Park near Sokcho, South Korea, towards the diverging forested paths beckoning lovers of mountains. Each one of these takes one to a specific trail where one can indulge your love of mountains in various ways. Some meander along the side of a […]

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Crime, capital and economic apartheid

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In the book Blank: Architecture, Apartheid and After (edited by H Judin and I Vladislavic; David Philip Publishers, Cape Town 1998), Lindsay Bremner’s contribution, “Crime and the emerging landscape of post-apartheid Johannesburg” (pp. 48-63) uncovered the roots of racial segregation in the origins of Johannesburg as a gold mining camp in 1886. During the apartheid […]

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Florence, Siena and the ‘space of flows’

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We are in Florence for a conference, in what is to my mind the most enchanting part of Italy, namely Tuscany. Because I have always been interested in art and architecture, and in principle we don’t take taxis, but walk everywhere we go, we have already seen the most beautiful buildings and urban landscapes, framed […]

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Teaching and learning in the ‘network society’

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Teaching at university in the early 21st century requires of lecturers that they take the “lifeworld” in which students live seriously. This lifeworld comprises what Manuel Castells (2010) calls the “Network Society” (see here) – a global society that has actualised an ever-expanding web or network of electronic means of information and communication. The fact […]

Posted inGeneralLifestyle

I love Paris in the springtime…

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How many people still know that song, I wonder. Or the one where Dean Martin sings “Oh, what I’d give for a moment or two, under the bridges of Paris with you … ” The point is that Paris is, and has been for a long time, one of — if not THE — most […]

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Beautiful, but expensive Basel

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Basel is among the oldest cities of Europe, and architecturally speaking, among the most beautiful. Its founding antedates the beginning of the common era (CE), and its history from the Roman through the medieval to the modern period is as chequered as any city’s could be. It is a relatively small city, with just over […]