The City is a Thinking Machine

Holm, Lorens and McEwan, Cameron orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0683-1708 (2016) The City is a Thinking Machine. University of Dundee, Dundee University. ISBN 978-0-9562949-4-4

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The City is a Thinking Machine is a research project bringing together in an exhibition, Geddes’ collection of city plans with his thinking and lecture notes. The exhibition also includes projects by eight practices affiliated with the Geddes Institute at the University of Dundee. Affiliates include members of the academic and professional communities from Scotland and abroad, and include artists, architects, and the Local and Strategic Planning Authorities. Our aim is to demonstrate the continuing significance of the thought on cities and society by polymathic Scottish planner and botanist Patrick Geddes. The city plans were drawn from Geddes’ touring Cities Exhibition, most of which have not been brought to the public view since the Outlook Tower closed in 1949. The lecture notes include his ‘thinking machine’ diagrams, drawn on folded paper, which trace the linked evolution of civic society and the places they build to live well in them. Most of the diagrams have not, to our knowledge, been exhibited or published before, nor have they been seen together with the plans. The project included a public lecture program whose aim was to contextualise the work represented in the exhibition. The project marks the centenary of the publication of Geddes’ Cities in Evolution (1915). The project was run by Deepak Gopinath, Lorens Holm, and Matthew Jarron at the University of Dundee, with strong visual assistance from Cameron McEwan and Tracey Dixon. Photographs of the opening by Cameron McEwan. Photographs of the exhibition and exhibition materials by Tracey
Dixon. Website by Tracey Dixon. Exhibition vitrines organised by Lyle McCance. Publication curated by Lorens Holm, designed by Cameron McEwan. Exhibition, curated by Lorens Holm, in the Lamb Gallery, University of Dundee, under the directorship of Matthew Jarron. For video recordings of the opening and lectures, visit the Geddes Institute website:

Volume I: The Exhibition
Volume II: The Geddes Archives
Volume III: The Geddes Institute
Volume IV: The Talks

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