Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Ian Nairn

Working on a writing project today which was on the theme of London.
I've got a few projects related to London which I'm trying to complete in the next three weeks.

I came across the work of Ian Nairn, and it turns out that he was something of a legend. He wrote about architecture and planning and related issues.

He was concerned about the increasing homogenisation of cities, so that the edge of one city was very much like the edge of another, and so were the centres. He was writing at a time when a lot of the new post-war developments were happening and pre-war buildings were swept away and replaced with concrete and multi-storey car parks, so he may have had a point. The word he coined for this type of bland development was subtopia.
He was quite robust in his opinions on things - read this piece to get a flavour of it.

There are 3 programmes in the iPlayer Archive from a series he made for the BBC in the early 1970s, when he travelled by various means of transport from London up to Scotland.

Nairn's classic guide of London is being reprinted in November, so I will have to wait until then to get a copy as there are only a few on the second hand websites and they're pricey...

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