Village blog or baluster blog

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The delightful LeveVeg blog – meaning “way of life” in Norwegian – replied to my recent expression of pleasure at the illustration on top of the Village Forum blog. It is a painting of a distant village, reproduced at the top of this post but not at the top of this blog, which features a balustrade. The LeveVeg blogmeister is Øyvind Holmstad, who in kindness suggested that I might want to take down my balustrade and put up the splendid village instead. He said Village Forum, which hails from New Zealand, would appreciate it.

All this gratification took place in the comment sections of my recent two blogs on Christopher Alexander:

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The motto of the LeveVeg blog is “We Can Build Compact Walkable Towns Instead of Suburban Wastelands.” The Village Forum embraces a similar set of ideas. The motto of my AHAT blog, however, is “Style wars: Classicism vs. modernism.” To place a village atop my blog instead of my balustrade would be an act of misrepresentation, however pretty.

I would tut-tut Mr. Holmstad for his understandable suspicion that the balusters atop my blog “don’t say much.” I protest! They have a lot to say. My blog is an architectural blog that occasionally comments on urban policy. My balustrade, which is fairly typical of the form, sits in front of the Providence Public Library. It states that buildings can be very beautiful and enchanting. Maybe that’s not saying much. But look at the balustrade below and visit my post “An evocative balustrade,” atop which the balustrade below sits. Then try to argue that balustrades are mute!

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About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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12 Responses to Village blog or baluster blog

  1. Clay says:

    Please keep the balustrade. It’s more universal than a walled village, and I dislike change.


    • leveveg says:

      In the Medieval Ages the walled village or town was a quite universal phenomenon, and as Greer states the times are in for retrovation, in which the Medieval Merchant Town should play a crucial role!

      – A Time for Retrovation:

      Both Village Towns and classical balustrades are important for a successful retrovation of our civilization. I’ll work hard to retrovate the rural culture of my forefathers, although I know this is a task that needs to be continued by coming generations. I just hope to help pence our civilization into the retrovation-track. Their way of life was far superior to our in many aspects!


    • leveveg says:

      Just reflect on the fact that every vehicle in Suburban Hell leaves behind 4-5 kilos of synthetic rubber plastic, which is washed into the Sea as micro plastics, every year! With 1 billion cars this mean 4-5 billion extra tons micro plastics poured into nature every year. Just because we gave away our lives to the car industry!
      You might dislike change, but a change to Medieval Urbanism would for sure benefit us all and the eco-systems.


  2. Pingback: A Discussion about Balusters with David Brussat on His Famous Blog “Architecture Here & There” – LeveVeg

  3. Pingback: The Walled Village Town is More Relevant than Ever – LeveVeg

  4. leveveg says:

    First thank’s a lot for your essay on balusters! I will send a link to Ross Chapin as he has made porches a science:

    As the porch is the most significant membrane between the commons and the private in a Pocket Neighborhood, I think a stronger emphasis on balustrades is important for personalizing each porch, making people more proud of their porches. Thus making it a stronger membrane, as the porches are the glue that keep the Pocket Neighborhood together. If you fail making a good porch, the Pocket Neighborhood is doomed.

    Hope you’ve seen the new video presenting Chapin’s glorious work:

    Secondly I’m sorry for my tactlessness and ignorance, giving such a thoughtless and stupid comment! Thank you for correcting me!

    By the way I have two blogs, one on the Blogger platform named PermaLiv, the second on the WordPress platform named LeveVeg. The Blogger platform suits my form of blogging best, so I most frequently post there. I too registered my new company PermaLiv AS, so I plan to make PermaLiv my trademark.

    Style is what connect people to their surroundings, making them love their buildings and their streets. The urban network connects people to each other, with lots of intersections and plazas. I think both are of equal importance for a happy life!


    • I did not wish to suggest, LeveVeg, and I do not believe that you were actually criticizing my baluster illustration (there’s WordPress jargon for that but I forget), let alone that you wanted me to change it. But sometimes you are hard up for a topic and you go with something charming and ready to hand. I would not want to do anything to discourage open discussion of anything about this blog, whether its views or its appearance!

      I agree with you about the vital importance of both style and urbanism to the good life!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kristen says:

    The village illustration is charming — but it feels extremely dated, despite its charm. A walled village/city? Really? In today’s world?!!? Assisi is a beautiful walled (and walkable) city (I lived there for a year) — but it doesn’t speak of today’s issues that you debate re: modern vs. classical, etc., and only occasionally new/old urbanism. Beautiful balustrades, on the other hand, are timeless — as are your ongoing debates…my vote goes to the balustrade.


    • leveveg says:

      The walled Village Town is more relevant than ever, and the wall is a core design element. It does though play a different role than in Medieval Ages, when it was a defense toward outside intruders. In a Village Town the purpose of the wall is to defend the surrounding landscape from the potensial enemy within the Village Town, meaning suburban sprawl.

      Suburban sprawl killed both my family farms and destroyed the unique culture of my forefathers. Suburban culture is anti-culture, as it pretends to be both rural and urban, but is neither, and perverts both.

      When a Village Town reaches its limits of 10.000 people you build a new wall on a new place, and then make a new Village Town within the borders of the restricting wall. This way the surrounding landscape is kept serene, and you can grow a true rural culture outside the walls, while keeping the urban culture pure within the walls of the Village Town.

      Note the third picture at the bottom of the Village Forum site, illustrating my point.

      See my post “Village Towns for Norwegian Countryside”:

      After reading Brussat’s text I too vote for the balustrade!


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