Andres Duany on Fox News

Clip from the beginning of Friday’s “Tucker Carlson Today,” with Andres Duany. (Fox News)

Yesterday, Fox News posted a brief segment featuring Andrés Duany on Tucker Carlson Tonight. In addition, Carlson speaks with Duany for an hour on Tucker Carlson Today. Duany was on fire in his comments about cities and towns in America today and in the past. Carlson had little to say but to nod and express agreement throughout – including the few times Duany criticized modern architecture directly, as he did indirectly throughout most of the hour.

Commenters on the Pro-Urb listserv have gone nutso at the idea that Duany would go on a show hosted by a racist, fascist, etc., etc. Carlson is none of those things, of course. A few understandably exasperated urbanists recognized that demonizing Carlson (or Duany for appearing with him) would add nothing to the discourse on architecture and urbanism. They tried to get a word in edgewise, but even “Snow White,” an academic who oversees the list, seemed to have been bullied into sanctioning an extremely long thread almost entirely of bullying against Carlson and Duany.

The extremist tendency to knowingly and purposely confuse conservatism with racism, fascism, etc., etc., is part of a longstanding effort to delegitimize and cancel Carlson and his show. And it is easy to see why. Carlson is the most talented exponent on television, by far, of a political philosophy embraced by upwards of half American voters, possibly more. A recent study found that more than a third of Tucker Carlson’s audience is composed of Democrats.

Many on Pro-Urb have asked to see the entire show, and here it is. I cannot be certain that people will be able to play it. It may be behind a paywall. If so, I am trying to get a transcript and will print it in its entirety if I do.

It is a great watch: Duany, who now sports a beard, is on fire.

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, dbrussat@gmail.com, 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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10 Responses to Andres Duany on Fox News

  1. LazyReader says:

    Divvy up benefits of……whatever.
    All in all most architects subject cruel social experiments when they design housing and public buildings..
    Philip Johnson was a pioneer in modernism……difference is he lived by his creed. And resided in one of his own projects til the day he died. Kudos to him.

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  2. John the First says:

    Basically the architectural scene is a a scene of specialization, of men who are ignorant of what is not part of their specialization. Both modernists and new urbanists try to reduce the world and society to slogans and formulas, as they are at bottom both modernists in the most broadest sense.

    To quote an argument of ignorance:
    “Some of the neo-modernists – Koolhaas, say — throw their hands up and say that complexity amounts to nature out of control, let’s go along for the ride. ” (http://www.katarxis3.com/Duany.htm)

    I would advise in this to broaden the view, to read the works of Herbert Spencer (especially ‘The Study of Sociology’). Even physical science at some point is confronted with complexity ,so that cause and effect cannot be determined, let alone in something complex as a combination of living organisms (a society for instance). Complexity is not equal to lawlessness.

    “Only then could workable tools be developed to manage the complexity of the city for human ends.”
    ‘Manage the complexity’, in all camps they are so maniacally obsessed with managing and addicted to simplistic creeds, while slowly finding out what has been found out already in the nineteenth century (at least by the most brilliant thinkers) they still continue on this path, trying to manage what cannot be understood. Contradicting themselves even in a sentence of three words.

    If the scene of architecture would not, like any other area, be that of specialized ignorance, we wouldn’t have to fight a century in order to discover what has been discovered one and a half century ago.

    Let thinkers do the thinking, and architects the designing. When did architects started to engage in philosophies of society anyway? And if they do, why don’t they start looking outside of their clique of specialized ignorance.

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    • John the First says:

      On a side note:
      In the area of technology, ‘complexity management’ means that you are trying to prevent unnecessary complexity because it invites a host of unpredictable and often unnecessary problems. Every engineer of machinery should know this.

      In a society on the other hand, complexity, differentiation and diversity brings progress, the trick there is to keep your ignorant hands of it. The latter is which the architectural scene is slowly learning, the best of them at least. To keep your hands of it, and to have the thinking done by thinkers, of which the best also came to the conclusion.

      Goethe wrote that artists should create art, not try to argue and reason. The same applies to architects, they should design, study styles, study engineering, etc.

      So what about the creed: ‘Keep your ignorant hands of it!’ (I suppose that hurts too many feelings and puts down the ambition of too many egos..).

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  3. LazyReader says:

    Urban planning is a joke of a profession. Cities are too complicated to plan, so anyone who tries to plan them ends up following fads…focusing on perhaps 1-2 goals and ignore everything else. Cities are the way they are due to the evolutionary circumstances that made them. Geography. New York is an Island near water it’s famous 1811 Commissioners plan had more to do with commerce than convenience. Baltimore has a harbor, some cities exist in valleys where they were well protected from invaders, blah blah blah.

    Economics always played a role in city dynamics and growth. By 19th-20th century the economies of scale already had a workforce, technologies, infrastructure put into place. But even now cities are losing populations because politicians cant manage cities well and urban planners are nothing more than political lapdogs who beg for treats.

    History of cities is as follows, founded as fortresses and zones of specific labor and heraldry Surround a key resource (river, bay, mountain, etc) Expand guild/labor capacities, housing and industry. Cities are more than 10,000 years old, and for most of that time, every human-made item used in those cities, whether kitchenware, weapons, ships, furniture, or clothing, was a custom-made one-off. Since there were few economies of scale in pottery, cabinetmaking, or tailoring, businesses tended to be scattered throughout cities. Many cities were ports, and so there was some concentration near docks where goods would be loaded and unloaded. But most land-based passenger transportation was on foot, so many businesses located near their customers, not the docks and neighborhoods and etc divided into enclaves based on assimilated immigrants, slaves and trade/work guilds.

    That changed with 2 technological innovations. One was the “Factory system” of deployed labor no longer specifically tied to labor guilds and smithing. Cottage industry was insufficient to afford/contain space for large machines namely for fabric spinning and weaving. The economies of scale behind such machines concentrated workers in a single location. Initially, such factories mainly involved textiles. The American factory system, which was invented in Britain shortly after 1800 but most rapidly adopted in the United States, involved the construction of interchangeable parts, expanding the use of factories to make just about anything, and thus began “Mass produced goods” Which case first factories were powered by water. Which held them to specific locations. when Steam engines took over; factories could be built anywhere. So they naturally gravitated near ports and (as railroads were built) other transportation centers where they could get easy access to raw materials and inexpensive deliveries of their finished products. In the 1840s, businesses had concentrated enough at the southern end of New York City (Manhattan Island) that people began calling the area “downtown,” referring to the fact that south is “down” on a map. Residents of other cities began applying the same term to their central business districts even if they weren’t literally “down.” By the 1870s, most urban jobs were in factories, and most of those factories along with government offices, some schools, retail, and other businesses were located in downtowns, putting more than half of a typical city’s jobs downtown. Factories typically located in four- to six-story midrise buildings occupying no more than a city block. Each floor would be dedicated to making some portion of the final product.

    Then came the second invention… The elevator. Rapid growth of taller buildings because it eliminated exhaustion and labor climbing flights of stairs. Most people in that worked in factories lived in tenements in close proximity to factories. The appalling living conditions faced by some of these families were documented in an 1890 photo book, How the Other Half Lives. This book generated a movement by urban planners to try and improving housing and living conditions, if possible by moving those people to the suburbs and providing them with cheap transit service to the cities which Led to the City Beautiful Movement.

    But the forces centralizing factories and other businesses shifted into reverse in 1913, when Henry Ford began using moving assembly lines to make cars. Factories used to vertical integration became horizontal instead. Ford and others built big wide factories with advent of assembly lines. cars and trucks built on moving assembly lines decreased the costs of transportation so such factories no longer needed to be located near ports and workers no longer had to live within walking distance of their jobs. The departure of factories left downtowns as office and retail centers, but the development of affordable automobiles, electric power, and telecommunications left few reasons for these to be centralized either. The former slum tenements of immigrants and industry workers were gutted to house new tenants. The owners of the tenements rented some of their rooms to individuals, Most of the occupants of these apartments were new immigrants and poor blacks. Tiny yards and tiny apartments allowed little room for guests, so families living in these tenements did most of their entertainment on their front porches and sidewalks. The resulting lively streets plus the availability of ethnic grocery stores and restaurants attracted a few well-off bohemians to the neighborhoods, many of them probably occupying as much space as was once used by eight or more families. Despite the bohemians, the average rents collected by the owners of these tenements were low and the immigrants, blacks, and SRO residents were not considered desirable neighbors to the downtown business districts. As a result, these dense developments came to be viewed as slums that were detracting from the growth and continued preeminence of downtowns. In 1949, Congress passed a housing act that provided funding for slum clearance, urban renewal (meaning, mainly, downtown renewal), and construction of high-rise public housing projects inspired by Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who believed everyone should live in high rises (though he never did).

    Urban planning is a fairly new career, so new in fact it failed to predict all technology, social and transportation trends instead forgoing a 19th century model, no more than 19th century planners adopting a 17th century…. Cities are not planned, they’re managed and planners and have the audacity [given the harm they inflicted since their “Profession” became a policy makers tool] to say “We learned our lesson” since the failures of Pruitt-Igoe. A hidden agenda behind a focus on passenger rail and urban development down to most minute details; in a totalitarian or very centrist nation is that it is easier to control people when the government controls the means of travel and dwelling. In the United States, people can go anywhere on 4 million miles of roads anytime they want. By focusing on trains instead of roads and dense housing developments, China and the Soviet Union were better able to monitor if not control where people went; what they did and how they did it.

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    • John the First says:

      New Urbanism is another fruit on the tree of modernism (modernism in the broadest sense). Pattern Language which is a relatively new hype is also another fruit of this tree. It is basically about trying to capture reality into simple creeds and formulas, to make it seem manageable, albeit the next generation models are more sophisticated than the crude and infantile old ones. Even Nikos Salingaros’ scientific theories are a product of modernism in the broadest sense.
      First come the managers with their crude theories (in all areas), next, after the disastrous consequences become ubiquitous, the new managers come up with prestigious theories which allegedly take into account individuality, locality, diversity and complexity, although well intentioned, these are just more schemes strangling and rooting out what they are supposed to respect and promote.
      Perhaps one day the new approach will be, possibly after long detours of hyping ambitious and prestigious models: how do we get rid of these prestigious models and these managers. And architects engaging in philosophy of society, they will be regarded as to be avoided, practice that at home in your own time will be the response.

      Perhaps the architectural scene has stepped out of the bounds of its profession because it is the last vestige which is not wholly culturally bankrupt. And the modernist architectural scene at that time had been invited into areas out of its bounds for reasons of gaining power (which they ambitiously accepted). So that what is out of bounds to the area of architecture, namely, wholesale philosophy of society and culture, is now accepted as proper territory for them.

      Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    How do I get off this list?

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  5. Laurence J Sasso Jr says:

    I have enjoyed reading your posts, and have agreed with at least 90 percent of your comments regarding classical architecture, but I must part company after reading your remarks exonerating
    Tucker Carlson. I respect true conservatives. Carlson is not a conservative. He is extremely dangerous to democracy. Remove me from your list, please.

    Like

  6. ericritter65 says:

    Deflecting from the topic is not cool, but folks are correct to call out Carlson’s racist and fascist leanings. Frankly, true America conservatism isn’t found on Fox News, nor in what remains of the Republican party – after all they did just censure Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger for representing Conservative values.

    Like

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