Vertical Urbanism - A Template for Non-Hierarchical Vertical Programming

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Hierarchy as a social construct has existed for as long as man himself. Within the way in which we distinguish through age, weak and strong, our relationship within family, the class between employer and employee, bourgeois and proletariat etc., with conviction the system of hierarchy is manifested within our everyday social relations, economy and even represented in our physically built surroundings. Within the various contexts and disciplines in which a great sentiment is given to the precepts of hierarchy – from linguistics, mathematics, computer graphics imaging, music etc. - the following research attends to the term with regards to environs of ethics and architectural planning.

With respect to ethics, it is the doctrines of Karl Weber and William Whyte surrounding the narrative of capitalism and its foundations within protestant ethics that provides a hierarchical system that exists to this day, not only as a social construct but also as a physical manifestation in our built surroundings. The way in which vertical programming is generally approached in cities and single developments is not only symbolic but provides the physical means for the resilience of the proletariat, bourgeois and elitist hierarchical relationship. The consequences of this if-undisturbed movement is hypothesised in a term to be called vertical urban sprawl. Cities or boroughs such as Manhattan with an already well developed skyline are analysed not merely as cities with an abundance of skyscrapers, but cities that literally grew vertically – vertical urban sprawl. Only when we fathom the idea of every floor of every building as a constituent of the overall area of the city, can we begin to understand the dire consequences of such hierarchical systems of vertical programming; similar to that of the future Los Angeles illustrated in the film Blade Runner.


This research aims to get rid of hierarchy in vertical programming.

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