“A New Look at Civic Design” at Archizoom-EPFL Lausanne

Before the industrial agenda of urban design, broadly promoting technology and economy, there was the social agenda of civic design, creating ecology and community.


Frank Lloyd Wright, Park System in Spring Green, 1947 © Taliesin Preservation / Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation


This exhibition presents a chronological overview of the evolution of civic design as evidenced in the work that was central to it: the creation of regional park systems. Over a period of three centuries – from 1770 to 2070 – the exhibition presents a sequence of projects, from Wolfgang von Goethe’s Park an der Ilm in Weimar (1778), to Paxton’s People’s Park in Liverpool (1857), to the Olmsted Brother’s Regional Park System for Los Angeles (1928).


Practical information

“A New Look at Civic Design”
30 April – 22 June, 2019
Archizoom. EPFL
SG 1211 (SG Building)1015 Lausanne


Correlating and comparing historic park system projects in Lausanne and Los Angeles, and highlighting ongoing community-based projects in these two cities, the exhibition also features two major discoveries: a previously unknown park system Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his own community in Spring Green, Wisconsin (1942) – the closest thing we have to a built version of his ‘broadacre’ plans for ‘The Living City’ (1934-58) – and Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.’s previously unpublished multi-modal park system for Los Angeles County (1962).


Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., Park System for Los Angeles, 1962

Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., Park System for Los Angeles, 1962

Frederika and George Kessler, The General Plan for a System of Parks and Parkways for the City of Cincinnati, 1907 © Library of Congress

Wolfgang von Goethe, Park an der Ilm in Weimar, (Lossius) 1778 © Klassik Stiftung Weimar

P. Rigaud, Ville de Lausanne, 1723 © Archives de la Ville de Lausanne

Plan de la ville et des environs de Lausanne datant de 1896 © Archives de la Ville de Lausanne

Le Flon, image de gauche: Vallée de la Jeunesse, image de droite: étendue d’un km dans le Lac Léman, 1929 © Musée historique de Lausanne

Rapport de la Commission des travaux publics pour la Ville de Genève, 1948 © Travaux Publics de la Ville de Genève


The projects featured in the exhibition demonstrate the historic effectiveness of park systems, shed light on challenges faced by communities implementing contemporary park systems, and encourage the re-evaluation of the intergenerational discipline of civic design.


News source: Archizoom
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