In the chapter “The city in the collision and the politics of bricolage“, Colin Rowe (Collage City, The MIT Press, 1981, with Fred Koetter) deals with the utopia of totalitarian design control that almost all the protagonists of the modern architecture saw shattered against the complexity of the phenomena of formation, transformation and use of urban structures. Complexity grows exponentially in the city of democracy, where the construction of the space is subjected to the combined action of numerous and often conflicting power groups. If this conflict has produced some key places of the modern (such as Central Park, which began as an Arcadian dream and then became a metropolitan icon), in most cases results in conflicting situations, fragmentary and often unresolved.
Shifting from analysis to architectural design the descriptive power of the conflict, of the “collision”, hardly cross the metaphorical level of evocation to be operational tool of transformation (The Virtual Dimension. Architecture, Representation, and Crash Culture, edited by John Beckmann, Princeton Architectural Press, 1998). Moreover, if there are collisions between forms, ideologies, time, speed, it’s unlikely that the substantial stability of the buildings and the slow process of creation can lead to violent dynamic interactions associated to the incident of a crash and to its often catastrophic effects. Just like other artistic fields, there are those who face all threatening and destabilizing consequences of contemporaneity, often turning to allegory or morphological analogy.