25 years after the fall of the Wall, many believe Berlin to be
a city of 3.5 million inhabitants
a symbol of division
made up of a centre and a periphery.
The inability to read Berlin is perhaps best exemplified by Vittorio Gregotti who has described it as an endless suburb. This inability to read the specifics of Berlin is perhaps a symptom of superficiality and/or muddle thinking, probably induced by the growing and increasingly untenable wave of smartness that envelops and suffocates contemporary life.
Urban features are not comparable to cars, telephones, watches or any of those everyday objects that harbour a trace of wistfulness for their lost simplicity. The rhetoric surrounding the smart city takes for granted that cities must be smart. But urban and architectural facts, we know, are the contrary of smart. They are really quite dumb (mute and...