Artur Pławski „The unit”

Artur Pławski „The unit”

‘Every city needs to have its basic compositional structure. The ideological content should be reflected in the form. Nevertheless, while searching for a form that would be consistent with the social content, one should always remember to preserve the human scale. To bring out the ideological tension constitutes our fundamental task if we want to prevent the capitalist tendencies to split the city into isolated units, to weaken the bonds between the inhabitants, and to give the city a semi-village character.’

Wacław Ostrowski, PhD
‘The Spatial Planning of the Socialist City,’
in Miasto [The City], Warsaw, January 1952.

At a certain stage of my life, I moved to the city whose recent history is anchored in socialist spatial planning and where everyday life incessantly deals with the past. Working on the project, I looked for traces of this past in people’s behavior and observed the way in which the space has been organized. I wanted to show how these two orders overlap and inter-permeate because I instinctively felt that this significantly determines the identity of people living in Central-Eastern Europe and is ever-present as a commonly accepted element for everything makeshift, impermanent, and temporary.

Today’s cities alter in accordance with the practical and economic presumptions and are no longer the places where socialistic ideals are realized. However, they still remain the collective dreams inhabited by individuals.