Formulary for a New Urbanism was composed by Ivan Chtcheglov under the pseudonym Gilles Ivain when he was 19 years old. It was an internal document. I intend to find out more of Ivan Chtcheglov — or Gilles Ivain, but these are my favourite bits from ‘Formulary for a New Urbanism’ from the. Formulary for a New Urbanism Guy Debord to Ivan Chtcheglov April Guy Debord to Ivan Chtcheglov, 30 April Guy Debord to Ivan Chtcheglov.

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Between the legs of the women walking by, the dadaists imagined a monkey wrench and the surrealists a crystal cup. The poetry of the billboards lasted twenty years.

We are bored in the city, we really have to strain to still discover mysteries on the sidewalk billboards, the latest state of humor and poetry: And the police station on Rendezvous Street. The artificial flowers on Sun Street. The Hotel of the Epoch. And the strange statue of Dr. Philippe Pinel, benefactor of the insane, in the last evenings of summer. And you, forgotten, your memories ravaged by all the consternations of two hemispheres, stranded in the Red Cellars of Pali-Kao, without music and without geography, no longer setting out for the hacienda where the roots think of the child and where the wine is finished off with fables from an old almanac.

The hacienda must be built.

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All cities are geological. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary.

It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and surrealist writings: These dated images retain a small catalyzing power, but it is almost impossible to use them in a symbolic urbanism without rejuvenating them by giving them a new meaning. Our imaginations, haunted by the old archetypes, have remained far urhanism the sophistication of the machines.

The various attempts to integrate modern science into new myths remain inadequate. Meanwhile abstraction has invaded all the arts, contemporary architecture in particular. Pure plasticity, inanimate and storyless, soothes the eye.

Everyone wavers between the emotionally still-alive past and the already dead future. We propose to invent new, changeable decors. Darkness and obscurity are banished by artificial lighting, and the seasons by air conditioning.

Night and summer are losing their charm and dawn is disappearing. The urban population think they have escaped from cosmic reality, but there is no corresponding expansion of their dream life. The reason is clear: Stars and rain can be seen through glass ceilings. The mobile house turns with the sun. Its sliding walls enable vegetation to invade life. Mounted on tracks, it can go down to the sea in the morning and return to the forest in the evening.


Architecture is the simplest means of articulating time and space, of modulating reality and engendering dreams. It is a matter not only of plastic articulation and modulation expressing an ephemeral beauty, but of a modulation producing influences in accordance with the eternal spectrum of human desires and the progress in realizing them.

Ivan Chtcheglov, “Formulary for a New Urbanism” | silka

The architecture of tomorrow will be a means of modifying present conceptions of time and space. It will be a means of knowledge and a means of action.

Architectural complexes will be modifiable. Their aspect will change totally or partially in accordance with the will of their inhabitants. Past collectivities offered the masses an absolute truth and incontrovertible mythical exemplars.

On the bases of this mobile civilization, architecture will, fodmulary least initially, be a means of experimenting with a thousand ways of modifying life, ivwn a view to an ultimate mythic synthesis.

A mental disease has chycheglov the planet: Presented with the alternative of love or a garbage disposal unit, young people of all countries have chosen the garbage disposal unit. It has become essential to provoke a complete spiritual transformation by bringing to light forgotten desires and by creating entirely new ones.

And by carrying out an intensive propaganda in favor of these desires. We have already pointed out the construction of situations as being one of the fundamental desires on which the next civilization will be founded. This need for total creation has always been intimately associated with the need to play with architecture, time and space.

Chirico remains one of the most remarkable architectural precursors. He was grappling with the problems of absences and presences in time and space. We know that an object that is not consciously noticed at the time of a first visit can, by its absence during subsequent visits, provoke an indefinable impression: It is of no particular significance that in this specific case memory is the vehicle chtchevlov these feelings; I only selected this example for its convenience.

It is easy to imagine the fantastic future possibilities of such architecture and fro influence on the masses. We can have nothing but contempt for a century that relegates such blueprints to its so-called museums.

Formulary for a New Urbanism

A rational extension of the old religious systems, of old chtfheglov, and above all of psychoanalysis, into architectural expression becomes more and more urgent as all the reasons for becoming impassioned disappear.


Others will be irresistibly alluring to travelers. Games are forbidden in the labyrinth. This city could be envisaged in the form of an arbitrary assemblage of castles, grottos, lakes, etc.

It would be the baroque stage of urbanism considered as a means of knowledge. But this theoretical phase is already outdated. We know that a modern building could be constructed which would have no resemblance to a medieval castle but which could preserve formluary enhance the Castle poetic power by the conservation of a strict minimum of lines, the transposition of chthceglov others, the positioning of openings, the topographical location, etc.

The districts of this city could correspond to the whole spectrum chtcueglov diverse feelings that one encounters formulxry chance in everyday life.

And an Astrolarium which would group plant species in accordance with the relations they manifest with ufbanism stellar rhythm, a planetary garden along the lines the astronomer Thomas wants to establish at Laaer Berg in Vienna. Indispensable for giving the inhabitants a consciousness of the cosmic. The Sinister Quarter, for example, would be a good replacement for those hellholes, those ill-reputed neighborhoods full of sordid dives and unsavory characters, that many peoples once possessed in their capitals: The Sinister Quarter would have no need to harbor real dangers, such as traps, dungeons or mines.

It would be difficult to get into, with a hideous decor piercing whistles, alarm bells, sirens wailing intermittently, grotesque sculptures, power-driven mobiles, called Auto-Mobilesand as poorly lit at night as it was blindingly lit during the day by an intensive use of reflection.

forumlary The changing of landscapes from one hour to the next will result in total disorientation. The economic obstacles are only apparent. Our first experimental city would live largely off tolerated and controlled tourism. Future avant-garde activities and productions would naturally tend to gravitate there. In a few years it would become the intellectual capital of the world and would be universally recognized as such.

In October the Lettrist International adopted this report by Gilles Ivain on urbanism, which constituted a decisive element of the new direction then being taken by the experimental avant-garde. The present text was drawn up from two successive drafts containing minor differences in formulation, preserved in the LI archive, which have become documents and of the Situationist Archives.