“This is ostensibly a book about architecture and urbanism. But in a sense it is fitting to describe it as first and foremost a book about language. In recent years it is the language of the informal – both in architectural form and linguistic expression – which has come to dominate discourse on future city-making across the globe […]
It is a mistake to see informal and formal as binary opposites. When the distinction between the two is taken as simply as this, the informal becomes a means of fueling neoliberal manifestations of the formal. More appropriate is editor Charlotte Malterre-Barthes’ choice of language on this point: she uses the analogy of a thermometer to discuss the gradient that exists between and thus joins up the two.”
Review of Housing Cairo: The
Informal Response by Marc Angélil and Charlotte Malterre- Barthes in collaboration with Something Fantastic and CLUSTER, published earlier this year by Ruby Press, which explores the architecture of informality in the Egyptian capital, for world-architects.com.