darran anderson

darran anderson

intro’d to Darran here:


“We log on to the 21st century and log off increasingly into the 18th.” RECOMMENDED twitter.com/closeandslow/s…


astonishing interview with @Oniropolis on the @Forbes website: forbes.com/sites/kavigupp…

poetry is a way of slowing down time until the world appears as strange, hideous or wondrous as it really is.


These may seem like victories but, in the wider scheme of things, they’re defeat with tassels.


an approach that takes the ideas of inclusive architecture we see architecture studios proposing, an approach that demands, ‘Why not now, why not here and why not for everyone?’ To resurrect the egalitarian spirit of the early Bauhaus or the Russian Constructivists and apply it to contemporary developments, to expand and innovate public space and opportunities. To oppose plans that simply omit the populace, building citadels rather than cities, and propose and support plans that recognise that the citizen is more than just a consumer to be fleeced by spivs, spied on by our technology or moved along by some private security goon. Cities are husks of steel and glass without citizens.


The real choice we have, which we’ve always had, is not between utopia and dystopia but between competing attempts at utopia. If we don’t try for ours, and there’s no shortage of ideas on what that might be, we’re guaranteed to end up living in someone else’s.


This isn’t a question of plucking a fanciful idea out of the ether; it’s a question of looking at what is useful and desirable (rooms which are as fluid as our lives, needs and tastes are), where the inefficiencies lie that block those, and then following the paths that technology may open up.


My suspicion is the danger lies beyond grand technocratic plans. The real threat of future, and indeed present, urban development will be much more passive. I talk to planners and engineers and a lot of their focus is on removing inefficiencies. The problem is inefficiencies are very much where we live our lives and where our freedom lies. The dystopian is unlikely to manifest as ‘evil’. Rather it’ll come bundled up in things we want, in a sort of toxic financial package model.


Our poison will be sweetened to the point we crave it. It will be intrinsically tied in with our vanity, our security and our fragile self-worth. It will move from performing surveillance on ourselves through social media to more esoteric fare. One of my favourite examples of what is to come is the much-touted internet of things.


Again, it’s not a new development but our panopticons will be much more comfortable and desirable than those of the past.


It’s likely that which oppresses will not even be aware that they are oppressive. The casual misery will come in their blind spots, their omissions, their good intentions. We can see this in the spread of liminal space, what Rem Koolhaas called ‘junkspace’, once restricted to airports but which has gradually filtered in towards the cities and into our lives. There’s a particular form of contemporary purgatory and it resembles an Apple Store. I’ve seen this directly in places I’ve worked, where everything is slick, clean and characterless, where your computer times your piss-breaks and inspirational mottoes adorn the walls, where they throw in a glorified playpen for adults to prevent it going Ballard, where the window blinds never quite open and you go outside at lunch for a walk and find yourself on the side of a motorway or in an industrial estate. I used to think this was a particularly modern phenomena but have gradually realised it’s simply a feature of imposed hegemony. “If you had gone into the square of any Mediterranean town in the first century” Kenneth Clark notes in Civilisation, “you would hardly have known where you were, any more than you would in an airport today.” This is what victory looks like, even today, and it sucks.


There is a hope however and it lies in architecture. It exists in the vernacular, the unusual and the inclusive. It exists in anything that celebrates the plurality of the city, and the citizen, and champions the personal mythologies we attach to space. It asks a great deal of us. It requires us to be individual Jane Jacobs, Guy Debords and Friedensreich Hundertwassers. It requires us to defend the places that we can call our own and, in their absence, build such places. In this, I am profoundly hopeful, simply because we’ve no other options.  

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake

Societies stagnate when they lose the ability to adapt and adapting means questioning. As the present sprawls face-first into the future, we need to ensure social, economic and political progress keeps pace with technological progress (at the minute all of the former are being reversed). This means demanding a lot of questions are answered, alongside every great leap. Who benefits and at whose expense? What are the side effects?  Who is excluded, why and where to? And, when shiny futures are being proposed, what is being sold?


We are continually presented with a world that is starkly binary (for us or against us, good or evil, male or female, left or right, black or white, cowboys or Indians etc) that bears no resemblance to how life actually is. We are bound up in disingenuous myths. The result is a catastrophic waste. In my youth, I hoped for the dispelling of myths but now I think the radical thing is to insist on these phantasms becoming reality. Let’s have the American dream and the Golden Rule. Let’s insist on them coming about. Imagine the creativity and innovations unleashed, if we got rid of anachronisms like the class system or the death-grip that old money has, and establish a genuine meritocracy. Perhaps the most radical thing to do is simply to insist that reality matches the fictions we’ve been presented with for a hundred years, to insist on the dream becoming real.


video on imagining cities:



Festival of the Future City: What Happened to Utopian Cities?

22 min – darran.. utopia cities… still exists.. all around us…in fragments… a battle best fought in advance…. locate these utopias…. these spaces that enable us to live fully… develop and expand them…

27 min – architecture is a sculpting of space.. and space is power.. who’s excluded/included in space is diff between utopia and dystopia

30 min – radical architecture… all pushed crazy/visionary architecture.. but all had sense this was for everyone… what we’ve seen in last 10-20 yrs is severing of that link…the link of it being public space… is being severed…

31 min – every city is constituted by dreams of individuals… why do we leave this to others... why do we let on that we have nothing to do with this… city and citizens.. both polis… we are the city.. and we should have an input… utopia – from no place… if it can’t exist… it’s from an impulse.. that says.. it doesn’t have to be like this... taken us from cave to city….

44 min – city as organism… a body.. always been a sense of seeing cities as a form of biology… culture is an echo chamber… modernism is ancient…

46 min – archi-gram – collective based in london in 60s.. folded in 70s… were creating impossible designs…walking cities… plug in cities… instant cities.. conceptual.. thinking aloud.. never intended to be built… they were connecting ideas that have actually come to physical forms… (burning man ref)..  they cleared the space and took a lot of the flack…

59 min – symbiotic relationship…(rural/city… all the same).. one supports the other..

1:01 – on being in cambodia – and the draining of lake.. destroying villages to build an eco city… the paradox..

1:06 – all of my thinking of cities is based on my upbringing in city… good can filter down from above… i think there is a danger though.. of road of paved intentions… i wouldn’t rule out a single voice… but  things coming from bottom organically is crucially important…

1:10 – the future will be older than the present… all inclusive… son could go anywhere.. public space max’d … live a life full/deep/ money free… able to loiter.. a city that’s ours.. basically..


find/follow Darran:

link twitter



Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 4:03 AM – 7 Oct 2016 :

Looking forward to talking about cities at the Dundee Literary Festival on the 22nd of October. All welcomehttps://t.co/B4HzORdZofhttps://t.co/tBqDKAcgMX (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/784333299640508416?s=17)

Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 4:13 AM – 7 Oct 2016 :

I’ll also be talking radical politics & architecture at the University of Glasgow on the 15th of Novemberhttps://t.co/rFYmCReTVH https://t.co/5t01fual1g (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/784335919675379713?s=17)


Influx Press (@Influxpress) tweeted at 3:00 AM – 25 Oct 2016 :

.@Oniropolis was interviewed recently about Imaginary Cities here https://t.co/NZUui5xYAX Order the book herehttps://t.co/waMESAFeck (http://twitter.com/Influxpress/status/790840323819855872?s=17)

It would be as much a map as a book.


The sense of poetic incompleteness to it. The feeling that the story is continuing on somewhere beyond its pages.


We forget the fictional origins of the places we live. Every building originates in someone’s imagination and when you flick through architects’ notebooks, blueprints and failed competition entries as I do a lot, you realise it could’ve all been very different. When you look at a skyline, you’re looking at the dreams and decisions of individuals, for good and ill.


You make sense, or create the artifice of sense, in hindsight.


I’ve always been interested in the thresholds and crossovers of disciplines. “Architecture begins where engineering ends”, the great Walter Gropius said. I think there’s a sort of shifting hinterland between the two, where often the most exciting things are happening. We limit ourselves when we separate things too much….

There’s a lot to learn from peering over the walls we’ve built. And I’d question the motives we have in building most of these walls; very often it’s quite petty obscurantism, which ultimately holds us all back.


The first writer I ever fell in love with was Robert Louis Stevenson and I think he had a lasting influence; by his example, you have the permission to wander, literally and figuratively – …you can do it all with a continual voice and purpose that threads through everything, even when it seems like chaos or a cacophony.


The writers I’ve loved since, from Montaigne to Borges to Solnit have that same sense of roaming, of proving “why not?” when stepping over frequently-artificial boundaries. It’s not for everyone but I love literature that contains this tendency to roam. It goes beyond even literature I suppose…… I’m not really interested in literature that just speaks to itself. I’d rather literature be a dense and messy city than an ordered monastery.


The book appears to shift between memoir, science fiction, critical writing, and philosophical discourse. How do you think your work engages different forms of writing?

It’s down to liking literature that can’t be contained in a single genre….where you have to wonder where their books are located in a bookshop. I like things that don’t fit in.


When a city is dominated by one vision, it becomes either a sterile corpse, however pretty it looks, or, at worst, an all-out tyranny. I’d go as far to say that the very idea of a city is predicated on it being a plurality. When it is singular, it becomes something else; namely a citadel that benefits the powerful, whoever that may be in a given society. That’s one of the reasons that planned cities very often (though not always) fall flat. We forget to build in accidents and resistances – the dialectics of urbanism where different ideas are colliding and synthesizing and pushing things creatively forward in the process. When cities, and indeed countries, adopt a siege mentality, they stagnate and the inhabitants go slowly mad.


We are mongrel peoples on these islands. We do well not to begin attempting to dismantle ourselves or anyone else for that matter. The future, if we wish to be part of it, is plural.

h  u  g  e


As much as culture helps define our perception of cities, it has its limits. For me, the starting point for Dublin is Ulysses, just as Kafka is for Prague, and Dostoevsky or Bely is for St Petersburg and yet when I go to places like those, I find that these presumptions are attractive illusions. So much time has passed since those works were written and it was all subjective to begin with. That’s the beauty: the city is not the same thing to any two people, no matter how it is branded. One of the things I’m interested in is how the urban influences us, and the way we see ourselves, in ways that are often overlooked or come by implication.


In the near-future, I see the manner in which our identities merge with our surroundings becoming acutely apparent.


This isn’t a new idea. The Situationists, who I’m not uncritical of, hinted at this by shifting the focus away from academic texts to games, maps, graffiti, and the streets themselves. With developments in augmented reality, I can see the city becoming a form of text, not just with buildings annotated but actually offering creative input and manipulation. We already read cities without thinking about it. We may come to write them too.


To even possess an identity, you need a past and you need somewhere to live. I’d like to see writers pave the way and re-engage with these issues. It amazes me, given the news every single day, how few writers even touch on themes like migration, xenophobia, climate change, the politics and economics of space, or even just cities, the actual places we live and how they work, especially given we’re facing global urbanisation on a scale never seen before in human history. Maybe literature will survive as a pleasant escape or distraction from everyday life, which has its charms, but in doing so it risks becoming an otherwise irrelevant hobby.

If we begin to become passive spectators to the world around us, we will soon become passive spectators to our own lives.

Do you have any key influences or texts that you return to?

There are so many and they change continually. Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. Richard McGuire’s Here. Benjamin’s Arcades Project. Sontag’s essays. Eliot’s poems before he found God. Frank Lloyd Wright’s renderings. Anything by Borges. Lots of Oulipo. In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. Robert Hughes’ The Shock of the New. Kenneth White’s The Wanderer and His Charts. Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust. Peter Conrad’s Modern Times, Modern Places. Judith Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands. Pepys’ diary. Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World. John Wyndham. Werner Herzog’sOf Walking in Ice. I’ve been reading a lot of William Golding’s more obscure books recently for some reason. Lewis Mumford’s texts. China Miéville‘s New Crobuzon series. I always come back to Rimbaud. Raoul Vaneigem’s The Revolution of Everyday Life. Thomas Nashe’s The Terrors of the Night. Breton’s Anthology of Black Humour. Brodsky & Utkin. Hugh Ferriss’ The Metropolis of Tomorrow. Grant Morrison comics. Pat Mills’ comics. Moebius comics. Schuiten and Peeters’ Les Cités obscures.

rev of everyday life

a nother way (short)

as we write ourselves/cities.. everyday.. as the day..

perhaps ie: hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data


Due to the fact it favours curation over creation, there’s a danger in praising people for their ability to point at things. It’s the end work that counts and the people who create it; otherwise all we’ll have is gates leading to more gates, like some Borgesian nightmare.


Twitter does intrigue me as a medium. I see Marshall McLuhan being vindicated when people assume Imaginary Cities is the book of a Twitter feed rather than vice versa….It’ll be a gift for the digital mudlarks of the future to come back and wonder what in god’s name we were all thinking, like graffiti on the walls of Pompeii.


at some stage, I’ll start typing up almost twenty years of notes I’ve been keeping on actual cities, which will makeImaginary Cities seem mercifully succinct.

what a great interview/mind

so very resonating.. i guess


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 6:31 AM – 1 Mar 2017 :

I’ve been interviewed in @MinorLits about writing, rebellion, art & cinema https://t.co/pz24F432Ythttps://t.co/YVv3JTTUpg (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/836931951294570497?s=17)

What I realised early on is how exhausting that is and how you’re defined and trapped by the things you rail against.

You can beat yourself to pieces against those in power. And it can “make a stone of the heart” in the process as Yeats put it.


The alternative was to create spaces that were yours, that they couldn’t reach, .. Everything I’ve done since has come out of that.

..the relative breathing space for that to be an option.

spaces of permission..w/nothing to prove... for 7 bn.. we can do that

rat park ness

silence. echo-chamber nessquiet in a room. in naked streets.. . [ps open ness]


It’s not a surprise that for fifteen years I wrote loads of unpublished books and worked on lots of hare-brained projects that would self-destruct at the last minute but now there’s a sense of purpose and immediacy to it all.


I’m not one for boasts. They seem an expression of insecurity. If you need to call attention to something, it’s probably lacking in some way. I’d settle for some music. Words are overrated.

no words ness


 Perhaps there are other forms of integrity; looking after the people you love, continuing to do what’s worth doing. I wouldn’t go as far as Brecht in saying “Food first, morals later” but many people I’ve seen making valiant public stands can afford to do that. There’s a piety often involved in talk about wealth that I’m resistant to. Give me Machiavelli any day over Mother Theresa. Offering the poor the dubious consolation of authenticity has always seemed to me to be a shoddy deal. If you haven’t a pot to piss in, integrity isn’t really one of your main concerns. Finding a pot to piss in is. It’s important to be able to look at yourself in the mirror undoubtedly but there are other considerations that are just as vital.


I try to have influences outside of literature so I don’t just repeat what another author has written, and curious things happen in translation from one medium to another.


There’s an insatiable curiosity there that really appeals to me and which I try to follow. And the way he has these small moments of everyday surrealism, often extracted from unlikely sources, next to a sudden broadening out into the Sublime of the natural world. …The idea of going out and finding strange things or sanctuaries. Looking at the world differently.


generally the more affable they are on screen the more insufferable and wilfully unpleasant they are in reality. That’s who I don’t want to be.


We’re continually trying to stand apart from a world which we’re intrinsically part of. There’s no escaping it. Boccioni reminds us that this is not necessarily a bad thing. We’re not just immersed in the world, we’re of the world. It’s a continual reminder, when undertaking an activity as solitary as writing, to dive back in.

zoom dance ness


white noise

Jussara Almeida (@juss_almeida) tweeted at 2:10 PM on Fri, Apr 28, 2017:
“The difficulty is how to deal with noise without locking ourselves away in sterile environments.”

https://t.co/5qcevDIwPM https://t.co/zH88GDPQEf

Noise complaints are as old as cities. Yet from Seneca’s complaint about “sound that can make one weary of one’s years” to the nightclubs shut down today, history hints that the yearning for silence may be more about control than decibels.


It moved easily because it expressed a universal desire. As tempted as we are to place a curse on inconsiderate neighbours, the distractions reveal how architecture sometimes fails in its attempts to create autonomous rooms of our own. Thin walls and floors, unsealed windows and doors, pipes and vents, and shoddy building materials let the sound of the outside world seep in. The difficulty is how to deal with noise without locking ourselves away in sterile environments.


Consider how enraged we can get if someone breaks a minute’s silence, talks loudly on the phone on a train, wolf-whistles from above, beeps their car horn unnecessarily, begins building work before eight in the morning or plays tinny music loud on a public bus. It feels in each case like a gross intrusion into personal space. They imply disrespect. They break the implicit social contract that keeps the organised chaos of cities from malfunctioning; the message is this person doesn’t care about you or anyone else. This feeling is at the heart of our problems with urban volume. It is not necessarily a matter of loud and quiet as it is often posed, but rather a question of voluntary and involuntary exposure.


Living next to a busy roads, railway lines and especially below flight paths have been cited as increasing stress, disturbing sleep, and diminishing memory recall and concentration ability. Studies have suggested that increases in hormones in response to continual noise, where the body at rest is continually set on edge, increases blood pressure and the chance of a heart attack.


Things are more complicated than that.


Architects have a crucial role, then, in containing sound. Some sculpt with it in mind. Louis Kahn placed silence “with its desire to be” right at the core of his architecture


Holocaust Tower where sound and light channel in from a distance, transforming the everyday outside into something profoundly haunting and disturbing. You feel like you are somehow in the terrible presence of absence.


there is no such thing as pure silence. ..In anechoic chambers designed to absorb sound, the quietest places on earth, people are startled to hear not total silence but the blood circulating through their body.


Sound and silence are other words for society and solitude. We continually try to find a healthy balance between the consuming extremes of the mob and isolation


John Cage’s 4′33″, ..often interpreted as being about silence, when it’s more about the impossibility of silence. Throughout the duration of the performance, you are drawn to listen to the quiet: the shuffles, the coughs, the background noise, the breathing. It is a tuning of the senses. … it turns our attention to our own existence. I find myself listening to my own being.” This encourages perhaps a different way of listening, a different focus or intensity. Even noise, where we feel subjected to and overwhelmed by outside forces, does not have to necessitate an entirely passive response. “Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise,”

Cage wrote, “When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.” It seems then that it is not silence or a shutting away that we are seeking but clarity, knowing that we are hearing and contributing to what ultimately is the soundtrack to a life we can call our own.


imaginary cities

crazy brilliant interweaving ness



The question we need to ask is who is this efficiency for? Sure, it shaves a few minutes off our routines but that’s not really its purpose.

P.S. before I drink myself into oblivion, it’s worth considering how much of what we regard as freedom is just another word for inefficiency

krishnamurti free will law


Adelle Stripe (@adellestripe) tweeted at 4:25 AM – 9 Nov 2017 :

Tidewrack by @Oniropolis is the book I’m most looking forward to reading in 2018. ‘So much rain the river flows backwards…’ https://t.co/3Wk1x6UCP1(http://twitter.com/adellestripe/status/928584213565247488?s=17)

amazon uk says coming out mar 2019


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:37 AM – 24 Feb 2018 :

Growing up in a society where urban space was defined by conflict (to say nothing of those who grow up in all-out war), Lebbeus Woods was, for me, one of the few thinkers who really engaged with what that actually means and how to respond creatively. https://t.co/jqPkgt2agq (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/967378065537032193?s=17)


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:40 AM – 13 Mar 2018 :

I’ve spent the last five years looking into why young men (family members) are inclined to kill themselves, how stoicism and maturation figures into preventing it (a lot imho) but this shit borders on snake-oil. (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/973524124013297664?s=17)

Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:47 AM – 13 Mar 2018 :

Here’s the thing: He (j peterson) teaches undoubtedly valuable lessons for young men but part of the process of becoming an individual is discernment and the ability to take what is useful and reject what is manipulative. Embrace that. (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/973525986670202880?s=17)

Be strong and kind and decent. That’s it. No need for charlatans.

maté basic needs.. cure ios city


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:28 AM – 29 May 2018 :
I’ve written a piece on Postmodernism for @DisegnoDaily https://t.co/GYDHHUFMamhttps://t.co/QEYp6rjYXu (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1001425107804442625?s=17)

“Modernism searched for and celebrated certainty,” the authors point out – but we are uncertain beings living in uncertain times.

The escape from the grand narratives of modernism and PoMo’s treatment of history as a scrapyard to be raided and re contextualised could be suggestive of the approach of someone who believes themselves to be free and healthy, but who is actually a compulsive hoarder or even a nihilist. What if the energy that postmodernism undoubtedly displays is a giddiness that comes from vertigo? What if its nerve is actually a collapse of nerve?

The critical difference seems to be sincerity. Modernists meant it, so we’re assured without ever really being told what ‘it’ is. Maybe PoMo means it too (if we take architecture to be the sculpting of space for people to exist in), but disguises this with a smirk.

“Whereas Modernists always sought to
actively build solutions to society’s ills,” the authors write, “[postmodernist] architects were primarily inspirational artist-poets, using their work to highlight problems and tell stories about the contemporary world, without in any way proposing viable tools for achieving a better world.” As insecure narrative-fixated creatures, we certainly require stories and inspiration but we also need tools when facing the colossal challenges around us. These ambitions are not mutually exclusive.

in a time of gathering nightmares, it may do no harm to dream.


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:56 AM – 24 Jun 2018 :
There should be more secular pilgrimages. (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1010854193891106816?s=17)

in the city

as the day




Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 3:37 AM – 25 Jul 2018 :
I’ve spent the morning reading Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life. It is quite a formal book except for the final chapters, when he is stateless, which are increasingly unbearably claustrophobic to read. And that is happening to people now. And it shouldn’t. (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1022053297497272320?s=17)


mar 2019 by darran anderson on bauhaus

CityLab (@CityLab) tweeted at 4:46 AM – 19 Mar 2019 :
Walter Gropius, the leader of the Bauhaus school, aimed to introduce soul into the age of the machine. The Nazis aimed to introduce the machine into the soul. https://t.co/me1Ifitj95 (http://twitter.com/CityLab/status/1107956471575257089?s=17)

“Together let us call for, devise, and create the construction of the future, comprising everything in one form: architecture, sculpture and painting,” Walter Gropius declared in the Bauhaus Manifesto of 1919.

The future Gropius had dreamed of seemed to have bitterly failed when the school had been closed by the Nazis in 1932, and turned into a bombed-out husk by 1945.

There are many Bauhaus tales though, and they show not a simple Bauhaus-versus-the-Nazis dichotomy but rather how, to varying degrees of bravery and caprice, individuals try to survive in the face of tyranny.

the Bauhaus appeared to be the breeding ground of radicals.

Gropius was typically a moderating influence, preferring to achieve his socially conscious progressivism through design rather than politics; creating housing for workers and safe, clean workplaces filled with light and air (like the Fagus Factory) rather than agitating for them. Indeed, artists would be workers and vice versa. “Let us create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist,”he encouraged. In the Crystal Chain series of letters, Gropius went under the pseudonym Maß, meaning “balance,” a quality he pursued and which would be challenged as the Weimar Republic drifted into darkness. Gropius’s aim was to introduce soul into the age of the machine. The Nazis’ was to introduce the machine into the soul. 

Newspapers and right-wing political parties cynically tapped into the opposition and fueled it, intensifying its anti-Semitism and emphasizing that the school was a cosmopolitan threat to supposed national purity. Eventually, they were hounded out of the city altogether.

It seems remarkable that the hugely influential design school was only open for 14 years, and yet it is equally remarkable that it lasted that long.

Ultimately, the Bauhaus survived because it left the building..t

The Bauhäuslers were scattered all around the world in exile. Germany’s loss was as numerous as other countries’ gain as teachers and students took the design ethic with them, to places like Tel Aviv, Chicago, Detroit, Tokyo, and Amsterdam—through architecture, art, and industrial design.

“Artists are fundamentally unpolitical and must be so, for their kingdom is not of this world,” Oskar Schlemmer declared. It was an approach that his boss Walter Gropius followed, too. In this both were mistaken, and much too utopian, for *the real world is inescapable. . t.. Gropius was political, however, not in rhetoric or ideology, but in method and practice.

? what real world?

This is not to say the “escape from politics” utopianism of Gropius is not an attractive prospect. The director noted that 90 percent of his time was wasted on dealing with intrigues and administration while only 10 percent went into creative work for the Bauhaus. It is worth wondering what was lost, considering what that 10 percent achieved,

exactly.. what was lost.. what are we missing.. in assuming that bureaucracy et al is the real world..(and not sea world)

The spirit of the Bauhaus lives on, not just in style and ethos, but in the idea of designing a better future; not just useful and beautiful, but better for all. This task is as open and unaccomplished as ever..t.. If the spirit of the Bauhaus is really still alive, its work has yet to be finished.

has to be everyone..

let’s leave the building again.. ie: cure ios city (via 2 convers as infra)

in the city.. as the day..


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 6:33 AM – 18 Jul 2019 :
Here’s a piece I wrote a while back in celebration of playground, & delving into the history behind them. Junk playgrounds, for instance, were developed to save Danish children from playing in rubble & being shot by the Nazis https://t.co/9YEwwgmC3k https://t.co/BRw39nwDhu (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1151832312688119808?s=17

What if we were to reinvent the city itself as a playground?

Once there are people outside together, the thinking goes, it makes the streets safer and friendlier for different and more types of activity.

It is important to ask not just what and who cities are for but also what and who play is for.

Play is as radical a proposition and as precious an activity as it has ever been.

in the city.. as the day..


Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:23 AM – 7 Aug 2019 :
I have an essay in this excellent forthcoming book on science fiction & fantasy (edited by the brilliant @thedesirina), alongside writing by Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Jeanette Ng, Jeff VanderMeer & others https://t.co/wneXYxmEIZhttps://t.co/psWbEPKEnQ(http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1159062520025554944?s=17)


CityLab (@CityLab) tweeted at 5:36 AM – 20 Nov 2019 :
In this short history, @Oniropolis decodes the spectacle of urban advertising. https://t.co/haNxXI0zvo(http://twitter.com/CityLab/status/1197131640574750720?s=17)

At some point, advertisers move from the supply of services and products to the manufacture of insatiable desires and statuses that they cannot or will not help people attain.




inventory – a memoir

Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) tweeted at 5:48 AM – 6 Mar 2020 :
This piece by @kerri_ni, for @tweetbytheriver, is astonishingly beautifully written. I’m honoured and really moved that it was written in response to my book https://t.co/j2s6BgxvNLhttps://t.co/DgbWBtjrGe (http://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1235910080962400261?s=17)

This book has entered my dreams, my conversations, my Whatsapp folder, my lines of questioning, my bloodstream – and fuck am I grateful it was written. We need this book, and by ‘we’ I mean every single bleeding one of us.

 The view of the Troubles offered to us by Darran Anderson is such that we want to look things in the eye, as close as we can; we want to see the truth so we can learn, we can understand, we can heal.

out 8.4.2020


Vik Shirley (@VikShirley) tweeted at 5:02 AM – 10 Mar 2020 :
A passage on drowning from Darran Anderson’s haunting, stylish and inventive memoir, Inventory. ⁦@ChattoBooks⁩ ⁦@Oniropolis⁩ https://t.co/Z0oGU8SKpJ (http://twitter.com/VikShirley/status/1237333008291639296?s=17

suicide however is a plural thing, even in the death of a single person



I finished Inventory by Darran Anderson yesterday after letting it travel around the house with me for several weeks and it’s brilliant – memory and silence and restless ghosts and darkness and mad defiance, even so. A warning really. I’ll be thinking about it for some time https://t.co/KGHcsqQU3B
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/HughesPeg/status/1286266879108096002


“We belonged only to the street from which we came.” So glad to have stumbled upon ‘A City Dreaming’ last night, Gerry Anderson’s soulful portrait of 1950s Derry. Having just read the brilliant ‘Inventory’ by @Oniropolis, the city feels that bit closer. Thank you Messrs Anderson. https://t.co/lHDFa4MKXF
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/JamesEHennessey/status/1296700468735938560


I had the pleasure of talking with the brilliant @CrispinPodcast about ‘Inventory,’ navigating troubled spaces as a child, and how resistance to tyranny manifests itself naturally and shapes our entire lives. Have a listen
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1313551941583147009

52 min podcast:

In his new memoir Inventory, Darran Anderson recounts growing up in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 80s, amid all of the humiliation and intimidation by police and an occupying army, the polarized politics, and the roughness of working class life. He talks with Jessa about the inheritance of anger and violence, and what such an immersive experience tells us about how to live today.

37 min – so many people throw themselves in river.. architects came up w design to line length of river.. it seems such a ridiculous suggestion.. rather than solve the actual things that are driving people to these extreme measures. they’re trying to prevent people from taking that last step by literally fencing it off

38 min – these problems go deep and only going to be addressed when we recognize it’s a society/nation/generational wide problem ..t

hari present in society law et al

39 min – there is a problem talking about these issues.. effecting innumerable people’s lives.. but talking about suicide.. told that even discussing it is a bad idea.. putting it into people’s heads.. but how does anything get solved if not even a recognized issue

lot of my family jumped in the river.. seeing the facile solutions offered is kind of infuriating to be honest.. a lot of people have good intentions.. but problem is symptomatic.. to change it’s going to require a lot of laws/investments being changed.. and it’s going to take generations

doesn’t have to .. ie: cure ios city

a means to undo our hierarchical listening

41 min – (mark fischer) any form of singular approach is a really bad idea ie: if biochem approach and if it runs parallel to the address of huge pharma industry.. that’s not a coincidence.. not a coincidence that the discourse is dominated in certain ways that co align w the interests of future orgs making a lot of money.. t

maté parenting law

43 min – even the idea of choice.. as the thing to aspire to.. even in our id’s and changing avatars.. everything is presented as a kind of freedom/liberation.. ‘we’re living our best lives’.. but also happens to conveniently co align to .. we’ve commodified our lives.. we should be much more discerning in examining issues.. about where these issues/solutions are coming from..t

oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

45 min – you’re aware of not wanting to step on someone else’s trauma

47 min – a lot of comments on my writing being brave.. i struggle to see the bravery.. there are people doing extremely dangerous work.. it’s not brave to write a confessional book necessarily.. but i do believe ‘if not feeling pain.. not digging deep enough’.. need to be outside comfort zone.. needs to be .. orwell: ‘all autobios needs to be disgraceful’.. pain you’re prepared to bring on yourself and not others

Also, Gaston Bachelard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Toni Morrison, Albert Camus and the Futurists.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Oniropolis/status/1313559748718088193