Antarctic urban: exploring Terra Fluxus
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
When civilization expanded to Antarctica, the image of the city was one that traveled with it. There can be no doubt though, that the metaphor of the city evoked by Shackelton, from the crows nest of the Nimrod, as she steamed between the tabular ice bergs of the Ross Sea, was vastly different from the cities we’ve come to identify with today. Over the last century the notion of what constitutes an ‘urban’ condition has diversified and been vigorously debated, and with this the meaning of ‘urban’ has changed. In spite of the transformation, it would appear, at least to some extent, that Shackleton’s imagery captures the contemporary condition no less appropriately than it did in 1908. Over the course of the last century there has been progressive shift in the focus of urban design theory, from buildings representing the primary form to an understanding and appreciation of landscape as an exchange media and vessel for the various cultural, ecological and economic processes that operate in and on the cities of today. Shackleton’s Antarctic figure/ground, inverted, with the buildings as white and the streets and canals as dark blue-black, is almost perfectly tailored to the emerging significance landscape in the contemporary city [Figure 1].