Jon Lang, greatest professor in urban design
I met this man few months ago when I just started MUDD course in University of New South Wales Sydney. it was memorable moment. He gave us quiz and I couldn’t answer any of them. Then I laughed over loud to this old man. and he said, I don’t like people laughing at me and then he smile and said, “but I like people who try to answer the question.” Every time I laughed and this man got even angrier at me, but at the end he is always smiling.
what he taught is about how to create place for the people with his extensive knowledge of ways of thinking for not getting lost in your thinking. You have to know where your mind set is in extensive information about urban design theories, city growth, and issues of concern that is coloring everyday life.”You must know what you are doing” that’s what he said. Many student felt he is grumpy professor but everybody knows he is such a lovely man. He is still the admirable professor that every student will respect him.
In his world, there is no me, “never say I design. say the design proposed, because when we’re designing we are making proposal for people which based on several scenarios” he says. This view which I think is nonsense before joining MUDD because architecture plays with originality of idea which has genius loci on its context. But in several way empiricist thinking has a rational that is true to achieve certain quality of affordance.
He put the way to bring originality in rationalism and the way to look at the past in empiricism. And he is an empiricist which this world I haven’t experienced before. I learnt to deepen the strategy which is original and brings it into a way that people could understand. Like Mies van de Rohe says, “less is more”. make it simple and beautiful but like what Robert Venturi says, “less is bore”. Rational and empiricist are the two way of looking paradigm. which like we have to know which one good is and we ought to know which one the bad is. this two way is like a contradictions like how people seeing things. He taught us about the contents of lot of beautiful cities in the world aesthetically, which part of the world is failed and which one succeeded, what the good city is. he taught us a method on looking the way around us with theoretical framework.
In his view, he has pure objective on assessing works based on each criteria. He has deep knowledge about urban design in American experience and case studies around the world. his works includes : Urban Design: A typology of Procedures and Products. Illustrated with over 50 Case Studies, Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioural Sciences in Environmental Design, American Experience, Designing for Human Behaviour: Architecture and the Behavioural Science , A Concise History of Modern Architecture in India, Designing for Human Behaviour.
I think today, when he retired from MUDD. I put a tribute to him, a great scholar. It wasn’t a big loss for MUDD, but Jon’s thinking will make new blossoms for his legacy. I am honoured to be taught by this person, a truly dedicative person. Thank you Jon Lang, salute!