Mead - Chapter 19
This selection belongs to the field of "ekistics," a term derived from
the Greek word "oikos," meaning settlement or home. Ekistics is the
scientific, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary study of human
settlements in all their variations, with the goal of improving such
settlements in the future.
A leading figure in ekistics was Mead's Greek friend Constantinos A.
Doxiadis (1913-1975), an architect and urban designer of great energy
and creativity. Mead, deeply aware of the rapid urbanization of the
world's population, was enthusiastic about ekistics and did
considerable work with Doxiadis. This item consists of remarks she made
at a conference organized by her friend, in which she points out that
some of his designs for urban settlements were based on assumptions
that were in fact culture-bound — rather than, as Doxiadis evidently
assumed, universal or natural.
Mead's remarks, though not tightly organized, convey considerable
insight into how people really live their lives — insight of the very
type that many urban planners need, if the human settlements they
design are to serve real, rather than imagined, human needs.