When Moderns were modern ≡ WMwm

At the UN “Habitat” Conference, which took place in 
Vancouver, Canada in 1976 – a year after C.A. Doxiadis’ 
death – Jacky [Tyrwhitt] participated in the 
Non-Governmental Organizations’ (NGO) Forum as 
representative of ACE and consultant editor of its 
journal EKISTICS, but like all of us, also as a member of 
the WSE, an NGO accredited to the UN. Gwen Bell and Rebecca 
Ruopp Packard, then editor and assistant editor of the 
journal, were also there. They came bearing printed 
“T” shirts with the name of EKISTICS on the front and the 
statement “I am an Anthropos” on the back. Jacky was 
delighted with the idea and was the first to wear it, 
circulating among the young participants at the Forum.

[excerpt from Panayis Psomopoulos' "Jacky and the World 
Society for Ekistics," Ekistics 314/315, 1985 ]

Undoubtedly, Jacqueline Tyrwhitt was one of the last Moderns. She worked willingly as the ‘woman behind the man’ – notably as a disciple of Patrick Geddes, translator and editor of Sigfried Giedion, and collaborator of Constantinos Doxiadis. In doing so she extended their influence greatly and shaped the work of many people.

Moreover, as the aforementioned anecdote recounts, Jacky was committed to the socio-ecological objectives of Ekistics and she would do anything to get the message through, even wearing a logo T-shirt at an official UN summit! Challenging, effective, and with a dose of naivety, was modernity once.

As Crimson eloquently declare for their forthcoming exhibition at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, “We want architecture to re-engage with the banality of urban planning, as a force for the good.”

Read: Ellen Shoshkes, “Jaqueline Tyrwhitt: a founding mother of modern urban design”


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