The sociologist, who was born in Vienna in 1882 and developed most of his career there, moved to The Hague in 1934 fleeing totalitarianism, and in 1940 - after the Nazi invasion of Holland - he escaped to England, where he died in 1945. The six years of residence in the Netherlands partly explain this publication, which coincides with an exhibition organized in The Hague in 2008, but a more powerful reason is the renewed validity of the work of Otto Neurath in a turbulent time that calls into question economic, technical and urban models, given the magnitude of the climate crisis and the persistence of geopolitical disorders.
Nader Vossoughian's book presents the Viennese as a forgotten giant, precursor of the Information Age; as a theorist of modernity whose pragmatic strategies can still be useful in the contemporary political arena; and, above all, as a agitator of architecture, urbanism and design through his interventions in the promotion of popular housing, his exhibitions of urban plans and his fascinating statistical pictograms. p>
Until now we knew better the Neurath of the Vienna Circle , the interlocutor of Rudolf Carnap, Hans Hahn or Moritz Schlick ; After this exemplary work, we discover Neurath in dialogue with Adolf Loos, Lászlo Moholy-Nagy or Cornelis van Eesteren , not to mention his ambivalent and tempestuous relations with the Werkbund, the Bauhaus or the CIAM . Their experiences of 'gypsy urbanism', self-managed and community, are thus singularly attractive, in the intellectual wake of the Gemeinschaft of Ferdinand Tönnies , one of the key influences of the thought of him; his museological proposals as tools for political change, inspired by the Austro-Marxism of Max Adler and Otto Bauer , with its emphasis on the cultural dimension of social transformations; and his commitment to the globalization and standardization of graphic language and social representation, under the influence of the bibliographer Paul Otlet (author with Le Corbusier of 'Mundaneum', a world museum project) and with the collaboration of the graphic designer Gerd Arntz , author of the formidable ideograms gathered in ISOTYPE , antecedents of the icons used today from computer programs to urban signage.
In addition to his defense of interactive creation, which today presents him as a pioneer of encyclopedias online or participatory urbanism, the feature of his The work that is more current is the exact and laconic beauty of its pictograms: in that pedagogical and democratic aesthetic perhaps lies the validity of a Vienna that still inspires us.
Language: English Binding: Softcover Pages: 176 Format: 17.15 x 1.91 x 22.23 cm