Using The Internet To Catch Cheaters

from the becoming-more-popular dept

These days, more and more schools believe it’s necessary to use some sort of online anti-cheating service to make sure their students aren’t simply downloading their homework. There are many different opinions on the programs, but just knowing that the school uses it seems to act as a deterrent on kids who might plagiarize. However, some parents aren’t happy that the schools are using such products, saying that it shows the teachers don’t trust the students and creates an atmosphere where everyone is guilty until proven innocent. There’s also the legal issue that the program many schools use, called, keeps copies of every paper uploaded by teachers – which could violate copyrights.

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Dimitrios says:

Authentic Cities 12/12/2007

In the ground of Town Planning, Cities that are imagined as a whole are usually labelled with terms such as The Ideal Cities, or the Cities of Tomorrow. This document suggests that this classification is undermining the historical significance of these visions.
Rationally, it is not acceptable to consider of someone having a go at the task of producing the perfect plan, or even to predict one for the future. This approach casts a lot of questions on the intentions behind these visions, and how reliable are the methods of producing them.
Alternatively the idiom Authentic Cities can lead to a more positive attitude. The principal difference between these cases is that, the new term highlights the context of the idea whereas the old one focuses on the objective behind the idea. Once the relationship between the design and the context is established the whole concept becomes no longer irrational.
The style of contextualizing concepts is not used for the purpose of encouraging these cities as valid and applicable ideas. It is used because it offers the researcher the curiosity to examine these visions, and subsequently to find the positive and the negative aspects behind the Idea.

1. Introduction

The answer to the question of Urbanism has been and will remain swinging between the two polarities of: the Building of New Cities, or the Development of the existing ones. Since the seventies of the last century the balance has been in the favor of the second. Theories and practices of planned cities have been dismissed in total, and alternatively, the practice of regional Town-planning, applied on Pre-Modern cities, is advocated as the practical approach to serve the ever-growing demand for urbanization.
Now, after almost half a century of renewal and regeneration efforts, the Baroque City is facing functional hardship. A remainder of the one it had in the nineteenth century as a result of the industrial revolution. But this time the implications are not general welfare issues but rather specific cultural ones. The reaction to the first hardship was the wide spread of Social reform movements that primarily inspired by literature. And the later 20th century’s Theories in City Design came to be the geometrical manifestations of the social programs proposed by those movements.
Monitoring the general mode within the traditional city (Pre-Modern) of today one can sense a cultural resentment towards what the city has become to constitute. The growing Environmental Awareness and the popularity of Life-style Fashions, such as the call for healthier Organic Living, these cultural trends among other are in fact working against the background of the complex and vast cities of today. More profoundly, the unease is already producing some form of social stratifications. Dividing urban populations into groups of special interests each with its Anti and Pro subdivisions.
The purpose of this document is to “react” to a Logical probability. What if the centre of gravity shifts towards the option of Building New Cities? From a researcher point of view the reaction would be assessment of previous experiences, for the sole reason of avoiding the mistakes of the past.
But in order to proceed with any assessment one must start with, questioning the decision to dismiss the option of building new cities. Especially when confronted with statistics projecting a new city such as Brasilia, built between 1957 and 1960, with a population of two million inhabitants, four times greater than it was originally built for. Or to think of the number of proposals, that are already on the table, with regard to how to expand Chandigarh, another new city built between 1949 and 1958, to cope with the increase in its population. So is there really something wrong about them, or is just “the shock of the new?”
In any attempt to gather information about the so called “new cities” the term Utopian seems to appear consistently. What is more remarkable is the extent to which the meaning of this word has been transformed, and what it is becoming to manifest in contemporary urban writing. The meaning of the word has been transformed from a presentation of an imaginary picturesque island in Moore’s literature, to a presentation of the quest for change through non-scientific means, as per Karl Marx’s definition.
Clovis Heimsath, in his book Behavioral Architecture (by McGraw-Hill, Inc, 1977, USA), suggests that for the purpose of establishing accountability in architecture one must regard the design process as an evolutionary path on which an architectural product progresses from conceptualization to realization, and with the potential of a further extension in both directions to include operation and the decision to build.
His redefinition of the range covered by the term, design process, is followed by an attempt to phase the process accompanied by listing of data inputs, arranged in sets, each corresponding to a particular phase of the process.
So basically the architectural product is progressing from one phase to another as a result of a number of design decisions that are primarily influenced by these data inputs. The task providing both, data and decisions to any architectural design process is performed by three dominant roles in the industry, the owner, the architect, and the regulatory body.
Though he considers the three roles as sometimes inaccurate as they tend to neglect or substitute other sub-roles such as users or sociologists, and other times as too general in the case of standardization imposed by regulatory bodies, nevertheless, the approach of viewing architecture as roles accompanied by relevant data-inputs and design decisions, is an efficient method of establishing accountability.
This document regards the above-described method as practically useful. Not only because it forms well based for constructive criticism, but also because, ideas evaluated through this method can never be dismissed in total. So the attitude is no longer, this is bad and should be banned, but rather why and where this went wrong and how to avoid it the next time.
Having established a method to criticize how successful or not a master-planning is, someone has to consider the aspect of authenticity, when the evaluation has a more theoretical approach. In “Wikipedia”, the term authenticity is divided in four categories, art, philosophy, psychology, and reenactment. This document is going to deal with the first two. “In art, authenticity describes the perception of art as faithful to the artist’s self, rather than conforming to external values such as historical tradition, or commercial worth”. In philosophy the term authenticity according to existentialists “is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.”
Referring back to the assessment task, the subject of this document is a review of the role of the architect in terms of authenticity, in the broad European new-town movement (European as Typology and not as Context). The reason behind selecting the European model is that it has a continuous line of evolution (with roots back to Plato and Vitruvius) linking the past with the present. This makes it a valuable case study. As a case study the planning of Chandigarh was chosen, with Le Corbusier working as the principal architect on that. Le Corbusier’s architecture and theories have been influential worldwide. Almost everyone has an idea of his theories, and all people have different views either critical or favorable of his work.

2. Chandigarh

The year of 1947 was a year of both cautious joy and horror in South Asia. The independence from the British arrived with a disaster of unprecedented dimensions. The division of the previous sub continental administrative unit into India and Pakistan hurried a nightmare of displacement, relocation and communal killing that left few places of the region untouched. Therefore the Indian country was born; amidst this violence and separation the first generation of post-colonial Indian leaders had to mix up to fulfill the crucial of imagining into existence a new national community.
Mahatma Gandhi had gone along with his presentation as the symbolic head of the sub continental freedom movement with a continual call for a nationwide return to the agrarian, simple life of traditional India. He argued that the village should be the heart of newly independent India. In India’s immediate era of rejuvenation, conversion and building a new, however, Prime Minister Nehru abandoned Gandhi’s traditionalism. Industrialization, scientific socialism and neutrality — all these became the words and ideas that propelled the new Indian political landscape, the language that formed the official vision of the country’s future. In the wake of division’s devastation, Nehru’s aggressive view against a technological, planned modernity needed an arena in which to establish itself, in order to prove its feasibility.
In all of the new Indian country, no region had been more totally destroyed by partition’s violence than the Punjab. The historic capital of the productive plains of the northwestern state, Lahore, had been rejuvenated as the capital of Pakistan, leaving the region congested with thousands of Hindu refugees from the north. A new capital city of the Punjab’s state would have to be built from the beginning. What better opportunity to create an urban space that would indicate Nehru’s forward-looking modernization drive? In 1951, a state committee commissioned the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier, then approaching the twilight of an memorable career, to lead a team of European planners in designing such a city: Chandigarh.
The city of Chandigarh is located at the base of the Shiwalik Range of the Himalayas, at 333m above sea level, approximately 260 km northwest of India’s capital, New Delhi. The site is a gently sloping plain, with two seasonal streams – Patiali-ki-Rao and Sukhna Choe -marking its northwest and southeast boundaries. The city forms the urban core of the “Union Territory of Chandigarh”, which has a total area of 114 sq km. All of the urban and architectural work of Le Corbusier listed in this document is located within Chandigarh’s “Phase One”, an area of approximately 70 sq. km. which can be regarded as the city’s “Historic Core.”
Le Corbusier was engaged primarily as an architect, and not as a planner. A master plan for the city had already been designed by the American firm of Albert Mayer, and Le Corbusier’s services were required for the architectural realization of this scheme. It was natural, therefore, in view of his long involvement with urban design, which Le Corbusier would seek to modify the existing plan something that happened when he began its implementation.
Corbusier was the dominant member of designing team engaged in Chandigarh, including his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, as well as the British architects Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. In the division of work, Le Corbusier was to concentrate his efforts on the overall ordering of the master plan and the design of major architectural monuments, leaving the detailed development of the urban fabric, including housing design, to his colleagues.
Although the Chandigarh project intended to symbolize India’s independence, a lack of skilled local technicians had dictated the importation of foreign planners. The plan as it had been developed by the Mayer firm represented in many ways a mixture of Western urban design theory, incorporating a system of residential neighborhood units containing schools, residential, small commerce and parkland, a system of pedestrian and motor separation, and separate zoning of major activities. At the upper edge of the city a complex of government buildings was projected, while a commercial district was located toward the city center, and also an industrial area placed at one side.
The Chandigarh planners had to an extent been dominated by the Garden City preference for low-density, somewhat picturesque design, and Le Corbusier, although retaining many general features of the original scheme, started his modifications by classicizing and geometrizing the plan, straightening major streets and converting the slightly irregular superblocks into rectangles. His intention was to give the city a large-scale unified design appropriate to its monumental character, establishing within the new rectilinear outlines a cross-axial arrangement of major boulevards focusing on the commercial center, with the capital complex terminating the northeastern axis toward the mountains.
Referring to the Chandigarh project, Le Corbusier once stated, “I have conceived a capital for the Punjab, a completely new town, standing on a plain at the foot of the Himalaya. As architect I had a free hand but very little money.”
“This gave great scope for ideas, invention and imagination. But the program provided by the authority is banal and unimaginative, both for the housing and for the institutional elements of the town. Nowhere yet have the fundamental problems of town planning been put, the problems of economy, sociology and ethics, the conquest of which will make man the master of his civilization.”
In addition to any programmatic restrictions the project embodied, Chandigarh presented as well Le Corbusier with a set of social and technical conditions far detached from the industrialized society for which he had always projected his proposals. The means for large-scale mechanized transport did not exist; a lack of steel joined with insufficient technical services made high-rise building impractical, while the semirural way and climate of life moderated against apartment housing.
Although plunged into an unknown environment, and forced to work in conditions adverse to his previous preferences, Le Corbusier found in India perhaps the most approachable patronage he had ever known. His unwavering confidence was comforting to the Indians, while the expansiveness of his vision and the majesty of his concepts seemed to correspond appropriately with their ambitions for the new capital. Although he had regularly found government administrators less than compassionate, his personal relations with the Indian officials of Chandigarh seem altogether successful; and Prime Minister Nehru, who took great awareness in the project, became a very good friend. It was once noted that “India understands idea men and treats them well-perhaps better than any other country- and Le Corbusier benefits from this.”
After a whole of seeking to rule the needs of the machine age, Le Corbusier found himself trying to come to conditions with an environment still for the most part unharmed by industrialism. Generally, the formation of Chandigarh represented a more relaxed form of the rigid geometry that was used by Le Corbusier in a vast majority of his earlier works, embodying an interlacing of picturesquely and geometric ordered basics. The determination of size in the city design, the same as in the architecture engaged use of the Modulor, a proportioning system which he had evolved throughout World War II and patented as an invention in 1947. The crucial unit of the city, which was the residential sector, was shaped on the golden rectangle, dimensioning at ½ x ¾ miles (800x1200meters).
The dimension of ½ miles, which reappears in the planning of the capital complex and elsewhere, may be found as well in the epic composition which Corbusier admired in Paris. Although it is natural that Le Corbusier, in ordering a completely new city pattern, might be inspired by the measurements of his native city, the colossal efficiency of the Indian capital, may not functioning well through lack of equally scaled architecture.
While working on the master-plan of Chandigarh, Le Corbusier engaged a system of traffic separation which he named the “7V’s”, a scheme which he had projected for South Marseilles and Bogota in the past. Some level of traffic division had always been used by Corbusier, and the purpose of the 7V’s was an attempt to develop a commonly applicable system separating traffic into a series of seven groups embracing a hierarchy of circulation varying from apartment house corridors to arterial roads.
Applying his preferred biological analogy to the traffic system, Corbusier once stated: “The 7V’s act in the town-plan as the blood stream, the lymph system and the respiratory system act in biology. In biology these systems are quite rational, they are different from each other, there is no confusion between them, yet they are in harmony. They create order. It is God who has placed them in the world; it is for us to learn from them when we are organizing the ground which lies beneath our feet”.
The plentiful requirements for motor traffic in the city of Chandigarh represented expectation of future industrialization, rather than a scheme adapted to existing circumstances, although the wide combinations of traffic characteristic of Indian towns, ranging from automobiles and tracks to bullock carts and bicycles, indicated a detailed system of separation.
Both social and technical conditions resolute that Chandigarh should be principally a low-rise city, Corbusier specified a desire for the addition of some high-rise buildings both in the central business district and the capital complex. In the architectural composition of the new city Corbusier reflected his preference for a controlled environment – for a simplification of building types and a restricted harmony of building form. A program of standardized designs was followed by the Government housing, while private housing was architecturally controlled. In the central business district, an ideally varied and competitive architecture was anticipated by Le Corbusier’s predetermined plan, and also the neighborhood shops were built to specified designs.
As developed by Le Corbusier, means of a standardized four-story concrete –frame building was architecturally unifying the central business district. The lack of elevators was determining its height – the size of building which most owners can afford – and the possibility of earthquakes. Although interiors could be worked out according to the builder’s taste, the exterior treatment had to follow a prescribed design pattern providing verandas, that of the ground floor serving as a nonstop 3.6-meter-wide pedestrian cover.
A telegraph building, the post and a ten-story slab housing were the largest buildings projected for the complex and providing the focal point of a central square. Even though the central business district was initially designed as a pedestrian area, with all the traffic happening at the periphery, the dimensioning of circulation areas and open areas seems extremely big, and generally not appropriate according to the scale and the climate of the surrounding building. The design effort may have involved an approach to balance the importance of the capital complex with another ensemble of immense dimensions, but, lacking this symbolic feeling or maybe the convincing architecture, the business district may be considered as a doubtful success both visually and functionally.
The most intensive efforts of Le Corbusier were devoted in the most symbolic part of the city; in the capital complex. This regional government center, containing the Secretariat, the High Court, Legislative Assembly, and the Governor’s Palace, was located at the upper edge of the city, bounded by open land.
Le Corbusier envisaged a vast scale capital complex, an area designed for far-reaching visual impact, rather than straightforwardness of physical communication. In designing this complex, Le Corbusier once stated “There was anxiety and anguish in taking decisions on that vast, limitless ground. A pathetic soliloquy! I had to appreciate and to decide alone. The problem was no longer one of reasoning but of sensation. Chandigarh is not a city of lords, princes or kings confined within walls, crowded in by neighbors. It was a matter of occupying a plain. The geometrical event was, in truth, a sculpture of the intellect… It was a battle of space, fought within the mind. Arithmetic, texturique, geometrics: it would all be there when the whole was finished. For the moment, oxen cows and goats, driven by peasants, crossed the sun-scorched fields.”
The area where the capital complex is, was envisaged as pedestrian plaza, with all the motor traffic being channeled into trenches ending to parking areas. The long concrete slab of the Secretariat limits the area to the left, and stands next to the Legislative Assembly, while the Legislature and the High Court terminate the cross axis on either side of 450 – meter walkway. The central part of the area is marked by several monuments devised to illustrate Corbusier’s theories regarding city planning, while outlined against the hills at the external edge of the complex was projected a symbolic sculptural monument and a Museum of Knowledge both designed by Corbusier.
Jane Drew was the one that reportedly suggested the monuments and he was the one advised Le Corbusier to “set up in the heart of the Capitol the signs which symbolize the basis of your philosophy and by which you arrived at your understanding of the art of city design. These signs should be known – they are key to the creation of Chandigarh.”
Other monuments were designed to represent the Twenty-four solar hours “which rule men’s activity”, as well as the path of the sun between two solstices, “this sun, which governs men – friend or enemy,” while the Tower of Shade would express principles of protection from the sun. A monument to the martyrs of the Indian partition was projected close to the Museum of Knowledge. The open hand is the monument which is very often referred by the architect as the Monument of Chandigarh- this piece of art was conceived by Le Corbusier in Paris in 1948 and “during the years that followed, it occupied my mind, finding its first existence in Chandigarh.” The symbolism, he said, arose “spontaneously, or more exactly, as the result of reflections and spiritual struggles arising from the feelings of anguish and disharmony which separate mankind, and so often create enemies. …Little by little the open hand appeared as a possibility in great architectural compositions.”
Even though some might have found the symbolism of the monuments wholly appropriate, some others might question how suitable these monuments were, when they were included in the capital complex. Le Corbusier had received at some point a letter from an Indian engineer which said, “We have a word Ram Bharosa, which indicates deep faith in the ultimate – faith born of the surrender of the will to the Ultimate Source of Knowledge, service without reward and much more. I live in that faith and feel happy in the vision of the new city which is so safe and so secure in its creation in your hands. We are humble people. No guns to brandish, no atomic energy to kill. Your philosophy of ‘open hand’ will appeal to India and what we are taking from your open hand, I pray, may become a source of new inspiration in our architectural and city planning. We may on our side, when you come here next, be able to show you the spiritual heights to which some of the individuals have attained. Ours is a philosophy of open hand. Maybe Chandigarh becomes the new center of thought.”
The architectural embodiment of Chandigarh’s capital complex has been extensively regarded as one of the biggest achievements in modern building design, even though some researchers have been devastated by the excessive scale of it. Almost primitive in their reminiscent strength, the symbolic structures of the capital complex, through their enormous smoothness of form, were the most influential pieces in liberating postwar architectural style, supporting Le Corbusier’s ideas as an authentic leader of modern architecture. For supporters of architecture, the capital complex of the city of Chandigarh has become an area of pilgrimage, as to a great extent a part of the Indian nation as the Taj Mahal.
More significantly, Corbusier’s hard work served to rejuvenate the concept of the modern monumental design. The city of Chandigarh which was the outcome of political crisis is representing the need of a new, poor nation, technically not developed well, to build a city of order and permanence, a crucial point for the Indian’s nationalist spirit. As Corbusier had required to redefine the city’s master-plan in order to achieve a properly monumental scale, he didn’t manage to give the city’s capital complex the impression of power and unity appropriate to its emblematic function.
Pierre Jeanneret was given the primarily responsibility for developing the design of the Capital Project office, as Le Corbusier become day to day more attracted in the monumental architecture of the city of Chandigarh and he had a tendency to disassociate himself from the city’s master-planning. During the process of building the city, Corbusier was working in Paris, visiting the Indian’s city only periodically, while Jeanneret remained on the site as the director of construction, with the title of the chief architect and planner of Punjab.
Regarding the design of the residential sectors of the city, Le Corbusier’s contribution to them consisted of a schematic outline, which was only providing a very general pattern of street layout, bazaar placement and parkland. Within these divisions, the visual appearance was determined by a prearranged schedule of government housing divided into thirteen categories. The people working on the initial housing types were Piere Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew.
Chandigarh’s master-plan involved the formation of an urban design with dual scale. A small, pedestrian-oriented scale within the boundaries of the neighborhood sectors, and a monumental, bigger scale associated to the capital complex and seen in the major building complexes and the boulevards. The most obvious design failure of Chandigarh lies in the residential district development, where a monotonous and loose pattern of building positioning, out of scale, unmaintained open areas, and over scaled roads accord unsuccessfully.
The city of Chandigarh represented an effort to apply the conceptions of the western tradition of urban design to the environment of the Indian, resulting in a city which lacks not only visual interest and spatial variety, but the functional practicality of a typical Indian town. Indian traditional building, employing a dense pattern of inward-facing courtyard houses and narrow streets, symbolizes a more sophisticated technique of coming to conditions with a pedestrian environment, a tropical climate, and a requirement for privacy than is found in the mislaid Garden City ambient of the city of Chandigarh.

3. Conclusion

Authenticity is meaningless without a true, personal, unique “face”. And what we have seen in all these pages is just an authentic expression of a man that had an ideal; a prototype in his mind. The authentic style is the opposite of the stereotype, and when someone chooses to go in favor of the first, he will find himself many times in contrast with the environment. Because the environment is usually following the stereotype, cannot usually appreciate the authentic. The change is the difficult step progressing from repetition (repetition is observed very often in architecture – maybe because when you test something and its working, you have no reason to change it. You may improve it, or copy it but you are not making any progress as an architect. All it happens is transformation of architecture into market. Only through authenticity, architecture becomes art, becomes original) and when it happened in Le Corbusier’s years it happened to give a name to a whole movement. The change is the “virus of the modern”, and in that sense Corbusier gave to the people of Chandigarh one important thing; an authentic city!
Even though this city may not work, even though this city is considered as a mistake or an unsuccessful master-planning exercise, it happens to be successful in the part of the brief that was talking about a symbolic city. A modern city following different patterns and guidelines from the ones seen until that point (e.g. Delhi) can only be assessed as authentic, and that because of the change that brought. From what people said about the new city, it feels like they have adopted it as a successful example of master-planning, although for the rest that have the “knowledge and experience” to criticize this exercise they should always think that only because it happened it is proved that is not working.
In evaluating Le Corbusier’s influence on master-planning it is important to consider besides from the designs he produced, the impact of his lectures and writings. Perhaps this is the key point where authenticity takes part, that the process of the evaluation consists of many different aspects varying from design to architectural thinking which lead to a motivating spirit. Most important of all is that the motive of Corbusier’s ideas embodied a belief in progress, an atmosphere of hope always taking into account the human vitality. Corbusier contradicted that the urban environment was a chaotic, amorphous and uncontrollable force. He confirmed that the city is a man made creation, the principal mark of man on earth, subject to and ordered by the human will. He wanted to inspire others with his expansiveness of vision.
“And in the last resort, what does it matter to me whether the people were happy or unhappy before the machine come? One thing I am certain of: the vast and agonized labor of the 19th century and the dramatic explosions that have begun the 20th are the heralds of a new age of harmony and joy. Just as the premonitory gleams of dawn in the east, as night dies, leave no doubt about the imminent appearance of the sun, so a thousand signs and concrete events are now affirming the imminent birth of a new era.”
. . .
The only possible road is that of enthusiasm. Postulating the existence of a modern consciousness and awakening that consciousness in all mankind. Solidarity, courage and order. A modern ethic. Already we are hurtling forward into the modern adventure. You think the time is not yet ripe? What terrible sounds, what rendings, what avalanches must assail your ears then, before they will hear? The thunder now rolling around the world fills the heart of the coward with fear and the hearts of the brave with joy.
. . .
“We meanwhile, stubbornly and tenderly, will continue to make Plans.”

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