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Dreams of Disconnection

From the Autonomous House to Self-Sufficient Territories

Fanny Lopez


This book offers a history of energy autonomy and small infrastructures in the field of architecture and urbanism from the end of the 19th century to the present day. -- .
Released on June 24, 2021
Price £21.75 RRP £25.00

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The new updated edition of David Olusoga’s vital book on black British history

"Groundbreaking" – Observer

Why do we live in homes and communities built around the century-old industrial model of large service networks that use polluting resources? For more than a century, creative architects and planners have dreamed of decentralisation and self-sufficient living, not to cut themselves off from society, but to invent new modes of consumption and to rethink collective public services around common environmental values.

In a time of climate crisis, changing society means changing energy infrastructures. Dreams of disconnection tells the story of this strand of design and planning, from its pioneers in the late nineteenth century to those applying similar ideas to tomorrow's technology two hundred years later. Lopez takes in many a utopian visionary in her tour of dreamers of disconnection, from theorists and architects to industrialists and engineers. Technology and design are the centrepieces for these projects, and their complexity, particularly around sustainable supplies of energy, food and water, so often find solutions in aesthetics.

Whether these models were based around single homes or whole cities, Dreams of disconnection reveals that there is much to be learnt and marvelled at in the history of self-sufficient design.
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Book publisherManchester University Press
Publication date24 Jun 2021
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