Une Ville Vietcong camouflée a été découverte près de la frontière du Cambodge

An old front page headline from the French newspaper La Croix that I saw in a documentary about Jean-Luc Godard. I think it was from a short excerpt from Vivre sa vie. Unfortunately I have no head for languages so I could only roughly translate what I thought the text might mean but there was enough there to pique my interest.

I suppose the initial flash was on seeing the Vietnam War being focused upon in a contemporaneous French film though I suppose that’s quite likely if you take into account France’s former colonial interest in the region. After that it was all about the idea of camouflaged cities and the special circumstances that can exist in border regions and liminal spaces.

I’ve just been reading an excellent article Architecture in Uniform on Design Observer about the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s book of the same name which explores ‘the consequences of the Second World War on the built environment and reveals architects’ responsibility for the destruction and annihilation as well as for the rebuilding that followed’. There’s also an excellent slideshow of images to accompany the text that includes drawings for a planned Faux Paris. The confluence of art, design and architectural practices involved in these projects is so appealing, it’s a great shame that the reason it happened was so desperate.

On a brighter note, imagine what it would take to hide a whole city, the buildings, the activity, the noise, the waste… imagine what it would look like, both from outside the illusion and from within… imagine if the city was the size of say London or New York?

Possibilities for some form of new project(s) in there.