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About Ken Worpole
Ken Worpole is a writer on architecture, landscape, planning, design, and social history. He was a founder-member of openDemocracy, and is a senior professor at The Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University. His many books include Modern Hospice Design: The Architecture of Palliative Care (Routledge, 2009); Contemporary Library Architecture: a planning and design guide (Routledge, April 2013); and 350 Miles: An Essex Journey, with photographer Jason Orton (2005, £7.95). His website is here. Ken’s most recent book, with photographer Jason Orton, is The New English Landscape. He blogs here.
Articles by Ken Worpole
This week's editor
Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.
Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.
No to TTIP
Cemeteries are at the beginning and end of landscape and architecture. A visit to Stockholm Woodland Cemetery, finds Ken Worpole, impresses for more than its vast scale, or the emotionally rich allusiveness of its shadowy forest interior. It achieves a rare respect for the vulnerability and equity of the human condition.
(This article was first published on 23 January 2003)
The author of "Waterlog" and the forthcoming "Wildwood" explored the natural landscape in fresh, surprising and influential ways. Ken Worpole pays tribute to Roger Deakin, and introduces his openDemocracy "swimmer's journey" article from July 2001.
John Davies' beautiful panoramic photographs of the British landscape capture an industrial world now lost and a modernity running away from its past, says Ken Worpole.
The landscape artist Ian Hamilton Finlay created an extraordinary fusion of sculpture, inscription and philosophy in his Little Sparta garden. Ken Worpole considers a complex figure.
"When we get down to swimming, we get down to democracy." Ken Worpole finds a political challenge in the revival of a public arena where sensuous and spiritual pleasures combine: the lido and open-air swimming pool.
"Most books about architecture or town planning are earnest treatises: this book sings"
A journey through the coastal landscape of Essex, eastern England, convinces Ken Worpole that human beings in the 21st century must relearn how to live with water.
Ingmar Bergmans late film returns to the characters of his Scenes from a Marriage thirty years on. For Ken Worpole, it confirms the Swedish director as the Shakespeare of the 20th century.
Ken Worpole visits an English country garden where the seeds of the modern world were planted.
John Berger & Jean Mohrs 1967 book A Fortunate Man: the story of a country doctor shaped the lives and political beliefs of many involved with Britains health service. At a packed London gathering, Ken Worpole hears it freshly echo their hopes and disappointments.
Britains city and town centres float on a sea of alcoholic excess. After years of promoting the benefits of the leisure economy, can its public policy help restore alcohol to its truer place as a lubricant of life and laughter?
Respect for the interred human body is shared across human cultures from prehistoric time. It involves not just attachment to the consolations of memory, but responsibility across generations. This, says Ken Worpole is the ethical politics of the long now.
A memorial to atrocity in a beautiful Paris park causes Ken Worpole to reflect on the dark shadows of the public realm.
Behind the clichés of tacky commercialism and suburban sprawl that mark the eastern English county of Essex in the national imagination, lies another world: home-grown food, swimming by mudflats and the eternal cry of the oyster-catchers, finds openDemocracys associate editor.
Landscape is both imagination and livelihood, the setting for human stories that are made as well as inherited. From farming to floods, from photography to hunting, the debate on Landscape & Identity has revealed the vital importance of human attachment in giving meaning to place.
How is the sense of place, essential to peoples ability to find meaning in the world, being affected by transformations of landscape in the age of globalisation? openDemocracys City&Country editors introduce a new debate.
Transport, before it is policy or statistics, is the experience of movement; and the ways we move imply different patterns of living and being. The Ecology & Place co-editor opens our transport debate by reaffirming this truth, and looking freshly at the most elemental form of movement: walking.
The debate on planning, just concluded, has underlined the importance of aesthetic considerations; the forthcoming debate on transport will similarly broaden the topic by viewing it in the light of culture, history, and peoples everyday experience.
City & Countrys two editors, one from the Wiltshire countryside and the other from Hackney in London, join forces in search of a new urban-rural relationship.