On Balance

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Since the construction of the first skyscrapers in the nineteenth century, urban environments have been increasingly marked by verticality. The experience of modernity fed a spatialised lexicon derived from the sense of balance - 'groundlessness', 'suspension', and 'freefall' - which resonates acutely today. At a time of instability, the rise and rise of vertical cities poses new challenges to the perception of gravity, but the implications of vertigo remain unacknowledged. This book reflects on the precarious equilibrium at the heart of contemporary cities, where the drive to conquer ever greater heights has reconfigured our notion of abyss.