While Le Corbusier appears to be interpreted as utopian visionary of grandiose plans which ignored the basic requirements of its inhabitants, Ballard’s work analyses the ways in which the build environment can impact psychologically on its inhabitants.
‘synthetic space’ – def. made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product
Ballard deploys ‘actual’ and ‘virtual’ environments to form a coherent analysis of the challenges inherent in a supersaturated technological world.
‘‘Where is Vermilion Sands? I suppose its spiritual home lies somewhere between Arizona and Ipanema Beach, but in recent years I have been delighted to see it popping up elsewhere — above all, in sections of the 3,000-mile-long linear city that stretches from Gibraltar to Glyfada Beach along the northern shores of the Mediterranean, and where each summer Europe lies on its back in the sun. That posture, of course, is the hallmark of Vermilion Sands and, I hope, of the future — not merely that no-one has to work, but that work is the ultimate play, and play the ultimate work.”
J.G. Ballard. Preface to Vermilion Sands, 1975.