Re: the dead end of urbanism as we know it
Check out Le Corbusier's plan for rebuilding Berlin (1961, i.e., just before the Wall) at the end of volume 7 of the Oeuvre Complete. In retrospect, it is almost bizarre in its intentions. Note the reenactment of Chandigarh's Palace of Assembly next to the Reichstag! And the gigantic pronged towers scattered in the east. Urbanism, architecturism and spacism all in one plan.
It's funny. I really like this plan, and would love to see it executed, but not at the cost of losing Berlin in the process. If Disney, for example, ever wants to (again) do a great thematic 'FutureTown' (they actually called it TomorrowLand, didn't they?) they should simply enact this plan, and maybe put a big wall around it. I think I'd even like to like there. A kind of beyond virtual Berlin, like a new double Berlin, again.
And here's something that's really interesting in its obscurity. Remember all those little sketches depicting bad modern building design that Leon Krier used to draw as contrast to his 'good' designs? I'm betting big money that Krier actually used the axonometric of Le Corbusier's Berlin plan (OC, vol. 7, p.234) as 'inspiration'. The 'lightening-bolt buildings just south of the Tiergarten are a dead give-a-way. Now I know why I always thought those sketches were actually the best buildings Krier ever designed.
Le Corbusier turning recombinant
...documenting the examples where Le Corbusier reuses past building design projects for new projects. For example, the Berlin Rehab project; the Chandigarh Secretariate at Olivetti Milan; the spiral museum; the Maison l'Homme; the stage set at Strasbourg...
Stirling's Roma Interrotta and Le Corbusier's Berlin 1958
The clear precedent for Stirling's Roma Interrotta scheme is Le Corbusier's International Planning Competition for Berlin 1958. In the Le Corbusier scheme we find several prior projects distributed throughout the plan.
"On Criticism" an aggregate thread
Regarding 'illuminating how the creative mind operates' see Quondam's three latest pages:
Architectural Visions of Early Fancy and Dreams in the Evening of Life
Roma Interrotta: Sector IV / Urban Components
International Planning Competition for Berlin
These pages are not so much critical but more curatorial. The overall implication, however, is that Stirling's creative working for his Roma Interrotta design involved a process of seeking precedents and then finding inspiration.