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Architecture in Development: Systems and the Emergence of the Global South

Architecture in Development: Systems and the Emergence of the Global South

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Publication Date: April 26th, 2022
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This extensive text investigates how architects, planners, and other related experts responded to the contexts and discourses of "development" after World War II. Development theory did not manifest itself in tracts of economic and political theory alone. It manifested itself in every sphere of expression where economic predicaments might be seen to impinge on cultural factors. Architecture appears in development discourse as a terrain between culture and economics, in that practitioners took on the mantle of modernist expression while also acquiring government contracts and immersing themselves in bureaucratic processes. This book considers how, for a brief period, architects, planners, structural engineers, and various practitioners of the built environment employed themselves in designing all the intimate spheres of life, but from a consolidated space of expertise. Seen in these terms, development was, to cite Arturo Escobar, an immense design project itself, one that requires radical disassembly and rethinking beyond the umbrella terms of "global modernism" and "colonial modernities," which risk erasing the sinews of conflict encountered in globalizing and modernizing architecture.

Encompassing countries as diverse as Israel, Ghana, Greece, Belgium, France, India, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Korea, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq, Zambia, and Canada, the set of essays in this book cannot be considered exhaustive, nor a "field guide" in the traditional sense. Instead, it offers theoretical reflections "from the field," based on extensive archival research. This book sets out to examine the arrays of power, resources, technologies, networking, and knowledge that cluster around the term "development," and the manner in which architects and planners negotiated these thickets in their multiple capacities--as knowledge experts, as technicians, as negotiators, and as occasional authorities on settlements, space, domesticity, education, health, and every other field where arguments for development were made.

About the Author

The Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative is dedicated to advancing research and education in the history and theory of architecture. Since 2006, Aggregate has held dozens of workshops and symposia throughout North America in partnership with major universities, exhibitions, and research centers. Aggregate presents innovative scholarship on its website and has published the collected volumes Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (2012) and Writing Architectural History: Evidence and Narrative in the Twenty-First Century (2021).Architecture in Development is edited for Aggregate by Arindam Dutta, Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ateya Khorakiwala, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Columbia University; Ayala Levin, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles; Fabiola López-Durán, Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History at Rice University; and Ijlal Muzaffar, Associate Professor of Modern Architectural History at the Rhode Island School of Design.