Download 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the by Andrew M. Shanken PDF

By Andrew M. Shanken

During the second one global warfare, American structure was once in a country of challenge. The rationing of establishing fabrics and regulations on nonmilitary development persisted the privations that the occupation had persevered throughout the nice melancholy. even as, the dramatic occasions of the Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties led many architects to think that their profession—and society itself—would suffer a profound shift as soon as the struggle ended, with inner most commissions giving technique to centrally deliberate tasks. The journal Architectural Forum coined the time period “194X” to encapsulate this wartime imaginative and prescient of postwar structure and urbanism.

In a massive examine of yank structure in the course of global conflict II, Andrew M. Shanken makes a speciality of the tradition of anticipation that arose during this interval, as out-of-work architects became their energies from the equipped to the unbuilt, redefining themselves as planners and developing unique designs to excite the general public approximately postwar structure. Shanken recasts the wartime period as a crucible for the intermingling of modernist structure and client culture.

tough the pervasive concept that company capitalism corrupted the idealism of modernist structure within the postwar period, 194X exhibits as an alternative that architecture’s wartime partnership with company American was once based on shared anxieties and beliefs. enterprise and structure have been introduced jointly in cutting edge methods, as proven by way of Shanken’s persuasive analyzing of journal ads for Revere Copper and Brass, U.S. Gypsum, normal electrical, and different businesses that prominently featured the paintings of prime innovative architects, together with Louis I. Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Walter Gropius.

even though the unforeseen prosperity of the postwar period made the structure of 194X out of date ahead of it may be equipped and ended in its exclusion from the tale of twentieth-century American structure, Shanken makes transparent that its anticipatory rhetoric and designs performed a very important position within the common acceptance

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Extra resources for 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front

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Hotel by Stonorov and Kahn. “New Buildings for 194X,” Architectural Forum 78 (May 1943): 71. 82 Between his work for the NRPB, his ties to Hansen, his lecturing, and his experience at Harvard, he had intimate knowledge of the state of planning and knew most of the key planners of the day. Greer made little effort at objectivity, pressing an apology for progressive planning. 5. City hall by Charles Eames. “New Buildings for 194X,” Architectural Forum 78 (May 1943): 88. 6. Site plan. “New Buildings for 194X,” Architectural Forum 78 (May 1943): 71.

61 As the lingua franca of modernists, abstraction was seen as ameliorative, instrumental, and revelatory. Its claim to universality offered an ideal mode for planning, whose very nature remained, even at this late date, an abstraction, and which, in its most radical form, aimed to liberate the masses. 62 Planning, the social abstraction that would rid the world of slums, create equality, reconstruct cities into ideal urban fabrics, and, as the NRPB’s diagram shows, extend the city’s organization to region and nation, called on visual abstraction as its mouthpiece, as its promoter.

87 He used history to Americanize planning, representing it as a tradition threatened by laissez-faire capitalism and the poverty of imagination of “realistic” planners like Moses. Greer thus condensed a history of modern planning, capped by the work of the NRPB, into a pithy essay for Fortune readers. In January 1944, Greer called the very idea of private property into question: If the cities are to solve their problems within a period of years rather than generations, they will be obliged to re-examine some time-honored notions of property rights and privileges.

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