Moderate utopias : the reconstruction of urban space and modernist principles in postwar France
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This thesis explores the implementation of the American Marshall Plan in France and its precipitation of structural changes within the realms of economics, politics, and cultural subjectivity, studying their manifestations in both the built work of the postwar reconstruction and its concurrent discourse on architecture and urbanism. In the turn from the interwar classical to the postwar Keynesian economy, there followed a cultural transformation that resulted in the social welfare state. The consequence is what Deleuze would describe as a shift from mechanisms of discipline to societies of control, where the mass subject controlled by centralized agents would transform to the active subject of a middle class physically operating of the mechanisms of agency that control them, this thesis studies the architectural manifestation of this transformation. Through the discursive projects set out in the journals I'Architecture d'aujourd'hui and Techniues et Architecture, as well as through a study of Orleans, Le Havre, and Maubeuge - reconstruction cities whose architects encompassed a range of formal styles - there was a development in postwar reconstruction architecture that ran parallel to that of the modernist project; one that ultimately displaced the authority of CIAM and precipitated a rejection of architectural modernism with the emergence of Team X thinking.(cont.) This discourse intends to offset the standard historiography of postwar architecture as a modernist aesthetic lineage, employing instead an exploration of the motivation of an economic agency in the development of architectural form. While the modernist project struggled to find its place within the postwar reconstruction, cities were being built that employed new principles of construction and organization on a vast scale. These reconstruction cities, almost wholly outside of the modernist influence would mold architecture to the hegemonic organizational space of the postwar, as well as permanently imbricate architecture into new modes of capitalist production and social regulation.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (p. 121-133).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology