Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Architectural Consequences of 1943

November sees the publication of the latest volume in the Ashgate Studies in Architecture series edited by Eamonn Canniffe


At the end of the Second World War, Italian architects began to pay increasing attention to examples imported from the United States, with the 'American model' becoming a reference for many Italian designers, planners, and critics. Post-war US intervention in Italy provided ample institutional support for the dissemination of models and ideas concerning architecture. This effort manifested itself through housing programs, publications, exhibitions, and exchanges between scholars, engineers, and architects.Nevertheless, the relationship between Italy and the United States remained, in many respects, inconclusive, as circulation and adoption of American models were subjected to alteration, often faced resistance, or were used for their potential ideological implications. This book questions how effective the circulation of US-originated knowledge was: regarding the Italian-American exchange, identifying what was exported from America is as interesting and significant as recognizing what was received or rejected. It reconsiders the means and effects of the circulation of cultural and formal models between the two countries, analyzes the way in which these models were developed in one context and then modified when transferred to a new one, and examines the fortune of this cultural exchange in terms of circulation, amplification, simplification and misinterpretation. This investigation into the Italian-American exchange in architecture and planning is situated in the larger context of post-war dissemination and diffusion of American cultural models.

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