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Memory and Architecture

Edited by Eleni Bastéa

Publication Year: 2004

Using the analytical perspectives of architecture, comparative literature, and cultural studies, the essays in Memory and Architecture examine the role of memory in the creation of our built environment.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

Several of the chapters in this volume were first presented at a conference on Memory and Architecture in the fall of 1998.* I am grateful to all the conference participants, speakers, and moderators, who helped engender a most stimulating debate on the role of memory in architecture. In the process of preparing this anthology, however, the conference became a distant memory, and the book acquired a life of ...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. xiii-xv

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pp. 1-21

Architecture can transform words, needs, and desires into space. It can capture fleeting or insistent memories into tangible, buildable, or unbuildable forms. Architecture provides the stage on which we can enact our lives. Memory, however, creates a special relationship with space,holding on to the essence of it, the best and the worst, letting the rest of the...

PART ONE: Designing National Memories

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pp. 23

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1: Framing Urban Memory: The Changing Role of History Museums in the American City

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pp. 25-47

Human memory is both heightened and endangered in the urban landscape. Etched into their hardened fabrics of brick and stone, records of human interaction mark cities as sites of endurance as well as of change. It is perhaps this fact that distinguishes cities as cultural creations, above the more tangible economic and bureaucratic functions that social ...

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2: Disguised Visibilities: Dresden/“Dresden”

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pp. 49-78

When the Boston Globe recently proclaimed in a headline, “Dresden Builds a Future: German City Reconstructs Its Demolished Past,” the words, inadvertently, raised some intriguing questions.1 What does it mean “to build a future?” What is the nature of that “demolished past?” Even the first word, Dresden, is something of a conundrum. The city actually...

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3: Designed Memories: The Roots of Brazilian Modernism

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pp. 79-98

Memory and modernism do not appear to go together at first. Born to overcome the dominance of nineteenth-century neoclassicism, modern architecture reinforced the idea of rupture with the past, any past.1 This position is not exclusive to architectural modernism. Modernity assumes that the present is a new era; it is not a continuation of the past, but rather

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4: Patrimony and Cultural Identity: The Coffee Plantation System—Paraíba Valley, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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pp. 99-114

Architecture represents the history, tradition, and culture of a specific community. By protecting the cultural patrimony, we are contributing to the rescue and consolidation of the community’s social identity in its historical evolution. Memory has a fundamental role both in the transformation and in the preservation of cultural manifestations. The built environment is an ...

PART TWO: Literary Memory Spaces

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pp. 115

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5: Memory Work: The Reciprocal Framing of Self and Place in

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pp. 117-139

In exploring the relationship of memory and space through a reading of

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6: Memory and Diaspora in Tel Aviv’s Old Cemetery

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pp. 141-164

A photograph of Achad Ha’am’s funeral in 1927, in Tel Aviv’s Old Cemetery on Trumpeldor Street: Amidst a group of people surrounding the fresh grave, the poet Ch. N. Bialik1 eulogizes the ideological mentor of a generation of young eastern European Jewish intellectuals. Most of them look at the grave or one another. Some are in uniform, police or ...

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7: Housing the Symbolic Universe in Early Republican Turkey: Architecture, Memory, and “the Felt Real”

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pp. 165-190

From the work of Aristotle to contemporary semiologists, or even through self-reflection, we understand that the world is comprehensible not through its things or its places, or even because of the people who inhabit or have inhabited it, but by the meanings we have assigned to them.This is especially true for our understanding of the world of the past, which...

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8: Storied Cities: Literary Memories of Thessaloniki and Istanbul

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pp. 191-210

Societies guard and control their memories and the transmission of their histories: they invent traditions, imagine communities, construct their sites of memory. I have been trying to understand how societies record and transmit the history of the built environment. Is it true that stones, buildings, and streets hold within themselves the history of a place and its people? And ...

PART THREE: Personal Cartographies

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pp. 211

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9: Beirut, Exile, and the Scars of Reconstruction

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pp. 213-234

Here are some words. Some are mine, others are borrowed. Words not so much for you, but provoked by you, provoked by the particular space outlined by the forced migration of war. The war that unfolded in you stopped our meetings abruptly. Too young to understand or have the ability to rebel, I was stolen from you and you stolen from me. Furtively shipped ...

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10: Diffused Spaces: A Sacred Study of West Belfast, North Ireland

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pp. 235-268

Historically, scholars have defined the sacred and profane as a binary set of opposites between the church (sacred) and city (profane), while neglecting the possibility of more complex or ambiguous readings. Analyzing the social constructions outside the church, in particular, can contribute to new definitions and valuations ...

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11: Profaning Sacred Space: Los Angeles in New Mexico

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pp. 269-280

"What we do anywhere matters, but especially here,” Edith Warner wrote in her journals at Otowi Crossing, New Mexico, in 1933. The owner of a celebrated tea shop, traveler’s inn, post office, and supper refuge for the scientists of the Manhattan Project, Edith Warner is the quintessential New Mexican. She loved the land and its people so deeply, she ...

PART FOUR: Voices from the Studio

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pp. 281

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12: What Memory? Whose Memory?

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pp. 283-291

In my first day at architecture school, my studio professor said that he would teach us how to think like architects, which would demand that we forget all that we thought we knew about the subject. That one comment by that professor, as I later learned, turned out to be ...

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13: (Re)Placing, Remembering, Revealing: Understanding through Memory and Making

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pp. 293-315

There are few certainties in the makeup of the beginning design student, but two that can be relied upon are the well-recalled experiences of place and a bundle of related memories. This work describes a philosophy and methodology for the collaborative teaching of first-year architecture and interior-design students at the ...

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14: Places Within and Without: Memory, the Literary Imagination, and the Project in the Design Studio

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pp. 317-329

This chapter inquires into the relationship between two inhabitable realms—one material, the other immaterial. These realms are the physically constructed spaces of architecture and those spaces that are conjured up in words—the imaginary and psychically charged spaces of literature. In particular, this chapter seeks to underline the potency of the relationship between the spaces constructed by architecture and the ...


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pp. 331-334

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780826332714
E-ISBN-10: 0826332714
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826332691
Print-ISBN-10: 0826332692

Page Count: 351
Illustrations: 95 halftones, 8 maps
Publication Year: 2004

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Space (Architecture) -- Psychological aspects.
  • Memory -- Social aspects.
  • Architecture and literature.
  • Architectural design -- Philosophy.
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