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Counterpreservation

Architectural Decay in Berlin since 1989

by Daniela Sandler

In Berlin, decrepit structures do not always denote urban blight. Decayed buildings are incorporated into everyday life as residences, exhibition spaces, shops, offices, and as leisure space. As nodes of public dialogue, they serve as platforms for dissenting views about the future and past of Berlin. In this book, Daniela Sandler introduces the concept of counterpreservation as a way to understand this intentional appropriation of decrepitude. The embrace of decay is a sign of Berlin's iconoclastic rebelliousness, but it has also been incorporated into the mainstream economy of tourism and development as part of the city's countercultural cachet. Sandler presents the possibilities and shortcomings of counterpreservation as a dynamic force in Berlin and as a potential concept for other cities.

Counterpreservation is part of Berlin’s fabric: in the city’s famed Hausprojekte (living projects) such as the Køpi, Tuntenhaus, and KA 86; in cultural centers such as the Haus Schwarzenberg, the Schokoladen, and the legendary, now defunct Tacheles; in memorials and museums; and even in commerce and residences. The appropriation of ruins is a way of carving out affordable spaces for housing, work, and cultural activities. It is also a visual statement against gentrification, and a complex representation of history, with the marks of different periods—the nineteenth century, World War II, postwar division, unification—on display for all to see. Counterpreservation exemplifies an everyday urbanism in which citizens shape private and public spaces with their own hands, but it also influences more formal designs, such as the Topography of Terror, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and Daniel Libeskind’s unbuilt redevelopment proposal for a site peppered with ruins of Nazi barracks. By featuring these examples, Sandler questions conventional notions of architectural authorship and points toward the value of participatory environments.

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Creating Old World Wisconsin

The Struggle to Build an Outdoor History Museum of Ethnic Architecture

With its charming heirloom gardens, historic livestock breeds, and faithfully recreated farmsteads and villages that span nearly 600 acres, Old World Wisconsin is the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States. But this seemingly time-frozen landscape of rustic outbuildings and rolling wooded hills did not effortlessly spring into existence, as John D. Krugler maintains in Creating Old World Wisconsin. As dozens of historic buildings were transported in the 1970s from various locations throughout the state to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, researchers, curators, and volunteers launched a massive preservation initiative to salvage fast-disappearing immigrant and migrant architecture. Researchers, curators, and volunteers created a backdrop against which twenty-first century interpreters demonstrate nineteenth- and early twentieth-century agricultural techniques and artisanal craftsmanship. The site, created and maintained by the Wisconsin Historical Society, offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the state's rich and ethnically diverse past through depictions of the everyday lives of its Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Polish, African American, and Yankee inhabitants. Creating Old World Wisconsin chronicles the fascinating and complex origins of this outdoor museum, highlighting the struggles that faced its creators as they worked to achieve their vision. Even as Milwaukee architect and preservationist Richard W. E. Perrin, the Society's staff, and enthusiastic volunteers opened the museum in time for the national bicentennial in 1976, the site was plagued by limited funds, bureaucratic tangles, and problems associated with gaining public support. By documenting the engaging story of the challenges, roadblocks, false starts, and achievements of the site's founders, Krugler brings to life the history of the dedicated corps who collected and preserved Wisconsin's diverse social history and heritage.

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The Crosby Arboretum

A Sustainable Regional Landscape

Robert F. Brzuszek. foreword by Neil G. Odenwald

Since its genesis in 1980, Crosby Arboretum in southern Mississippi has attracted international recognition for its contributions to architecture, biology, and landscape design. Now owned and operated by Mississippi State University, Crosby is the first fully realized ecologically designed arboretum in the United States and the premier native plant conservatory in the Southeast.

Former site director and curator Robert F. Brzuszek provides a detailed survey of the arboretum's origins, planning, construction, and ongoing management. More than just a botanical center, Crosby emerged as one of the first American landscape projects to successfully balance natural habitat and planned design. The book's generous selection of photographs and drawings illustrate the beauty and purpose of the site's components: the award-winning Pinecote Pavilion, designed by architect Fay Jones; a 104-acre focus area that includes the Piney Woods Lake, which displays native water plants in their natural setting; and seven hundred additional acres of savanna, woodland, and aquatic environments that nurture more than 300 species of indigenous trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.

Utilizing the interactions between two opposing natural forces -- fire and water -- Crosby Arboretum protects the biological diversity indigenous to the Pearl River Drainage Basin, in southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. Brzuszek's inspiring and informative account will help further Crosby's role as a model of sustainable landscape design and management across the country.

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Cultivated Power

Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV

By Elizabeth Hyde

Cultivated Power explores the collection, cultivation, and display of flowers in early modern France at the historical moment when flowering plants, many of which were becoming known in Europe for the first time, piqued the curiosity of European gardeners and botanists, merchants and ministers, dukes and kings. Elizabeth Hyde reveals how flowers became uniquely capable of revealing the curiosity, reason, and taste of those elite men who engaged in their cultivation. The cultural and increasingly political value of such qualities was not lost on royal panegyrists, who seized on the new meanings of flowers in celebrating the glory of Louis XIV. Using previously unexplored archival sources, Hyde recovers the extent of floral plantations in the gardens of Versailles and the sophisticated system of nurseries created to fulfill the demands of the king's gardeners. She further examines how the successful cultivation of those flowers made it possible for Louis XIV to demonstrate that his reign was a golden era surpassing even that of antiquity.

Cultivated Power expands our knowledge of flowers in European history beyond the Dutch tulip mania and restores our understanding of the importance of flowers in the French classical garden. The book also develops a fuller perspective on the roles of gender, rank, and material goods in the age of the baroque. Using flowers to analyze the movement of culture in early modern society, Cultivated Power ultimately highlights the influence of curious florists on the taste of the king and the extension of the cultural into the realm of the political.

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Cultural Landscapes

Balancing Nature and Heritage in Preservation Practice

Richard Longstreth

Preservation has traditionally focused on saving prominent buildings of historical or architectural significance. Preserving cultural landscapes-the combined fabric of the natural and man-made environments-is a relatively new and often misunderstood idea among preservationists, but it is of increasing importance. The essays collected in this volume-case studies that include the Little Tokyo neighborhood in Los Angeles, the Cross Bronx Expressway, and a rural island in Puget Sound-underscore how this approach can be fruitfully applied. Together, they make clear that a cultural landscape perspective can be an essential underpinning for all historic preservation projects.

 

Contributors: Susan Calafate Boyle, National Park Service; Susan Buggey, U of Montreal; Michael Caratzas, Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC); Courtney P. Fint, West Virginia Historic Preservation Office; Heidi Hohmann, Iowa State U; Hillary Jenks, USC; Randall Mason, U Penn; Robert Z. Melnick, U of Oregon; Nora Mitchell, National Park Service; Julie Riesenweber, U of Kentucky; Nancy Rottle, U of Washington; Bonnie Stepenoff, Southeast Missouri State U.

 

Richard Longstreth is professor of American civilization and director of the graduate program in historic preservation at George Washington University.

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Dar es Salaam. Histories from an Emerging African Metropolis

From its modest beginnings in the mid-19th century, Dar es Salaam has grown to become one of sub-Saharan Africa?s most important urban centres. A major political, economic and cultural hub, the city stood at the cutting edge of trends that transformed twentieth-century East Africa. Dar es Salaam has recently attracted the attention of a diverse, multi-disciplinary, range of scholars, making it currently one of the continent?s most studied urban centres. This collection from eleven scholars from Africa, Europe, North America and Japan, draws on some of the best of this scholarship and offers a comprehensive, and accessible, survey of the city?s development. The perspectives include history, musicology, ethnomusicology, culture including popular culture, land and urban economics. The opening chapter offers a comprehensive overview of the history of the city. Subsequent chapters examine Dar es Salaam?s twentieth century experience through the prism of social change and the administrative repercussions of rapid urbanisation; and through popular culture and shifting social relations. The book will be of interest not only to the specialist in urban studies but also to the general reader with an interest in Dar es Salaam?s environmental, social and cultural history.

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De la ville au patrimoine urbain

Histoires de forme et de sens

De Ville Mont-Royal à Vitruve, d'Hochelaga à Palladio et de Jérusalem à Le Corbusier, c'est de cet urbain saisi sur deux échelles, celle du monde qui l'a produit et celle du monde qui nous entoure, dont cet ouvrage-ci nous parle. Les textes colligés visent ainsi à inscrire la ville, comme création, dans un horizon culturel qui en dévoile l'extraordinaire foisonnement. Ils illustrent par quels moyens, devant quels regards et sous quels aspects ce merveilleux enchevêtrement du sens se révèle. Pourquoi publier une anthologie d'André Corboz? Pour montrer que l'on peut, encore, analyser la ville par-delà la description fataliste de son immédiateté, comme une création et comme l'image que nous voulons de nous-mêmes, ancrée aux temps, ceux d'hier et ceux de demain.

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Deconstructing the American Mosque

Space, Gender, and Aesthetics

By Akel Ismail Kahera

From the avant-garde design of the Islamic Cultural Center in New York City to the simplicity of the Dar al-Islam Mosque in Abiquiu, New Mexico, the American mosque takes many forms of visual and architectural expression. The absence of a single, authoritative model and the plurality of design nuances reflect the heterogeneity of the American Muslim community itself, which embodies a whole spectrum of ethnic origins, traditions, and religious practices. In this book, Akel Ismail Kahera explores the history and theory of Muslim religious aesthetics in the United States since 1950. Using a notion of deconstruction based on the concepts of "jamal" (beauty), "subject," and "object" found in the writings of Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), he interprets the forms and meanings of several American mosques from across the country. His analysis contributes to three debates within the formulation of a Muslim aesthetics in North America—first, over the meaning, purpose, and function of visual religious expression; second, over the spatial and visual affinities between American and non-American mosques, including the Prophet’s mosque at Madinah, Arabia; and third, over the relevance of culture, place, and identity to the making of contemporary religious expression in North America.

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Des couvents en héritage / Religious Houses: A Legacy

À l’heure de la désaffection des traditions religieuses historiques, les couvents, les monastères et les abbayes qui émaillent les paysages de nos villes et de nos campagnes sont menacés de déshérence : les communautés qui les ont bâtis, habités et qui en ont assuré la survie n’ont plus les moyens d’assumer leur charge patrimoniale. En même temps que s’impose l’affection citoyenne pour ces vastes ensembles et leurs jardins, ceux-ci sont de plus en plus convoités à des fins de développement. Que faire de cet héritage riche et lourd ? Cet ouvrage collectif regroupe des contributions qui apportent des pistes de réflexion sur les problèmes de la sécularisation, de la réaffectation ou de la gouvernance d’anciens ensembles conventuels. Il vise également à nourrir la discussion sur les implications financières, juridiques, urbanistiques et mémorielles du changement de vocation des couvents et de leur mise en valeur. In this time of abandonment of historical religious traditions, the convents, monasteries, and abbeys that punctuate our rural and urban landscapes are in danger of becoming escheated properties. The communities who built them, lived in them, and have thus far ensured their survival can no longer bear the burden of their heritage value. These magnificent properties and their gardens are increasingly the objects of society’s affection, and yet at the same time are more and more coveted by real estate developers. What is to be done with such a rich and weighty legacy? This collective publication brings together contributions that provide ways of thinking about the issues of secularization, adaptive reuse, or the governance of former religious buildings. It also intends to contribute to the debate on the financial, legal, urbanistic, and memorial implications of the new destinies of convents and their redevelopment.

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Designing Our Way to a Better World

Thomas Fisher

Envisioning what we need, when it doesn’t yet exist: this, Thomas Fisher tells us, is what design does. And if what we need now is a better world—functioning schools, working infrastructure, thriving cities—why not design one? Fisher shows how the principles of design apply to services and systems that seem to evolve naturally, systems whose failures sometimes seem as arbitrary and inevitable as the weather. But the “invisible” systems we depend on for our daily lives (in education, politics, economics, and public health) are designed every bit as much as the products we buy and the environments we inhabit—and are just as susceptible to creative reimagining.

Designing Our Way to a Better World challenges the assumptions that have led to so much poor performance in the public and private realms: that our schools cannot teach creativity, that our governments cannot predict the disasters that befall us, that our health system will protect us from pandemics, that our politics will remain polarized, that our economy cannot avoid inequality, and that our industry cannot help but pollute the environment. Targeting these assumptions, Fisher's approach reveals the power of design to synthesize our knowledge about the world into greater wholes. In doing so, this book opens up possible futures—and better futures—than the unsustainable and inequitable one we now face.


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