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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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Designing Pan-America

U.S. Architectural Visions for the Western Hemisphere

By Robert Alexander González

Coinciding with the centennial of the Pan American Union (now the Organization of American States), González explores how nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. architects and their clients built a visionary Pan-America to promote commerce and cultural exchange between United States and Latin America.

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Designing the Centennial

A History of the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia

Bruno Giberti

The 1876 United States Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia was not only the United States' first important world's fair, it signaled significant changes in the very shape of knowledge. Quarrels between participants in the exhibition represented a greater conflict as the world transitioned between two different kinds of modernity--the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the High Modern period of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At the center of this movement was a shift in the perceived relationship between seeing and knowing and in the perception of what makes an object valuable--its usefulness as a subject of study and learning versus its ability to be bought and sold on the market. Arguments over design of the Centennial reflected these opposing viewpoints. Initial plans were rigidly structured, dividing the exhibits by country and type. But as some exhibitors became more interested in the preferences of their audience, they adopted a more modern stance. Objects traditionally displayed in isolated glass boxes were placed in fictive context -- the necklace draped over a mannequin, the vase set on a table in a model room. As a result, the audience could more easily perceive these items as commodities suitable for their own environments and the fair as a place to find ideas for a material lifestyle. Designing the Centennial is a vital first look at the design process and the nature of the display. Bruno Giberti uses official reports of the U.S. Centennial Commission and photographs of the Centennial Photographic Company, as well as the ephemera of the exhibition and literary accounts in books, magazines, and newspapers to illuminate how the 1876 fair revealed changes to come: in future world's fairs, museums, department stores, and in the nature of display itself.

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Designing the Creative Child

Playthings and Places in Midcentury America

Amy F. Ogata


The postwar American stereotypes of suburban sameness, traditional gender roles, and educational conservatism have masked an alternate self-image tailor-made for the Cold War. The creative child, an idealized future citizen, was the darling of baby boom parents, psychologists, marketers, and designers who saw in the next generation promise that appeared to answer the most pressing worries of the age.


Designing the Creative Child reveals how a postwar cult of childhood creativity developed and continues to this day. Exploring how the idea of children as imaginative and naturally creative was constructed, disseminated, and consumed in the United States after World War II, Amy F. Ogata argues that educational toys, playgrounds, small middle-class houses, new schools, and children’s museums were designed to cultivate imagination in a growing cohort of baby boom children. Enthusiasm for encouraging creativity in children countered Cold War fears of failing competitiveness and the postwar critique of social conformity, making creativity an emblem of national revitalization.


Ogata describes how a historically rooted belief in children’s capacity for independent thinking was transformed from an elite concern of the interwar years to a fully consumable and aspirational ideal that persists today. From building blocks to Gumby, playhouses to Playskool trains, Creative Playthings to the Eames House of Cards, Crayola fingerpaint to children’s museums, material goods and spaces shaped a popular understanding of creativity, and Designing the Creative Child demonstrates how this notion has been woven into the fabric of American culture.


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Designing Tito’s Capital

Urban Planning, Modernism, and Socialism in Belgrade

by Brigitte Le Normand

The devastation of World War II left the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in ruins. Communist Party leader Josip Broz Tito saw this as a golden opportunity to recreate the city through his own vision of socialism. In Designing Tito’s Capital, Brigitte Le Normand analyzes the unprecedented planning process called for by the new leader, and the determination of planners to create an urban environment that would benefit all citizens. Led first by architect Nikola Dobrović and later by Miloš Somborski, planners blended the predominant school of European modernism and the socialist principles of efficient construction and space usage to produce a model for housing, green space, and working environments for the masses. A major influence was modernist Le Corbusier and his Athens Charter published in 1943, which called for the total reconstruction of European cities, transforming them into compact and verdant vertical cities unfettered by slumlords, private interests, and traffic congestion. As Yugoslavia transitioned toward self-management and market socialism, the functionalist district of New Belgrade and its modern living were lauded as the model city of socialist man. The glow of the utopian ideal would fade by the 1960s, when market socialism had raised expectations for living standards and the government was eager for inhabitants to finance their own housing. By 1972, a new master plan emerged under Aleksandar Đorđević, fashioned with the assistance of American experts. Espousing current theories about systems and rational process planning and using cutting edge computer technology, the new plan left behind the dream for a functionalist Belgrade and instead focused on managing growth trends. While the public resisted aspects of the new planning approach that seemed contrary to socialist values, it embraced the idea of a decentralized city connected by mass transit. Through extensive archival research and personal interviews with participants in the planning process, Le Normand’s comprehensive study documents the evolution of ‘New Belgrade’ and its adoption and ultimate rejection of modernist principles, while also situating it within larger continental and global contexts of politics, economics, and urban planning. The devastation of World War II left the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in ruins. Communist Party leader Josip Broz Tito saw this as a golden opportunity to recreate the city through his own vision of socialism. In Designing Tito’s Capital, Brigitte Le Normand analyzes the unprecedented planning process called for by the new leader, and the determination of planners to create an urban environment that would benefit all citizens. Led first by architect Nikola Dobrović and later by Miloš Somborski, planners blended the predominant school of European modernism and the socialist principles of efficient construction and space usage to produce a model for housing, green space, and working environments for the masses. A major influence was modernist Le Corbusier and his Athens Charter published in 1943, which called for the total reconstruction of European cities, transforming them into compact and verdant vertical cities unfettered by slumlords, private interests, and traffic congestion. As Yugoslavia transitioned toward self-management and market socialism, the functionalist district of New Belgrade and its modern living were lauded as the model city of socialist man. The glow of the utopian ideal would fade by the 1960s, when market socialism had raised expectations for living standards and the government was eager for inhabitants to finance their own housing. By 1972, a new master plan emerged under Aleksandar Đorđević, fashioned with the assistance of American experts. Espousing current theories about systems and rational process planning and using cutting edge computer technology, the new plan left behind the dream for a functionalist Belgrade and instead focused on managing growth trends. While the public resisted aspects of the new planning approach that seemed contrary to socialist values, it embraced the idea of a decentralized city connected by mass transit. Through extensive archival research and personal interviews with participants in the planning process, Le Normand’s comprehensive study documents the evolution of ‘New Belgrade’ and its adoption and ultimate rejection of modernist principles, while also situating it within larger continental and global contexts of politics, economics, and urban planning.

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Designs on the Public

The Private Lives of New York’s Public Spaces

Kristine F. Miller

New York City is home to some of the most recognizable places in the world. As familiar as the sight of New Year’s Eve in Times Square or a protest in front of City Hall may be to us, do we understand who controls what happens there? Kristine Miller delves into six of New York’s most important public spaces to trace how design influences their complicated lives. 

 

Miller chronicles controversies in the histories of New York locations including Times Square, Trump Tower, the IBM Atrium, and Sony Plaza. The story of each location reveals that public space is not a concrete or fixed reality, but rather a constantly changing situation open to the forces of law, corporations, bureaucracy, and government. The qualities of public spaces we consider essential, including accessibility, public ownership, and ties to democratic life, are, at best, temporary conditions and often completely absent.

 

Design is, in Miller’s view, complicit in regulation of public spaces in New York City to exclude undesirables, restrict activities, and privilege commercial interests, and in this work she shows how design can reactivate public space and public life.

 

Kristine F. Miller is associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota.

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Detached America

Building Houses in Postwar Suburbia

James A. Jacobs

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Discipline Of Architecture

Andrzej Piotrowski

In the vast literature on architectural theory and practice, the ways in which architectural knowledge is actually taught, debated, and understood are too often ignored. The essays collected in this groundbreaking volume address the current state of architecture as an academic and professional discipline. The issues considered range from the form and content of architectural education to the architect’s social and environmental obligations and the emergence of a new generation of architects. Often critical of the current paradigm, these essays offer a provocative challenge to accepted assumptions about the production, dissemination, and reception of architectural knowledge. Contributors: Sherry Ahrentzen, U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Stanford Anderson, MIT; Carol Burns, Harvard U; Russell Ellis, UC Berkeley; Thomas Fisher, U of Minnesota; Linda Groat, U of Michigan; Kay Bea Jones, Ohio State U; David Leatherbarrow, U of Pennsylvania; A. G. Krishna Menon, TVB School of Habitat Studies, India; Garth Rockcastle, U of Minnesota; Michael Stanton, American U, Beirut; Sharon E. Sutton, U of Washington; David J. T. Vanderburgh, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium; and Donald Watson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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