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The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space

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Overview

The Organizational Complex is a historical and theoretical analysis of corporate architecture in the United States after the Second World War. Its title refers to the aesthetic and technological extension of the military-industrial complex, in which architecture, computers, and corporations formed a network of objects, images, and discourses that realigned social relations and transformed the postwar landscape.

In-depth case studies of architect Eero Saarinen's work for General Motors, IBM, and Bell Laboratories and analyses of office buildings designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill trace the emergence of a systems-based model of organization in architecture, in which the modular curtain wall acts as both an organizational device and a carrier of the corporate image. Such an image - of the corporation as a flexible, integrated system - is seen to correspond with a "humanization" of corporate life, as corporations decentralize both spatially and administratively.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The breadth of Martin's research...offers a contemporary rereading of mid-century corporate office building architecture..." Ashley Schafer Harvard Design Magazine

"This is an excellent contribution to the field." Edward Robbins The Architectural Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262134262
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Reinhold Martin is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture,Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, and a partner in the firm of Martin/Baxi Architects.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 2
1 The Organizational Complex 14
2 Pattern-Seeing 42
3 The Physiognomy of the Office 80
4 Organic Style 122
5 Computer Architectures 156
6 The Topologies of Knowledge 182
Epilogue: Hallucinations 212
Notes 232
Illustration Credits 288
Index 290
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