Governing by Design offers a unique perspective on twentieth-century architectural history. It disputes the primacy placed on individuals in the design and planning process and instead looks to the larger influences of politics, culture, economics, and globalization to uncover the roots of how our built environment evolves.
In these chapters, historians offer their analysis on design as a vehicle for power and as a mediator of social currents. Power is defined through a variety of forms: modernization, obsolescence, technology, capital, ergonomics, biopolitics, and others. The chapters explore the diffusion of power through the establishment of norms and networks that frame human conduct, action, identity, and design. They follow design as it functions through the body, in the home, and at the state and international level.
Overall, Aggregate views the intersection of architecture with the human need for what Foucault termed “governmentality”—societal rules, structures, repetition, and protocols—as a way to provide security and tame risk. Here, the conjunction of power and the power of design reinforces governmentality and infuses a sense of social permanence despite the exceedingly fluid nature of societies and the disintegration of cultural memory in the modern era.
About the Author
Aggregate (Architectural History Collaborative) is a group of ten scholars who five years ago commenced a collaborative discussion on the topics and the methods of architectural history. In workshops and in a formal colloquium, the members of Aggregate presented research and debated their disciplinary aims and concerns. While its membership remains housed within institutions of architecture and art history, the group commitment is to enriching architectural history by engaging with other fields and disciplines.
Table of ContentsContents Introduction - Daniel M. Abramson, Arindam Dutta, Timothy Hyde, and Jonathan Massey for Aggregate Part I. Food, Shelter, and the Body Chapter 1. Preserved Assets - Michael Osman Chapter 2. Risk and Regulation in the Financial Architecture of American Houses - Jonathan Massey Chapter 3. Boston’s West End: Urban Obsolescence in Mid-Twentieth-Century America - Daniel M. Abramson Chapter 4. The Interface: Ergonomics and the Aesthetics of Survival - John Harwood Part II. Global States and Citizens Chapter 5. “Mejores Ciudades, Ciudadanos Mejores”: Law and Architecture in the Cuban Republic - Timothy Hyde Chapter 6. Dwelling, Dispute, and the Space of Modern Iran - Pamela Karimi Chapter 7. Boundary Games: Ecochard, Doxiadis, and the Refugee Housing Projects under Military Rule in Pakistan, 1953–1959 - M. Ijlal Muzaffar Part III. Engineering and Culture Chapter 8. The Design of the Nubian Desert: Monuments, Mobility,and the Space of Global Culture - Lucia Allais Chapter 9. Decree, Design, Exhibit, Consume: Making Modern Markets in France, 1953–1979 - Meredith TenHoor Chapter 10. Marginality and Metaengineering: Keynes and Arup - Arindam Dutta Contributors Index