Mapping the relationship between race and architecture, the authors of this volume explore the vexed if often unspoken ways in which notions of "difference" figure in the shaping of the built environment. The terms of architectural design and study-"space, site, form, architect, and user"-are derived from the historical task of adapting space to an existing socioeconomic structure. Exposing the racial subtext in this language of vision and logic, this book brings to light the complex connection between the question of identity and the questions architecture poses: Whose pleasures are pursued, who gets to build what, whose histories and experiences are represented, whose voice is heard?
The heavily illustrated volume is structured by scale: from the scale of the urban (1:125,000) to the "middle" scale of 1:1,250 (exile, "in-between-ness") to 1:1, the scale of detail, the intimate, the personal. The authors, working from a wide variety of backgrounds, take up topics ranging from Victorian attitudes toward racial hierarchy to a rereading of the Argentinean urbanscape through tango, from the disintegration along racial lines of the contemporary U.S. city to the racially polarized profession of architecture in South Africa. Whether investigating issues of black spatial identity or tracing the visual-textual-material threading of race through an architectural project, whether focusing on Europe in the 1400s or Australia today, their work reclaims a hidden cultural experience built into the very walls that frame our lives.
Contributors: Araya Asgedom, HamptonU; Ana Erradonea Betancour, University College, London; Kwasi Boateng, Southbank U and U of Science and Technology, Ghana; J. Yolande Daniels, U of Michigan; Felecia Davis, Cornell U; Kim Dovey, U of Melbourne; Peter Hasdell, University College, London; Edward Ihejirika, Kingston U; Jane M. Jacobs, U of Melbourne; Mathilde Lochert, U of Melbourne and RMIT University, Australia; Chris Nasah; Malindi Neluheni; N. Ola Uduku, U of Liverpool; Mitchell Squire, Iowa State U; Michael Stanton, American U, Beirut; Imogen Ward Kouao, U of East London.
Lesley Naa Norle Lokko is assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Translation Inquiries: Athlone