Calendar of Events

Mon 10.06.2014

Oculus Book Talk: Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization


When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM MONDAY, ARCHTOBER 6

Where: At The Center   

Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato will present Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization, published by the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Park Books.

Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization documents two complementary urban realities that have played a fundamental role in the imagination, definition, and redefinition of the twentieth-century modern city. Shifting away from an understanding of architecture as the construction of monumental masterpieces, the texts collected here assemble the narratives behind the public spaces, housing and social facilities in these two cities, where modern plans have proven unexpectedly resilient and adaptable over time. This perspective is reinforced through visual contributions by Yto Barrada and Takashi Homma - two photographers especially invested in capturing everyday urban life. 

In a world marked by decolonization and Cold War politics, Casablanca and Chandigarh appear simultaneously as exponents of and countercurrents to modernization and its development perspectives. The book's three chapters set the context for reading Casablanca and Chandigarh as the results of nuanced, dynamic processes of international exchange driven by the engagement and expertise of a new class of design professionals. As a dossier of actors, alignments, and agendas, the book contributes to an alternative historiography of post-war urbanism and to recent reflections on the impact of transnational practice. 

Tom Avermaete is a Professor of Architecture at the TU Delft with a special research interest in the public realm and the architecture of the city in Western and non-Western contexts. He is the author of Another Modern: the Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods (2005) and editor of Architectural Positions: On Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere (2009), Colonial Modern: Aesthetics of the Past, Rebellions for the Future (2010), and Structuralism Reloaded: Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism (2011). Avermaete is a co-editor of OASE Journal for Architecture. He was editor of OASE’s themed issue L’Afrique C’est Chic and co-creator of the research and exhibition project In the Desert of Modernity: Colonial Planning and After (Berlin 2008, Casablanca 2009). His current projects include a contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014.

Maristella Casciato is Associate Director of Research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She is a former Associate Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Bologna, a Fulbright Fellow (1992), a Chercheuse Associée aux INHA, Paris (2004), a Mellon Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2010-2011), and Chair of DOCOMOMO International (2002- 2010). Her scholarly studies focus on the history of the 20th-century European architecture (the Amsterdam School and the Italian domestic culture and the architecture of post-WWII reconstruction), and on the theory of the conservation of modern heritage. Since the late 1990s she has been researching on the work of Pierre Jeanneret and his involvement in the construction of Chandigarh. On this topic she previously curated the exhibition Twilight of the Plan: Chandigarh and Brasilia at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio (2007) and published, in collaboration, Chandigarh 1956, with photograps by Ernst Scheidegger (2010). Among her current projects are a book on Pierre Jeanneret and the facsimile edition of Le Corbusier’s “Album Punjab”.

Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID; $10 for non-members

Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee

Oculus Book Seller: McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212.274.1160

This pro­gram is an initiative of the Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, 2014 Presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision”

Image: © CCA, Montréal

About Oculus Book Talks

Each month, the AIANY Oculus Committee presents a Book Talk at the Center for Architecture. Each Oculus Book Talk highlights a recent publication on architecture, design, or the built environment — presented by the author. The Book Talks are a forum for dialogue and discussion, and copies of the publications are available for sale and signing.

2014 Book Talk Series

Monday, January 13, 2014: Alexandros Washburn, The Nature of Urban Design
Wednesday, February 5, 2014: Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre, How to Study Public Life
Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Jean-Louis Cohen, Architecture in Uniform
Monday, April 7, 2014: Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Monday, May 12, 2014: Francoise Bollack and Kenneth Frampton, Old Buildings, New Forms
Monday, June 9, 2014: Hillary Brown, Next Generation Infrastructure
Tuesday, July 1, 2014: Mark Wigley and Michael Bell, Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering
Monday, August 11, 2014: John Massengale, Street Design
Wednesday, September 3, 2014: Susan Szenasy, Szenasy, Design Advocate
Monday, October 6, 2014: Casablanca Chandigarh: A Report on Modernization
Monday, November 10, 2014: Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City

A program of Archtober, Architecture and Design Month, New York City, October 2014.


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