WG 2 : The printed media and the construction of a canon

European architecture outside of Europe has been mediated and circulated via publications and public events (gazettes, magazines, journals, exhibitions, conferences). Systematic analysis of a range of these media should help identify canonical designs. Research across a number of European titles can contribute to reveal and question national specificities, or conversely similarities across national contexts. The attention paid to the architectural production in Africa or Latin America by the French journal L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui is worth comparing to what appeared in the Anglo-Saxon Architectural Review or Architectural Record. This research track also ambitions to investigate the often overlooked local publications, either in European or non-European languages. Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon experienced an active architectural press from the 1930s onward partaking in the outreach of European architecture in the Middle East, while the architectural debate in Latin America to a large extent was fueled by local magazines in which ideas of the European avant-garde were reviewed and, at times, critically assessed. Content analysis of such publications will offer indications on the reception of European architecture outside of Europe. Local periodicals, such as the French press in Maghreb or Italian journals in the Eastern Mediterranean, also represent important sources to be considered. Exploratory surveys of local newspapers, as well as of missionary magazines and colonial propaganda sources for particular territories such as Central Africa, show that only a very limited part of what was actually built overseas made it to the metropolitan architectural press. By identifying these gaps, together with much mediated designs, the expectation is to retrieve a clearer picture of the circulation of architectural images and the making of the “colonial” and modernist canon(s).

In order to do so, a list of significant media will be established. The range of periodicals to be studied, as well as the significant time frames to be considered in priority, will be jointly selected. Methods will be proposed for efficient comparative research, in collaboration with librarians and curators willing to participate in the Action. A web-based shared bibliography will be implemented.

Coordinator : Ezio Godoli (IT)
Co-coordinator :  Tom Avermaete (NL)

Members :

  • Boussad Aïche
  • Antonio Bravo Nieto (SP)
  • Nadia Radwan (CH)
  • Mercedes Volait (FR)
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