ARCH+ 211/212: Think Global, Build Social!
How has non-European architectural work changed since the colonial era? What meaning do their recent participative projects hold, or their return to traditional construction and local materials? Anh-Linh Ngo, together with the Berlin-based architect Eike Roswag, lead a discussion on these questions and more, based on ARCH+ magazine's latest edition.
The critical examination of the Euro-centric perspective on modernity was initially shaped byGerman modern architects' experiences in exile after 1933. Among the most influential is Bruno Taut, who in his book The Japanese House and His Life (1937) tries to explain Japanese architecture from its climactic conditions and, more importantly, from the use it seeks. Another thought-provoking example are the considerations of Tropical Architecture by Otto Königsberg, also from his exile, whose views on modern architecture have been extended by his experiences in North Africa and India. With the beginning of the post-colonial discourse in the 1950s, the universalist claim of modernity was questioned by a type of Vernacular Building, specifically with contribution of Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy's work. From the mid-1960s with the investigations of Bernard Rudofsky's Architecture Without Architects and John Turners Housing by People, the paradigm of the "informal building" was close to follow.