UCL Urban Laboratory


Re-framing Modernism: architecture and cultural identity in the 'black Atlantic'

09 February 2015, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Re-framing Modernism: architecture and cultural identity in the ‘black Atlantic’

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G02 Lecture Theatre, 140 Hampstead Road, London NW1 3EE

The history of Modernist architecture has emphasised its white European and American roots and manifestations - an embodiment of Enlightenment values of universalism, order and purity, and rejection of the hybrid, disordered, or otherwise unclassifiable. But Paul Gilroy has called for a re-framing of modernism and modernity as a 'rhizomorphic, fractal, transcultural, international formation', recognising the experience of the Black Atlantic as central to its history. Thislecture will consider the implications for perspectives on Modernist architecture in its various manifestations 'at the periphery', with reference to the work of French post-war architects Candilis Josic Woods - better known for their design of mass housing in France and North Africa - in the French territories of the Caribbean.

Public lecture by Clare Melhuish as part of the Situating Architecture series.

Clare Melhuish is Research Associate in the UCL Urban Laboratory, working on case study research in university-led urban regeneration in relation to the UCL East project. She is a writer and researcher at the intersection of architecture, urbanism and anthropology. Her other current research areas are urban development, its visualisation, and material impacts in Doha, Qatar, and the role of Modernist architecture and aesthetics in urban development in the Caribbean.

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Image: Cover image, 100 Years of Social Housing in Martinique, Villard, P & Doucet, J, 2004. Fort-de-France: DDE-Martinique.