By Andrew M. Shanken
In an immense learn of yankee structure in the course of global conflict II, Andrew M. Shanken makes a speciality of the tradition of anticipation that arose during this interval, as out-of-work architects grew to become their energies from the outfitted to the unbuilt, redefining themselves as planners and developing unique designs to excite the general public approximately postwar structure. Shanken recasts the wartime period as a crucible for the intermingling of modernist structure and buyer culture.
tough the pervasive concept that company capitalism corrupted the idealism of modernist structure within the postwar period, 194X exhibits in its place that architecture’s wartime partnership with company American was once based on shared anxieties and beliefs. enterprise and structure have been introduced jointly in leading edge methods, as proven through Shanken’s persuasive analyzing of journal ads for Revere Copper and Brass, U.S. Gypsum, common electrical, and different businesses that prominently featured the paintings of prime revolutionary architects, together with Louis I. Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Walter Gropius.
even though the unforeseen prosperity of the postwar period made the structure of 194X out of date earlier than it can be equipped and resulted in its exclusion from the tale of twentieth-century American structure, Shanken makes transparent that its anticipatory rhetoric and designs performed a very important position within the common acceptance
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Extra info for 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front
The shift had socioeconomic underpinnings, as well. 105 A static population made for static consumption and a ﬂat market with little chance of intensive development. Birth control, instead of being a progressive measure, was tinged with the negativity of the Depression, something the image on the 1944 pamphlet subtly responded to by showing a family with three children, one above zero-population growth. We have lived so long with the idea of family planning that it is difﬁcult to recreate how strange it may have been in 1942 to pair the words parenthood and planning.
113 The new “mental hygiene” imposed by the master plan would effect sweeping historical changes. In fact, the very history of Germany would be planned as an essential part of its mental cleansing. 114 Few Americans would have protested such a “plan” in 1945, no matter how close to the plans of their vanquished enemy their own plans came. Reversing the order of inﬂuence typically held up by architects and planners, Erikson’s proposal rendered any type of national, economic, or urban planning as mere superstructure; at the base, psychiatric planning anchored all of the other forms of planning.
60 Abstraction, as a form of image-making with the nature of a “practical demonstration,” yet bubbling over with the “formalizing energies of man,” offered a parallel to the presumed tabula rasa of urban planning that lies beneath many of the schemes in this period, from the NRPB diagrams to Stonorov and Kahn’s chart. These abstractions aimed at the universal at the same time that they reveled in the ahistorical, in the possibility of liberation from the drag of history—and from the obstacle of preexisting buildings, even if they played a role in the technical part of the plan.
194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front by Andrew M. Shanken