By Lisa Findley
Building Change investigates the moving relationships among energy, house and structure in an international the place a few subjected everyone is reasserting their political and cultural organisation. To discover those adjustments, the booklet describes and analyzes 4 fresh construction tasks embedded in advanced and various old, political, cultural and spatial conditions. The initiatives yield more than a few insights for revitalizing the position of structure as an engaged cultural and spatial perform.
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Extra info for Building Change: Architecture, Politics and Cultural Agency
There is no way to avoid the fact that the structures that house such institutions are symbolic on many levels. Their mere existence is political, much less their form and expression. In some instances, the building is the first time that the people have had an opportunity to represent themselves in the contemporary world. This places particularly heavy demands upon both the architecture of such buildings and the architects. Each instance of this kind of project is unique. While they may share many of the same issues, the architectural strategies for addressing these issues are by necessity different in each situation.
The exteriors of the shacks are usually less attended to, but are sometimes brightened with a bit of paint, flowers growing in a pot, or small decorations. These small gestures of dignity signal that someone lives in these places—individuals with thought and sensibility. Even the grinding dehumanization of poverty seems unable to take away the expression of what Le Corbusier calls this “first proof of existence”, this “taking possession of space”. So, “the people” seem to be getting along in their lives, and they are finding small, yet meaningful ways of resisting the spatial depredations of power without the help of architects.
The power of cultural practices also lies in the way they sustain cultural identity. Throughout the world, certain kinds of cultural practices and making help people maintain their sense of separateness during years of being controlled by others. In less confrontational settings, it helps cultural distinctions to be drawn and cultural bridges to be built. It communicates values and sensibilities in ways that are absorbed through exposure over time. In cities all over the world, ethnic restaurants are often the outposts Building Change 26 of minority cultures.
Building Change: Architecture, Politics and Cultural Agency by Lisa Findley