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Title: Local Modernism and Universal Aesthetics
Authors: Bauer, Susanne
Santos, Eliana Sousa 
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Docomomo
Serial title, monograph or event: The 16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1 Proceedings: Inheritable Resilience: Sharing Values of Global Modernities
Place of publication or event: Tokyo
Abstract: Universal aesthetics are often attached to a narrative about modern architecture that in turn opens up the question of Local Modernism versus an ‘International Style’. With exponential globalization, we witness an effect of a universal aesthetic that can be exchanged throughout different countries and continents and calls for a re-evaluation of collective form. Throughout history, vernacular building styles, elements and aesthetics that can often be classified as local, have emerged in different countries as cultural identity of a determined region. Furthermore, in recent years, several architectural practices explore the advantages of local techniques and materials, blend them with global modern aesthetics and import them into different cultural contexts. The aesthetic of a global architecture is thereby recreated using artisan and handmade products, yet the cultural value of the region is often irrevocably lost in the process of blending different traditions. On the one hand, architects who are recognized for having been long established as eminently local are expanding their practices to other countries. Such as Peter Zumthor’s project in Los Angeles or Álvaro Siza’s most recent projects in China, Taiwan, and the United States. On the other hand, Fumihiko Maki’s strong links between Eastern and Western building traditions and materials throughout his career were followed by his 1960s theoretical investigations into collective form and Francis Kéré’s social engagement in architecture brought him back to his native Burkina Faso blending traditional materials with a Western aesthetic. The question of how to classify these architects’ works might therefore be instrumental to create a new perspective over the shifting boundaries of regional and global modernism and the appropriation of local tradition and universal aesthetics. We wish to further argue how the universal aesthetics shape our perception of global versus local modernism.
Description: The 16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1 Proceedings: Inheritable Resilience: Sharing Values of Global Modernities
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Artigos e Resumos em Livros de Actas

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