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Modernism in the East

GRA Architecture


Research and Course of the MArch PUC 

The research focuses on the construction of a parallel story to the development and delimitation of modern architecture in the West and emphasizes ideas, reactions, and appropriations of said modernism in architecture through works and projects in contexts of colonization and late industrialization in Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, the research aims to deepen the understanding and study of architectural modernity in cultural contexts with less visibility than Europe and North America. In general, the temporal discourse of architectural modernism is usually identified with the development of a technique linked to the technological innovation of the industry; and as a consequence of this development, with the beginnings of an idea of ​​the metropolis. Then, it would be consistent that most of the canonical works of modern architecture have been developed in industrialized nations such as England, France, Germany, and the United States.

 In the case of Asia, both coordinates –technical and metropolis– emerged abruptly and as a result of an exchange with Western merchants, military, and intellectuals. With the exception of Japan, the assimilation of industry and the densification of the eastern cities was not a consensual decision, but the result of the application of a western model for the dominance and restructuring of the East. This condition does not mean that the development of modern architecture in Asia is a subsidiary of the state of art of architecture in Europe and the United States. However, it can lead to a simplified historical reading, in which it is emphasized that modernization was a privilege only of Western rationality and in which its dissemination occurred from Europe and North America via a formula of modernization equals westernization.

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