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Humanities Seminar

Thursday, February 28, 2019
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
The Global Spoliation of German Steel or How Architecture Went Open Source
Peter Christensen, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Rochester,

Abstract: Steel, introduced into architecture on a broad scale during the nineteenth century, had a radical impact on architecture, forever changing the way we perceive and inhabit buildings. It also produced a radical new ecology, one that reflected a parasitic new relationship between both man and the environment as well as between cultures. This talk will detail one of several ways of reading steel in architecture and visual culture that moves beyond steel's familiar guise as a heroic aid to the "genius" architects and "masterpieces" of Modernism by tracing the ways in which steel building units originating in Germany were dispersed, reinterpreted and even reinvented outside of the West. This reinvention fostered a new culture of "open source" architecture that forces us to rethink the very definition of ingenuity in the history of architecture and construction.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at [email protected].