Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America

Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America

Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America

Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America


Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America explores the critical potential inherent in the notion of "transculturation" in order to understand contemporary architectural practices and their cultural realities in Latin America.Despite its enormous theoretical potential and its importance within Latin American cultural theory, the term transculturation had never permeated into architectural debates. In fact, none of the main architectural theories produced in and about Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century engaged seriously with this notion as a way to analyze the complex social, cultural and political circumstances that affect the development of the continent's cities, its urban spaces and its architectures. Therefore, this book demonstrates, for the first time, that the term transculturation is an invaluable tool in dismantling the essentialist, genealogical and hierarchical perspectives from which Latin American architectural practices have been viewed. Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America introduces new readings and interpretations of the work of well-known architects, new analyses regarding the use of architectural materials and languages, new questions to do with minority architectures, gender and travel, and, from beginning to end, it engages with important political and theoretical debates that have rarely been broached within Latin American architectural circles.


Most of essays collected in this volume were presented at the Transcultural Architecture in Latin America conference, which was held in Senate House, University of London, on the 9 and 10 of November 2001. The conference was organised by the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and the Department of Hispanic and Latin America Studies of the University of Nottingham with the support of the Institute of Romance Studies (University of London).

Transcultural Architecture in Latin America was an interdisciplinary conference that focused on the way inevitable processes of transculturation have affected, and continue to affect, Latin American cities, their urban spaces, and their architectures. The conference engaged with a broad range of cultural and architectural theory in order to embrace the whole spectrum of politics and social practices intrinsic to the development of cities and buildings in globalising culture.

Despite the growing academic interest in issues related to Latin American culture, which has increased significantly during the last thirty years both within and outside Latin America, architecture has not received the same attention as other disciplinary areas. Not only has there been a lack of scholarship on Latin American architecture in general but it is also the case that research is carried out in a multitude of centres around the globe without appropriate outlets to disseminate the findings, with the result that those efforts remain isolated and largely inaccessible. Transcultural Architecture in Latin America was, therefore, an unprecedented attempt to congregate people from Latin America itself, the United States and Europe to discuss in one single forum the outcome of their work. The conference attracted scholars and practitioners from as diverse disciplines as architecture—history, theory and practice—, art history, cultural theory, urban studies and literature. All of whom gathered together for two very intense but stimulating days at Senate House, University of London, to present and scrutinise their most recent work.

Although a large number of speakers and delegates were unable to attend the conference due to the unfortunate tragedy of September 11 in New York City, the breadth and depth of the papers that were presented made . . .

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