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Managing madness in early nineteenth-century asylums

An archaeology of lunacy examines the historic lunatic asylum from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing methods drawn from archaeology, social geography, and history to create a holistic view of the built heritage of the asylum as a distinctive building type. In the popular imagination, historic lunatic asylums were dark, monolithic, and homogenous, instruments for social confinement and punishment. This book aims to redress this historical reputation, showing how the built environment and material worlds of lunatic asylums were distinctive and idiosyncratic – and highly regional. They were also progressive spaces and proving grounds of architectural experimentation, where the reformed treatment practices known as moral management were trialled and refined. The standing remains of the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum system represent a unique opportunity to study a building-type in active transition, both materially and ideologically. When they were constructed, asylums were a composite of reform ideals, architectural materials, and innovative design approaches. An archaeological study of these institutions can offer a materially focused examination of how the buildings worked on a daily basis. This study combines critical analysis of the architecture, material remains, and historical documentary sources for lunatic asylums in England and Ireland. Students and scholars of later historical archaeology and built heritage will find the book a useful overview of this institutional site type, while historians of medicine will find the focus on interior design and architecture of use. The general public, for whom asylums frequently represent shadowy ruins or anonymous redevelopments, may be interested in learning more about the buildings.

This book analyses the use of the past and the production of heritage through architectural design in the developmental context of Iran. It is the first of its kind to utilize a multidisciplinary approach in probing the complex relationship between architecture, development, and heritage. It uses established theoretical concepts including notions of globalism, nostalgia, tradition, and authenticity to show that development is a major cause of historical transformations in places such as Iran and its effects must be seen in relation to global political and historical exchanges as well as local specificities. Iran is a pertinent example as it has endured radical cultural and political shifts in the past five decades. Scholars of heritage and architecture will find the cross-disciplinary aspects of the book useful. The premise of the book is that transposed into other contexts, development, as a globalizing project originating in the West, instigates renewed forms of historical consciousness and imaginations of the past. This is particularly evident in architecture where, through design processes, the past produces forms of architectural heritage. But such historic consciousness cannot be reduced to political ideology, while politics is always in the background. The book shows this through chapters focusing on theoretical context, international exchanges made in architectural congresses in the 1970s, housing as the vehicle for everyday heritage, and symbolic public architecture intended to reflect monumental time. The book is written in accessible language to benefit academic researchers and graduate students in the fields of heritage, architecture, and Iranian and Middle Eastern studies.

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

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Chinese representation at the Venice Biennale (1993–2003)
Estelle Bories

’. Here the choice to revisit the evolution of the inner courtyard – which was typical of Chinese architecture – was seen as a means of revisting everyday life in China in a very concrete way, notably the imposition of the common dining room after 1949. This practice, banned since the 1980s, allowed the return of more individualised architectural forms. This made clear that the great history of architecture was not what interested Jun Jiang. Instead, the exhibition focused on the practices of recycling, and the awareness of the transitory, which structured the history

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
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Constructing Classicism: architecture in an age of commerce
Elizabeth McKellar

purpose of this investigation is to examine it in its own time and as far as possible on its own terms, rather than through an eighteenth-century prism. In placing such commonplace structures within a history of English architecture I am seeking to challenge accepted notions about the introduction and use of classicism and instead I hope to contribute towards the beginnings of an alternative history of

in The birth of modern London
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Sophie Vasset

reflects on the magnetic power of spa towns and seaside resorts. Austen casts her acute eye on urban grandeur and cosmopolitan cultures in emergent rural towns luring young entrepreneurs with the last bright idea in disproportionate investments. A history of architectural and medical hubris and failure in spa towns could be written in a transhistorical perspective. 7 Investments in water make for narrative tensions around the myth of the commons and the myth of the placebo effect. In the context of a spa town, medical and

in Murky waters
From Tarragona to Córdoba
Fernando Marías

ideological or religious bias. To this end, he attempted to compose a history of architecture that took into account ‘the specific mode of building’ (‘el modo particular de las fábricas’) of the Romans, Goths and Arabs, while remaining aware of the problems posed by imitation, reuse and stylistic appropriation. This awareness led him to state that los godos imitaron algo de los romanos [en el modo particular de las fábricas]: aunque también ellos, metieron en España el modo de edificar que llamamos Moderno o Gótico, diferenciándose de las órdenes que tuvieron Griegos y

in Local antiquities, local identities
Sophia Cross

history of architecture. 6 A loyalist mural on the Donegall Pass, Belfast Let us explore the country house-flag analogy further. The opening passage of Lucy Bryson and Clem McCartney’s book Clashing Symbols clarifies the

in Cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness
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Kathleen Christian and Bianca de Divitiis

of a local medieval tradition, which often made the introduction of all’antica styles unnecessary. In the history of architecture, the existence of a Renaissance style can no longer be identified exclusively with the use of classical orders. Likewise, responses to all’antica culture varied widely across Europe as a result of specific political conditions of cities and regions, local conceptions of the ancient past as well as the strength of medieval traditions. In southern Italy in the fifteenth century, antiquarian culture drew upon not only the large quantity of

in Local antiquities, local identities
Laura Moure Cecchini

. Fasolo's architectural practice and teaching were based on the belief that deep knowledge of the history of architecture was of fundamental importance for young practitioners. He even recommended that his students have ‘a mental filing cabinet of the immense variety of the architectural and decorative types produced through time’. 17 Following the formula set out by Mariastella Casciato to describe a key element of architectural practice in early twentieth-century Italy, Fasolo held that architects had to be historians

in Baroquemania