PhD programme in Urban Studies, GSSI, Italy

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GSSI CITIES [ORIGINAL SITE HERE]

Research and post-graduate study at the GSSI’s Urban Studies Unit focus on the long-term development trajectories of ‘territorial systems’, and ‘urban systems’ in particular (cities, metropolitan areas, metropolitan regions). The methodological perspective in research and teaching is genuinely trans-disciplinary. Continue reading

Review of Adrian Forty, Concrete and Culture (London: Reaktion Books, 2012)

RICHARD J WILLIAMS

A version of the following review appeared in Sculpture Journal in 2013

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Everybody has a view about concrete, but few of these views are exactly the same: there is no material so contradictory and complex in its application and meaning. I myself became fully aware of concrete’s contradictions in Brazil, latterly accompanied by Forty’s edited book on the country’s modernist architecture (Brazil’s Modern Architecture, 2007). I had never seen so much concrete. But equally I have never been confronted with such a disjunction between aspiration and application. Standing outside Oscar Niemeyer’s MAC art museum in Niteroí, it was impossible to square the MAC’s futuristic form (a flying saucer) with the crudeness of its execution (all cracks and, lumps, like a primary school project). That contrast was really quite disturbing, as the official photographs of the MAC depicted a building of otherworldly sleekness whose construction was a mystery to…

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