The "Place" of Cosmopolitan Architecture

University of Sydney
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Architectural Theory Review, 2002, 7 (1), pp. 26 - 36
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The paper takes as its point of departure the necessity to open a space between the international and the national. That space will be as much political as will be one that allows for a certain architecture. For the sake of argumentation that space has been identified as the cosmopolitan. What characterises the cosmopolitan is the possibility that it is the form of modernity once the modem has been freed from the oscillation between the national and the international. Once modernity is introduced then the question to be addressed is not what is modern architecture but what is the architecture of modernity. Part of the argument developed here is that a beginning can be made once it is understood that modernity has to eschew the symbol. And yet, the symbols that proliferate are either national or international. Consequently, this gives rise to a complex interplay between the cosmopolitan, modernity and the possibility of an architecture that is non-symbolic. The question of how to think this complex set of relations is the project undertaken by the paper.
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