The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory documents and builds upon some of the most innovative developments in architectural theory over the last two decades. Bringing into dialogue a range of geographically, institutionally and historically competing positions, the book examines and explores parallel debates in related fields. The book is divided into eight sections. Creating openings for future lines of inquiry and establishing the basis for new directions for education, research and practice, the book organizes itself around specific case studies to provide a critical, interpretive and speculative enquiry into the relevant debates in architectural theory. A methodical, authoritative and comprehensive addition to the literature, the Handbook is suitable for academics, researchers and practitioners in architecture, urban geography, cultural studies, sociology and geography.
Chapter 13: Entangled Modernities in Architecture
Entangled Modernities in Architecture
American children hear no stories about ghosts. They spend a dime at the drugstore to buy a Superman comic book. This ‘Superman’ is an all-knowing, resourceful, omnipotent hero who can overcome any difficulty. … In a world without ghosts, life is free and easy. Americans can gaze straight ahead. But still I think they lack something, and I do not envy their life. (Fei Xiaotong, 1943, quoted in Arkush and Lee, 1984)
During a visit to the United States in 1943, Chinese anthropologist Fei Xiaotong noted the differences between China, where contemporary life was engulfed in the thick layers of the accumulated past, and America, where people were future-oriented but nonetheless dominated by an alienating order (Arkush and Lee ...