Desert of ModernityTom Avermaete, Serhat Karakayali & Marion von Osten discuss their curatorial approach to “In the Desert of Modernity” with Diana McCarty during the exhibition at the House of World Cultures. The discussion covers the paradigm shift in modernism that was parallel to the anti-colonial struggles, models of urban planning and migration of people and ideas in Mediterranean region. The show itself reflects a discourse in the making between architecture, art and sociology. A series of old and new research demonstrate a highly articulated aesthetics as well as 50s era information architecture that is still contemporary (proto-type powerpoint planning). The challenge continues with contemporary projects and urban planning strategies - coming soon to a suburb near you.

“Colonial North Africa became a hotbed of modern architecture and urban planning, serving as the testing ground for a variety of large-scale projects in the 1940s and 1950s. It was in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia that specific architectural concepts for social housing took root, to be transplanted later to the outskirts of Paris, London, and Berlin.”

(’This was Tomorrow’, exhibition paper)

For a more thorough investigation and heated debates on related topics, see The Colonial Modern

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