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The New Mix: Culturally Dynamic Architecture


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The New Mix: Culturally Dynamic Architecture

Sara Caples (Editor), Everardo Jefferson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-01467-7 November 2005 128 Pages

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We are at a new moment in architecture, one when many cultures are contributing to the unfolding of modernism. This enriching influence is broadening the mix, extending the range available to architecture, of materials and colours, of evocative forms, of cultural references and of social thinking.

In an era of boredom with monocultures and orthodoxies, there is the almost universal expectation that the metroculture, be it in London or Beijing, will provide broadened cultural experiences in food, performance, dress and sound. The new ethnically diverse city is a place of zesty daily encounters/collisions/cohabitation between cultures, a place of mixed signals, contradictions, delightful confusions. Franco-Japanese cuisine, elite schoolchildren wearing doo-rags, jazz performed on gamelans—no matter what one’s mother culture - we’re all getting addicted to varied rhythms, different emotional emphases, ‘other’ ideas of beauty.

This change is visible in schools of architecture, at least in the range of students, typically from many ethnicities, none of them constituting a majority. No wonder, then, that there is increased interest in ways that architecture can incorporate a larger compass of riches.

A rising group of practitioners is meeting the challenge of this broadening cultural landscape in pursuing strategies of quick switching, layering, reframing.  These new architectural expressions of multiple cultures represent an enrichment that ultimately might help create a more robust modernism, helping to rescue it from a ‘potato blight’ of too much sameness.

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Editorial (Helen Castle).

Introduction: Mixology (Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson).

London Calling (Jeremy Melvin).

Crazy Quilt Queens (Jayne Merkel).

Fabricating Pluralism (Jamie Horwitz).

Tijuana Case Study: Tactics of Invasion (Teddy Cruz).

House/Home: Dwelling in the New South Africa (Iain Low).

Cengiz Bektas and the Community of Kuzguncuk in Istanbul (David Height).

Building Traditions: The Benny W Reich Cultural Center for the Ethiopian Community, Yavneh, Israel (Ruth Palmon).

Making Place in Bangalore (Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi).

Masala City (Kazi K Ashraf ).

21st-Century China (Edmund Ong).

Holl on Hybrids (Everardo Jefferson).

Australasia (Leon Van Schaik).

Weeksville Education Building (Sara Caples).

Interior Eye: Turning Japanese  Craig Kellogg

Building Profile: St John’s College, Oxford  Jeremy Melvin

Practice Profile: Hodgetts + Fung: The Art of Remix

Home Run: Westerton Road, Grangemouth  Henry McKeown

McLean’s Nuggets  Will McLean

Site Lines: Puerta of Dreams  Howard Watson