Next week I have a 10-page rough draft of my thesis and design project proposal due and part of the requirements is the beginnings of a literary review. So last week I headed to the library and checked out seven books to get me started. I'm sure some will be of great assistance while others will quickly become paperweights until I return them to the library. Along with this early literary review and meetings with a handful of faculty this week, I hope to have a specific question for my thesis when I turn in the draft. But at this point it's still revolving around the general topics of memory, identity and architecture. So here are the books I got from the library. If you've read any please leave your thoughts and comments.
War and Architecture- Lebbeus Woods
Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade- Robert S. Nelson and Margaret Olin
The Environmental Memory- Malcolm Quantrill
Architecture and Revolution- Neil Leach
Up from Zero- Paul Goldberger (I'm more interested in this one as a personal read than necessarily research)
Munich and Memory- Gavriel D. Rosenfeld
Modernizing Yazd- Ali Modarres
As you may surmise from the titles I'm most interested in the destruction of architecture and how such destruction is treated (ruins, rebuilt, etc.) and effects memory and identity. Though there is an entire other category that looks at the modernization of once industrial cities.
At this point I've only had a chance to really look at the first three titles on the list, and Woods' War and Architecture is really helping me define my design project. In looking at ways to treat damaged or destroyed architecture Woods suggests three treatments: "Injections", "The Scab", and "The Scar".
Injections make no attempt to reconcile the new with the old. They assert no control over thought or behavior and therefore take on meaning and use as they are inhabited by particular people.
Scabs on the other hand use the architecture to transform the violence just as the violence transformed the architecture.
Scars fuse old with new through reconciliation and coalescence without compromising either. They become a mark of pride and honor of what has been lost but also of what has been gained.
All of this is very interesting as I look for a way to present my thesis as a design project. If anyone has any suggestions for me please put them forward.