Chapter

Problematizing Popular Modernism

Fernando Luiz Lara

in The Rise of Popular Modernist Architecture in Brazil

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032894
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038605 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032894.003.0005
Problematizing Popular Modernism

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This chapter problematizes the multiple facets of popular modernism in architecture. It particularly deals with some of the following issues: How modern was the experience of those who built the houses? And how has this experience been manifested in the public realm? The main question is thus how popular and how modern the buildings labeled popular modernist really are. It locates the phenomenon of popular modernism within the spectra of high versus low architecture, the center versus the periphery, and modern versus traditional. It also argues that the difficulty of defining what constitutes architecture results from a widening gap between both high and low as well as central and peripheral architectural manifestations. The relationship between architecture and popular culture is definitely complex and very often contradictory. Moreover, the phenomenon of popular modernism is a result as much of this dual-faced modernization as of the high-popular and modern-traditional dualities.

Keywords: popular modernism; architecture; buildings; houses; popular culture; modernization

Chapter.  7198 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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