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The Globalisation of Modern Architecture : Book
Publication by Professor Robert Adam, England, UK
20 Sep 2012
The Globalisation of Modern Architecture Book
Robert Adam’s globalisation book just published
ROBERT ADAM PUBLISHES “THE GLOBALISATION OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE”
Part sociological theory, part political and economic history, The Globalisation of Modern Architecture by Professor Robert Adam explains how Western or North Atlantic Modernist architecture came to dominate world cities and commercial architecture in the late 20th and 21st century. It is a scholarly book in which Robert Adam steps aside from his own architectural preferences, and takes a broad and impartial look at the development and consequences of this global phenomenon which impacts on us all.
The book starts with a fast and fluent journey through the history of international communication and the spread of dominant cultures across the world. Well known landscape artist and architect, Charles Jencks, said “Robert Adam is that rarity, an architect who can think across the political and social landscape to find unexpected forces that shape the style and meaning of architecture”.
As well as providing a scholarly exposition of the globalisation of architecture, Robert reveals some hitherto unrecognised consequences of the globalisation of culture, some of them for the good. For instance he refers to ‘hybridized returns’ which he identifies as process of enrichment when cultural phenomena cross borders and are then exported again. He cites ‘Bhangra’ rock as an example of popular music that is enriched by shuttling between India and England. He identifies and names ‘Reflexive Modernism’, and considers what forces led to the rise of ‘Star Architects’.
The book has created interest in economic circles and sociological circles. Martin Wolf, the Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times writes that “in this stimulating book, Robert Adam demonstrates how a global economy has brought forth a new global architecture, in the form of commercialized modernism and the demand for iconic new buildings.”
It is a book that should sit on the shelf of every architectural student, and be read by anyone who wants to understand the forces that shaped a global architectural style, and global culture. Adam ends with a question about the future. Written in the midst of the global financial crisis he ponders how this will affect the globalised architecture of the future.
About Robert Adam
Robert Adam is a successful architectural practitioner, leading ADAM Architecture, one of the UK’s top 100 practices. He is a visiting Professor in Urban Design at Strathclyde University and is a prolific writer, public speaker and broadcaster on architecture.