The objective of the GAHTC podcasts is to introduce various modules within the GAHTC. Rather than a summary of the contents of the Module, the podcast will engage the voice of the team leader, with the objective of gaining a sense of the underlying intentions and interests of the module. This should help clarify and establish the intellectual aim of GAHTC, as its authors search for new epistemic horizons, along with providing the teaching materials themselves.
MIT Professor Mark Jarzombek discusses his GAHTC module on the Architecture of First Societies, establishing the importance of thinking architecture beyond established canons based on cities and technology. Instead he argues the origins of architecture in the ‘social package’ and in the representational networks of ‘modeling’.
Carla Keyvanian, Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University, talks about her module for GAHTC that looks at the ‘Medieval’ architecture as a product of the complex cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean, that includes Islamic, African and diverse Christian forces, rather than just a ‘Romanesque’ evolution. Topics include Byzantium, Armenia, Umayyads, and Córdoba. We also discuss the Crusades and their abiding influence on contemporary conflicts.
Tom Avermaete and I discuss his GAHTC module, co-authored with Michelangelo Sabatino, on the historiography of mid-century modernism. Entitled "The Global Turn" the six lectures of their module articulate an alternative history of modernism as a network of collaborations cultivated in the context of the decolonizing world. Discussion topics include (post)colonial modernism, multi-layered collaborations, migration and housing, modernism and neoliberalism, Chandigarh, Casablanca and the 'commons' in the city.
Dr. Manu P. Sobti, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Director of the Higher Degree Research Program at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, discusses his co-authored GAHTC module, Peripheries of Contact, which explores the architecture and urbanism created by migrant populations who traversed Central Asia and engaged with 'settled' peoples at the edges of their world. We discuss migration, loss and memory; graphic design, photography and cultural landscapes; the Mongols, Timurs, Uzbeks, Russians, Delhi Sultanates and Islamic identity in the medieval times.
Camels, ships, roads, railways, electricity.....This week we talk with Shundana Yusaf, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Utah, and discuss the concept and approach to her fascinating co-authored GAHTC module about architecture and the technologies of transportation and communication. Her research has looked at topics as rich and wide ranging as the BBC and Empire in the age of wireless communication as well as Sufi shrines and hyperconnectivity.
We talk with Architectural historian Christian Hedrick, currently working at the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT as a researcher, visiting lecturer at the School of Architecture at Northeastern University and GAHTC contributor, about the intersection of Islamic architecture with culturesin India, China, North Africa, and Europe. We explore ideas of global exchange, translation and transformation of Islamic forms and materials, such as the pointed arch, as well as brick, stucco, and ornamental ceramic tiles and techniques like haft-rangī. We touch on ideas of Orientalism, and the circulation and representation of Islamic visual material culture in the Abbasid empire and Ummayad dynasty.
In this podcast we discuss the countours, ambitions and politics of World History, especially in terms of material culture, with University of Washington historian Anand Yang. While focused on Anand's work on Indian Ocean trade and convict ship convoys that plied there during the colonial period. Our discussion covers connected topics such as subaltern studies, nationalism, the regional vs the global, convict labor and civil society, the Protestant work ethic and Big history.
This week we discuss the GAHTC module on Climate and Global History with Daniel Barber, Chair of the graduate Architecture group at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. discussion topics include: ecology in non-modernist cultures, tropical modernism, new narratives of ecological thinking, designing for discomfort, and architecture as the mediation between the infrastructural and the personal. Image: Victor and Aladar Olgyay at the Princeton Architectural Laboratory, c. 1955