Past Event

Collins/Kaufmann Forum: Peter Christensen, "Krupp and the Global Spoliation of Steel"

April 11, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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930 Schermerhorn Hall
Krupp and the Global Spoliation of Steel

Steel, introduced into architecture on a broad scale during the nineteenth century, had a radical impact on architecture, forever changing the way we perceive and inhabit buildings. It also produced a radical new ecology, one that reflected a parasitic new relationship between both man and the environment as well as between cultures. This talk will detail one of several ways of reading steel in architecture and visual culture that moves beyond steel’s familiar guise as a heroic aid to the “genius” architects and “masterpieces” of Modernism by tracing the ways in which steel building units originating at Krupp’s headquarters in Germany were dispersed, reinterpreted and even reinvented outside of the West. This reinvention fostered a new culture of “open source” architecture that forces us to rethink the very definition of ingenuity in the history of architecture and construction.