The modernist structures of settler colonialism (which is itself a ‘structure’ and not an ‘event’): Eric M. Nay, ‘Sociologically Reframing Le Corbusier: Settler Colonialism, Modern Architecture and UNESCO’, in Giuseppe Amoruso (ed.), Putting Tradition into Practice: Heritage, Place and Design, Springer, 2017, pp. 1365-1370


Abstract: In my current research I focus specifically on how Le Corbusier, the figure, was forged over the past century through architectural pedagogy as an institution and how Le Corbusier, almost inconceivably, still dominates the central narrative in how modern architecture is conceived, taught and reproduced. It is still Le Corbusier who shapes architectural discourse, structures historiography and is mimicked through performance as a performative norm. Le Corbusier’s figuration has also resulted in postmodern global practices that continue to devalue all non-compliant ideologies and pre-modern or anti-modern epistemologies – all the while quashing any alternative ways of being, or building, in the world that vary form the late modernist norm – specifically in relationship to ways of seeing and being in the Land. By subjecting this system of figuration (specifically within architectural education) to a number of useful, but unfamiliar lenses borrowed from the social sciences, I am interrogate how the scholarship of architecture, the framing of architectural heritage and the spatial realities of the built environment have eschewed any and all non-conforming frameworks through the canonization of Le Corbusier as an embodied institution. I draw specifically in my work from scholars working in critical race theory and settler colonialism who use architectural space and narratives as a methodology. The driving thesis behind my work questions how the pedagogy of architecture is able to remain geographically and ideologically grounded by this one dominant figure, Le Corbusier, and what types of knowledge production must be introduced to remedy this debilitating condition.

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