An American Model

In the three previous studios, our aim was to investigate simple (drawing) tools of architecture – plan, section and perspective – in order to obliquely arrive to a certain idea of American Architecture. An idea that is necessarily rooted in our European perspective, and ultimately, preconceived and equivocal. This detachment from the original in fact seems to be vital to our constant amazement and perplexity with everything American. As an epilogue to this trilogy, we will therefore focus on the ‘American Model’, tracing the ambiguous sources of our fervour. More precisely, we will tackle the architectural embodiment of the contested myth of the ‘promised land’, and the nominal proclamation of its universal values. Curiously enough, the novel concept of democracy adopted the most fundamental of European types–the house–which, scaled up to fit its ever-expanding new context, became a Big house, a place of common reference and public agenda. In the times of toxic populism and ideological nostalgia, we should start scrutinising our models.