Displaced Becomings –The Many Faces of Modern Architecture in Sinophone Asia

The idea was that in [a] society, one that's incompletely modernized… the temporal dynamics of that society, and of the modernism that it produces, will be much more striking… [I]t is through the experience of time that modern is apprehended.
–Fredric Jameson interview with Michael Speaks
Jameson on Jameson: Conversations on Cultural Marxism

Modern architecture was much more than “the International Style” as proclaimed by the vanguard in 1932. Modern architecture sprung up all over the world, in all political systems, in all geographical regions, in all kinds of conditions specific to each case. In many cases, through the drift and shift of transformation, adaptation, and intervention, modern architecture gained its momentum going forward and expanded its groundings both professionally, theoretically, and socially. After all, modernity also indicates battling the preexistent colonialism, imperialism, neocolonialism, as well as institutionalized chauvinism of all kinds. As such is the case of modern architecture in Sinophone Asia, which include Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong/Macau, Singapore and some part of Nusantara, the Southeast Asian archipelago. The cases, topics, and areas which the course covers.¨

The course provides an exploratory study of the histories, theories, ideologies in which the discipline practiced as well as currently practices over time and across cultures and geographies under the umbrella of modern architecture. The idea is to call for a [re]discovery of multiplicity and diverseness of modern architecture. The emphasis is on plural reading and understanding of modern architecture through multiple cultural and critical lenses. The lecture discusses significant projects, prominent figures, noteworthy historical moments, and momentous social and political events. The lecture also examines the architectural movements and the other-isms as well as offers a glimpse of the recent Grands Projects and the work of the emergent generation.

The course is structured around faculty presentations, guest lectures, and collective discussions. The students will be tasked with completing two assignments. The first being a case study assignment, the second a short end-of-the-semester paper on a topic related to the course. There are no prerequisites.