War as a Creative Force

On December 17, 2014, the British School at Rome hosts Jean-Louis Cohen’s lecture “War as a Creative Force: British Architecture 1939-1945”.

Hugh Casson, <i>Camouflaged airfield</i>, prospettiva, 1943. Victoria & Albert Museum, Londra, Archivi di Sir Hugh Casson e Margaret MacDonald Casson, donato dalle figlie Casson
Jean-Louis Cohen’s lecture War as a Creative Force: British Architecture 1939-1945 is the second event in this year’s Meeting Architecture, a programme that focuses on the relationship and the cross-over between architecture and some of the other creative processes in a series of lectures and study/exhibitions by some of the leading figures in architecture, art and film.
Architettura e guerra
Top: Hugh Casson, Camouflaged airfield, perspective, 1943. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Archives of Sir Hugh Casson and Margaret MacDonald Casson, gift from the Casson daughters. Above: Walter Schlempp, Army testing facilities, Peenemünde, launching site VII, general view, aerial perspective, 1942. Deutsches Museum, Munich

 “When the Museum of Modern Art opened in 1941 its show ‘Britain at War’, it insisted that the machines of civil defence had to be neatly designed, as this neatness is a sign of order and of something clean and good which survives the inevitable disorder and mess of war. The persistence of good design was not the only characteristic of wartime British architecture.

Research thrived on prefabrication, and the use of new materials. The policies of camouflage inspired creative uses of colour, while architects started experimenting by trial and error, in parallel with what scientists and engineers were then inventing in the name of operational research. When discussing in 1946 Science in Architecture in the RIBA Journal, physicist J. D. Bernal could consider that wartime projects could also lead the architects to engage in post-war strategies that needed to be as sociological as they were technical.” Jean-Louis Cohen explains.

17 December 2014, h.18.00
Jean-Louis Cohen
War as a Creative Force
British Architecture 1939-1945

presented by Franco Purini
The British School at Rome
via Gramsci 61, Roma
In collaboration with: MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Royal College of Art
With the support of: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Cochemé Charitable Trust, John S. Cohen Foundation, Wilkinson Eyre
Media Partners: Architectural Review, Domus, Exibart

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