“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
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