Lecture: Eric Mumford
Eric Mumford, Defining Urban Design: CIAM Architects and the formation of a discipline, 1937-69
CIAM, the International Congresses of Modern Architecture, is today usually associated with the urbanism of Le Corbusier and the international spread of modern architecture in the mid-twentieth century. This lecture examines a less well known aspect of its legacy, the creation of the discipline of urban design in postwar American settings. Urban Design grew both out of the synthesis of architecture, landscape architecture, and planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design after 1936 and from the efforts of Josep Lluís Sert and others to revise CIAM urbanism to make it more oriented toward pedestrian interactions, political engagement, and urban cultural continuity. Although controversial by the late 1960s, these efforts extended earlier modernist directions in architecture and the visual arts in ways that continue to influence thinking about urban design today.
Eric Mumford is Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches in the departments of Art History and History. He is an expert on the history of modern architecture and lectures widely about it around the world. He has published several scholarly books, including The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928-1960(MIT Press, 2000) and the recent Defining Urban Design: CIAM Architects and the formation of a discipline, 1937-69 (Yale University Press, 2009). He is also the co-editor of Josep Lluís Sert: the architect of urban design (Yale University Press, 2008) and Modern Architecture in St. Louis: Washington University and postwar American architecture, 1948-1973 (2004), as well as many scholarly articles.