Publication

  • Disorientation: Bernard Rudofsky in the Empire of Signs
    Felicity D. Scott
    Author
    Sternberg Press, 2016
  • GRANTEE
    Felicity D. Scott
    GRANT YEAR
    2011

Bernard Rudofsky, drawing of "outdoor room," 1938, Italy. Reproduction with permission of Berta Rudofsky 2003.

Disorientations investigates the work of architect Bernard Rudofsky (1905–1988) from the 1920s until the mid-1960s, identifying the manner in which it was distinctly marked by his encounters with modernity—from the violent wars of the first-half of the twentieth century and the subsequent Cold War period to the rise of information technology and the exacerbated deracination driving the period's growing territorial insecurity. Through extensive archival and historical research, the book traces Rudofsky's "insights" into the impact of those globalizing forces upon modern architecture and his formulation, in response, of a mode of dwelling while adrift. In contradistinction to readings of Rudofsky and his landmark exhibition of 1964, Architecture without Architects, as seeking a mode of authenticity or a more "humane" architecture, it demonstrates that his work harbored a far more complex and provocative, and less nostalgic response to this historical condition and architecture's role within it.

Felicity D. Scott is associate professor and codirector of the Program in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP) at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. She is also a founding coeditor of Grey Room, a quarterly journal of architecture, art, media, and politics published by MIT Press since Fall 2000. Her work as an architectural historian and theorist focuses on articulating genealogies of political and theoretical engagement with questions of technological transformation within modern and contemporary architecture, as well as within the discourses and institutions that have shaped and defined the discipline. Her book Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics After Modernism, was published by MIT Press in 2007, and another book Living Archive 7: Ant Farm, appeared via Actar Editorial in May 2008. She has also published widely in magazines, journals, edited volumes, and exhibition catalogs.