• Neoliberalism on the Ground: Architecture and Transformation from the 1960s to the Present
    Kenny Cupers, Catharina Gabrielsson, and Helena Mattsson
    University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
    Kenny Cupers, Catharina Gabrielsson & Helena Mattsson

Ricardo Bofill, Le Théâtre d’Abraxas, 2012, outside Paris. Photo: Anne Kockelkorn.

Architecture and urbanism have contributed to one of the most sweeping transformations of our times. Over the past four decades, neoliberalism has been not only a dominant paradigm in politics but a process of bricks and mortar in everyday life. Rather than to ask what a neoliberal architecture looks like, or how architecture represents neoliberalism, this volume examines the multivalent role of architecture and urbanism in geographically variable yet interconnected processes of neoliberal transformation across scales—from China, Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Britain, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia. Analyzing how buildings and urban projects in different regions since the 1960s have served in the implementation of concrete policies such as privatization, fiscal reform, deregulation, state restructuring, and the expansion of free trade, contributors reveal neoliberalism as a process marked by historical contingency. Neoliberalism on the Ground fundamentally reframes accepted narratives of both neoliberalism and postmodernism by demonstrating how architecture has articulated changing relationships between state, society, and economy since the 1960s.

Kenny Cupers is associate professor in the history and theory of architecture and urbanism at the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Basel, where he cofounded and leads its Urban Studies program. His research centers on questions of human and material agency, the epistemology and geopolitics of modernism, and design as a technique of social intervention. His expertise is in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe and its relationship with the transatlantic world and (post)colonial Africa. Cupers is coeditor of Neoliberalism on the Ground (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), author of The Social Project: Housing Postwar France (2014), editor of Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture (2013), and coauthor of Spaces of Uncertainty (2002, with Markus Miessen).

Catharina Gabrielsson is associate professor in urban theory and docent in architecture, School of Architecture KTH. Her research centers on the relationship between architecture, art, and urban development, employing critical and creative writing as a means for exploration. Bridging across aesthetics, politics, and economics, her practice combines fieldwork operations with archive and literature studies drawing on recent thinking in philosophy. She is coeditor of Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (Routledge, forthcoming 2017); invited editor (with Helena Mattsson) of "Architecture and Capitalism: Solids and Flows" (Architecture and Culture 5:2, 2017); and coeditor of Deleuze and the City (Edinburgh University Press 2016). She is director of the doctoral programme Art, Technology and Design, a collaboration between KTH and Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design); a member of the editorial committee for Architecture and Culture; and a Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of Research, Istanbul.

Helena Mattsson is an architect, researcher, and writer. She is associate professor in history and theory of architecture and dean of KTH School of Architecture. Her research deals with the twentieth century theory welfare state architecture and contemporary architectural history with a special focus on the interdependency between politics, economy, and spatial organizations. She has published in journals as Nordic Journal of Architecture; Journal of Art History and Journal of Architecture. She is the coeditor of Swedish Modernism: Architecture, Consumption, and the Welfare State (Black Dog Publishing, 2010) and Neoliberalism on the Ground (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her research on The Architecture of Deregulations: Postmodernism and Politics in Swedish Architecture (in collaboration with C. Gabrielsson) forms the basis for a recent publication. She is a board member of Architects Sweden and a member of the editorial board of Journal of Architecture.