Some comments to The Charlotte Observer


I recently had a lovely conversation with Caroline McMillan Portillo of the Charlotte Observer about the historical roots of the reuse of railways cars in contemporary architecture. Portillo was especially interested in the architectural firm that had completed work for the Democratic National Convention last year. We spoke about the historical integration of wartime materials and assembly processes in postwar housing, the rise of sustainability as a motivation for reuse in architecture, the aesthetic reinterpretation of older industrial fabric in aging cities… All stuff that an architecture geek would love!

Of course, very little of that stuff actually made it into the story.

But it was definitely instructive to speak with someone outside of academia about architecture. It makes me realize what people actually hear when I talk about my subject. (Most of it having to do with the branding of contemporary architecture.) I wonder if this is how my students understand me when I speak?

You can check out the story in the Charlotte Observer here.

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About cldavisii

Charles Davis is an Assistant Professor of Architecture History at the University at Buffalo. He has a PhD in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Arch from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His specialization is the role of racial discourses in modern architectural style debates, including the ways that organic concepts of form allowed designers to invest buildings with racial and ethnic characters. In addition to maintaining this blog, his academic research and books reviews can be found in journals such as Architecture Research Quarterly (arq), the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Harvard Design Magazine, Append-x and VIA. He is co-editor of Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden consequences (Routledge: 2015), a volume of fifteen case studies examining the influence of diversity of contemporary design. His dissertation research will be published in an upcoming monograph entitled Building Character: the Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh Press).