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The state of the art of contemporary architecture in Brazil studies in United States libraries and research centers

Grant number: 16/04051-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 05, 2017
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Renato Luiz Sobral Anelli
Grantee:Renato Luiz Sobral Anelli
Host Investigator: Barry Bergdoll
Host Institution: Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de São Carlos (IAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Columbia University in the City of New York, United States  


This is a research project to be developed at the Institute of Latin American Studies and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library aimed to identify the dissertations, articles and books produced in the last thirty years on Brazilian Contemporary Architecture in U.S. universities. The historiography of Brazilian modern architecture has been under revision since the eighties. The narrative proposed by Lúcio Costa in Razões da Nova Arquitetura (1934) and Documentação Necessária (1938) in his essays established a thin red line connecting the Portuguese-Brazilian Colonial Architecture straight to Modern Architecture, just jumping over the importance of 19th-century Academic Architecture as a cosmopolitan gap in national identity construction. Followed this structure the three main books on Brazilian Modern Architecture published between the 1940s and the 1980s: Brazil Builds, by Philip Goodwin (1944), Modern Architecture in Brazil, by Henrique Mindlin (1956) and Arquitetura Contemporânea no Brasil, by Yves Bruand (1981). This narrative was identified as a teleological notion of the historical process by Martins in his article "Hay algo irracional &" (1999 in Buenos Ayres: Block), who introduced the concept of history proposed by Michel Foucault's disciple Paul Veyne (1984). This epistemological movement in Brazilian architectural historiography originated within Graduate Programs at Human Sciences Institutes in São Paulo, Campinas and Rio de Janeiro. Authors from the Frankfurt School and the French École des Annales were introduced into the Brazilian Architecture and Urban History, pushing forward new research works in the following years. Other movement comes from foreign Graduate Programs in Architectural History in the US and Europe, where some scholars went for their Master of Science and PhD degrees in these years. Important Brazilian architectural historians such as Sylvia Fisher and Carlos Eduardo Comas had developed research in architecture history at the Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. They had introduced into the Brazilian debate a fresh Anglo-Saxon bibliography, such as Alan Colquhoun, Colin Rowe and Kenneth Frampton. Both lines fed the bibliography which had supported the huge growth of Graduate Schools since the eighties, part of them specialized in Architecture and Urban History. In this brief introduction to the renewal process of Brazilian Architecture History is important to highlight the role of United States scholars and institutions. As the list of researchers grows with new cooperation and interchanges, new subjects are included with multiple methodology choices. Brazilian Architecture History is being the object of a renewed interest, arousing the attention of scholars from a wide range of nationalities. The recent exhibition Latin American in Construction: Architecture 1955 - 1980 at MoMA highlighted the remarkable role of Brazilian Architecture in the modernization of the region. More than a conclusive show, the exhibition suggested a new broad network between architects, their production and thoughts all over the region, opening new paths to be explored. This research project aims to gather the recent research on Brazilian Architectural History produced in U.S., available in libraries, listing and classifying it in order to make it available to students and researchers at University of São Paulo USP. Furthermore, this survey will contribute to the research project "Constituição da Arquitetura e do Urbanismo Contemporâneos no Brasil (1945-2008)" (processo n. 311992/2013-7) being developed at IAU USP under my supervision, with support of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. (AU)

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