designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer

 

author: benton, timpublisher: birkhäuser year: 2009size: 247 p. 155 illus.ISBN: 978-3-7643-8944-4

http://www.springer.com/birkhauser_________________________________________________________________________________________

designboom rating: designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

‘architecture is beyond the utilitarian.architecture is plastic in nature.order, unity of intention, the sense of ratio; architecture manages quantities.

 

passion makes drama from inert stones.wood and cement are set to work; we use these to build houses, palaces; this is construction. ingenuity (is) at work.but suddenly, you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy. I say it’s beautiful. this is architecture. art is here.’

 

– le corbusier

 

 

content

the significance of le corbusier(1887-1995) lay as much in the way he communicated his ideas as in the buildings he designed and built. for 40 years, from 1924 until his death, le corbusier lectured frequently all over the world, and it can be argued that these lectures helped change the course of modern architecture. in 1951, le corbusier claimed, ‘I never prepared my lectures… improvisation is a wonderful thing: I draw, and when you draw and speak at the same time, you create something new. and all my theory my introspection and retrospection on the phenomenon of architecture and urbanism-derives from my improvisation and drawings during these lectures.’ (interview with robert mallet)

 

one of the aims of this book is try to verify these statements. it can be shown that le corbusier could draw large crowds to his lectures and keep their attention for hours on on end. what was the secret of his success and why was he so persuasive for successive generations of listeners? analyzing le corbusier’s methods of reasoning and deployment of rhetorical tactics, it becomes clear how he used classic methods to establish his authority with the audience gain their trust and appreciation and win them over to his cause.

 

hundreds of pages of notes, sketches, transparencies, some of the large drawings he made while lecturing and press cuttings have survived. some of the lectures were transcribed word for word, some of the later lectures were recorded. the picture that emerges of le corbusier the rhetorician during the 1920s is of a frequently unbuttoned  and vulnerable an, prepared to share with his audience the pain of his defeats and his raged at obstruction. this book presents le corbusier in action, in a way that a reading of his published works does not.

 

after presenting the lectures in detail in a series of thematic chapters, the final third of the book reproduces five pivotal lectures from the 1920s and 1950s.

 

 

is it for me?

this book is well suited to architects with interest in architectural history, students of architecture, art historians, cultural interest readers.

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturerle corbusier in front of a drawing explaining his unite d’habitation de grandeur conform, probably in the drawing office at the rue de sevres

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer note for a lecture in zurich, 15 feb. 1934

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer

sketch for the lecture in rio on 8 december, 1929 (FLC 32091)

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturersketch for the plan for rio, in the nores in rio on 8 december 1929 (FLC B2(9) 679)

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturersketch showing the new plan for buenos aires (FLC 3029B)

 

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer variant of sketch 30303A, showing the new plan for buenos aires (FLC 30302)

designboom book report: the rhetoric of modernism: le corbusier as a lecturer

le corbusier in his studio in the rue de sevres before a drawing of the modulor (1950’s)

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