La Casa de Esclavos Modernos: Exposing the Architecture of Exploitation examines the ideologies and practices of the architecture supporting the bracero guestworker program that defined the California agribusiness landscape from 1942 to 1964. The bracero program has become a model for the political economy of controlled yet flexible labor and made possible the importation of millions of temporary Mexican workers. Don Mitchell shows how architectural interventions in the bracero camps made labor relations possible. These interventions were often meant to be temporary or to leave few traces in the landscape—but they leave substantial traces in the archives that expose an architecture of labor exploitation.
In 1834 the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland published an interpretive analysis of Sanskrit treatises authored by Ram Raz, an Indian employee of the East India Company. Affirming the social and cultural categories of “Hindu” and “Islamic” as they were produced through colonial knowledge and applied to Indian architecture, Ram Raz divorced these treatises from the more recent Indo-Islamic context in which they had circulated. He also illustrated his analysis through measured drawings of extant temples, assuming a relationship based on precise instructions rather than the general guidelines that the treatises provided. Further, he attempted a systematization of the information contained in treatises based on a European classical model of ordonnance and illustration. Madhuri Desai examines the content and context of Ram Raz’s essay through a close analysis of the culture of texts and architectural patronage in Interpreting an Architectural Past: Ram Raz and theTreatise in South Asia. The discussion also reassesses one of the fundamental premises of the modern historiography of Indian architecture.
Focusing on sixteenth-century engravings of architectural details, A Renaissance without Order: Ornament, Single-sheet Engravings, and the Mutability of Architectural Prints reevaluates the role of print in Renaissance architectural culture. By demonstrating the fluidity among drawings, prints, and treatises, Michael J. Waters challenges the paradigm that print was a fixed medium that transformed architectural practice and codified a canon of five orders. Instead, he posits that architectural engravings, especially those found outside of treatises, were fundamentally unstable objects that promoted ornamental variety, expanded the definition of antiquity, and subverted the narrowly defined orders propagated by Sebastiano Serlio. Moreover, rather than standardizing architecture, these prints, like drawings, were often a starting point for invention and were easily transformed by architects. This article argues that despite being the product of mechanical reproduction, print never imposed order on Renaissance architecture by the nature of its medium.
The fragmentary nature of the remains of St. John the Theologian at Ephesos makes the reconstruction of this major sixth-century monument particularly difficult. In spite of several efforts to visualize Justinian’s church, no conclusive evidence for the original form of its vaults has been found. Nikolaos Karydis approaches this problem by concentrating on the recording of a series of previously unexplored fragments of vaulting. In The Vaults of St. John the Theologian at Ephesos: Visualizing Justinian’s Church, Karydis demonstrates that the graphic investigation of these fragments, aided by interpretation on the basis of formal comparisons, has the potential to lead to the reasoned reconstruction of the complete superstructure. The importance of this newly discovered evidence is vital. The exploration of these fragments can form the basis for the understanding of the vault patterns and spatial concepts employed in one of the first churches in west Asia Minor to break with the tradition of the timber-roof basilica.