During the 1930s, as unemployment among architects and draftsmen in the United States reached 90 percent or more, these practitioners joined with other technical workers to form the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians (FAECT). From 1933 until after World War II, the FAECT served as a trade union and activist organization for the purpose of securing higher wages, employment benefits, and labor rights. For architectural workers the organization also focused on a commitment to affordable housing and the efficiency of manufactured housing. Through its publications, the FAECT Bulletin and Technical America, the Federation debated key issues and promoted its advocacy to members nationwide. In The Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians (FAECT): The Politics and Social Practice of Labor, Mardges Bacon examines how the FAECT provides a historical model of solidarity and activism for future practitioners in the architecture profession.
Archaeologists, historians, and art historians are increasingly turning to three-dimensional computer modeling to create dynamic visualizations of ancient monuments and urban spaces, but the resulting 3-D content is not always accepted as scholarship and integrated into discipline-specific dialogue. In Digital Karnak: An Experiment in Publication and Peer Review of Interactive, Three-Dimensional Content, Elaine A. Sullivan and Lisa M. Snyder propose a reconceptualization of computer modeling as a new means and form of knowledge production, offer a framework for peer review and publication of 3-D content, and describe an experiment to develop an innovative publication with an interactive computer model at its core. The Digital Karnak model, a geotemporal model of an ancient Egyptian temple, is their case study, a 3-D publication package of which they posted for peer review. This article describes the model's creation, the software interface used for the publication prototype (VSim), and the ways in which this project addresses the challenges of publishing 3-D scholarly content.
Historical Journals as Digital Sources: Mapping Architecture in Germany, 1914–24 demonstrates how historical journals can provide information for digital mapping and how mapping can tell us something new about the German construction industry in a moment of crisis. Digital maps can expand the art historical research process and raise fundamental art historical research questions. Paul B. Jaskot and Ivo van der Graaff developed a database from all issues of the German journal Deutsche Bauzeitung published in the period 1914–24 and visualized the evidence they collected using geographic information systems (GIS) technology. They assess how well the database works for historical analysis and GIS and discuss the indexical possibilities of the digital mapping of historical sources. The visualization of the database gives form to human actions and structural patterns that can redirect the art historical question from individual objects to what construction can tell us about society as a whole. In the process, such visualization allows us to see a much broader history of German architecture, 1914–24.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Chicago developers, architects, and residents defined a new residential vernacular: brick courtyard apartments, which massed units in low-rise buildings around landscaped courtyards, often open to the street. These buildings accommodated higher levels of residential density and seemingly did the opposite as well—preserved and cultivated nature. The Chicago courtyard apartment creatively negotiated the social and cultural tension between reverence for the iconic single-family house and an urban society increasingly occupying multiple-unit dwellings. The designs drew upon the interest in sunlight, air circulation, and natural landscape that influenced contemporary tenement house reform, urban hospital design, the small park and playground movement, and the rethinking of the dimensions and possibilities of residential lawns and gardens. In Framing Landscape While Building Density: Chicago Courtyard Apartments, 1891–1929, Daniel Bluestone looks closely at specific Chicago courtyard apartments, unpacking the design and cultural logic at play in their construction.
After completing architectural studies in the United States in 1952, Muzharul Islam returned home to Pakistan to find the country embroiled in acrimonious politics of national identity. The young architect began his design career in the midst of bitterly divided notions of national origin and destiny, and his architectural work reflected this political debate. In Modernism as Postnationalist Politics: Muzharul Islam's Faculty of Fine Arts (1953–56), Adnan Morshed argues that Islam's Faculty of Fine Arts at Shahbagh, Dhaka, embodied his need to articulate a national identity based on the secular humanist ethos of Bengal, rather than on an Islamic religious foundation. With this iconoclastic building, Islam sought to achieve two distinctive goals: to introduce the aesthetic tenets of modern architecture to East Pakistan and to reject all references to colonial-era Indo-Saracenic architecture. The Faculty's modernism hinges on Islam's dual commitment to a secular Bengali character and universal humanity.