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M+M: Fabiola López-Durán: Eugenics in the Garden

Fabiola López-Durán, Rice University

October 14, 2020 · 5:00 pm-7:00 pm · via Zoom

M+M Program in Media and Modernity
Images: [top] Alphonse Bertillon, chart of physical traits for the study of the “Portrait Parle,” ca. 1909. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Twentieth-Century Photography Fund, 2009. [bottom] Le Corbusier, Unité d’habitation in Marseille, 1945–1952 (the roof-terrace and its gymnasium). Photo by Rene Burri, 1959. © René Burri/Magnum Photos. Excerpted from Fabiola López-Durán, Eugenics in the Garden: Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018).

Interlocutor: Beatriz Colomina

Online Event [register here or stream here]

Drawn from López-Durán’s new book, Eugenics in the Garden: Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity, this talk uncovers the global trajectory of Le Corbusier’s embrace of eugenics’ ideology as a viable doctrine for the remaking of man, wherein the built environment would be put to work. Examining his alignment with eugenics—from his formulation of universal type-needs, to his Modulor and its normative human body—this talk reveals how architecture was made complicit in a genetically-inspired program that mirrored eugenics’ attempts to “improve” the human race.

Fabiola López-Durán is Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History at Rice University.

Beatriz Colomina is Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture and Co-Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University.

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