Defining Urban Design

CIAM Architects and the Formation of a Discipline, 1937-69

Eric Mumford

View Inside Price: $65.00


May 12, 2009
262 pages, 8 x 10
91 b/w + 15 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300138887
Cloth

In this meticulously researched book, Eric Mumford traces how members of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM), such as Walter Gropius, Josep Lluís Sert, and their American associates, developed the discipline of urban design from the 1940s to the 1960s. Now widely known, this field has had significant influence in university departments and building projects around the world, but its roots in the urbanism of CIAM are not well understood.

 

CIAM proposed a new type of architecture, one that drew on the strategies of both modern art and engineering to promote efficiency and rational city planning. Mumford challenges the idea that this modern urbanism only resulted in the clearing of historical neighborhoods in favor of the public housing that would famously fail. Rather, Mumford argues, CIAM goals were instrumental in forming the field of urban design, and it was the rejection of these goals by politicians and bureaucrats, rather than their implementation, that led to the now familiar and lamentable results of urban renewal and metropolitan sprawl.

Eric Mumford is professor of architecture and art history at Washington University in St. Louis. His books include The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928-1960; Modern Architecture in St. Louis: Washington University and Postwar American Architecture, 1948-1973; and Josep Lluis Sert: The Architect of Urban Design, 1953-1969 (Yale).

"Meticulously documented. . . . The book is important because, as Mumford points out, the Harvard program would go on to become a model for urban design programs created throughout the United States."--Jayne Merkel, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine

Received an honorable mention for the 2009 PROSE Award in the architecture and urban planning category, presented by the The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.