Architecture is arguably unthinkable without the medium of print, and today architecture is certainly printed in more and different ways than ever before. At the same time, we live in a moment when we continually hear of the death of print, with the hegemony of newspapers, books and magazines succumbing to emerging forms of communication and dissemination. How do we comprehend the technological and political implications of such transformations as well as their ramifications for architectural culture? The question is hardly new. The three decades following World War Two witnessed a radical transformation of printing technologies and publications strategies that was accompanied by widespread theorization of the emerging communications media that were displacing the culture of print. The cases explored in this seminar examined the involvement of architects and urbanists in reshaping strategies for publication and communication, from projects of information design to short-lived, ephemeral “little magazines,” to projects for defining the visual identity of the modern corporation.
This research-based seminar encouraged students to identify and work on primary documents and objects from this period. Sessions took place directly in different archives, and included guest visits by graphic designers and architects.