History of Science Society 2003 Annual Meeting Call for Papers.
The Media of Functions: Modernist Architecture and Modern Science
Our panel proposes to explore similarities and differences in how scientific, architectural and philosophical discourses shaped the world. While architects often turned to scientific discourses to ground theories in firmer forms of evidence, scientists drew from urban and architectural landscapes lessons about the progressive or regressive evolution of human nature. Theories of evolution, biological survival, territorial and population expansion permeated modernist ecotopias of sewage, light, and fresh air. Concepts such as architectural style and beauty were firmly connected to scientific theories about functionality, the normal and the pathological, and human, animal and plant ecology. Even the concept of ornament was central to both architecture and to discourses of evolution, criminality, philosophy, and “the uses and abuses” of history. This panel explores shared evidentiary grounds used for legitimizing modernist architecture and modern science. November 20-23, Cambridge, MA.
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