Disaffected Chronicle of Affected Landscapes

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


The story of modern architecture in the early twentieth century could be written starting from the fascination exerted by industrial buildings on its protagonists. As Reyner Banham pointed out in A Concrete Atlantis, great masters like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius or Erich Mendelsohn had considered the American engineers as the pioneers of a new monumentality based on the efficiency and rationality of industrial processes and imbued with the aesthetics of the machine. The grain elevator and the daylight factory became the new reference typologies due to the pureness of their volumes, their forthright scale, their selfless correspondence with use and the adoption of concrete and steel as building materials. Currently, one century later, the interest in industrial architecture has been renewed. However this is no longer focused on models of formal clarity, functional clearness and constructive accuracy. The photographs of Jet Lowe, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Bernd & Hilla Becher and David Starck, among others, show industrial artefacts that don’t fit with the ideals of harmony and perfection that have been pursued by the Modern Movement. These buildings are too complex to be reduced to a couple of convincing arguments. Most likely, those architectures that inspired modern architecture were equally complex and what is different today is not the object but the way we see it. The paper aims to discuss the thoughts and methodologies elaborated by the author since the research project Learning from las Cuencas, awarded with the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2015, was finished. The referenced project provided a new perspective of industrial cultural landscapes. Despite being focused on a local environment, the coal mining area of the Cuencas Mineras Centrales of Asturias, among its interests was to create a universal architectural story. The outcome of that project is currently tested and experimented in the most striking industrial urban landscape: Detroit. That place is more than just a shrinking city. It is a paradigmatic urban phenomenon that finds countless replicas throughout the world. The city’s uniqueness rests on the transmutation of the architectural logics. Rather than grow, it decreases. Rather than build, it demolishes. Rather than occupy, it vanishes. Rather than remove voids, it expands them. Current guidelines and systems of thought have proven to be obsolete, making it a laboratory for rethinking the city of tomorrow.
Publikationsdato29 jun. 2018
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 29 jun. 2018
BegivenhedIV International Congress on Industrial Heritage: Cities and Industrial Heritage - Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Varighed: 28 jun. 201830 jun. 2018


KonferenceIV International Congress on Industrial Heritage
LokationUniversidade de Aveiro


  • landskab
  • industrilandskaber
  • kulturarv

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej


  • 1 Organisation af og deltagelse i konference
  • 1 Foredrag og mundtlige bidrag

IV International Congress on Industrial Heritage

Nacho Ruiz Allen (Taler)

28 jun. 201830 jun. 2018

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangement af en begivenhed Organisation af og deltagelse i konference

Industry and Memory. Disaffected Chronicle of Affected Landscapes

Nacho Ruiz Allen (Foredragsholder)

25 maj 2016

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation Foredrag og mundtlige bidrag


Allen, N. R. (2018). Disaffected Chronicle of Affected Landscapes. Abstract fra IV International Congress on Industrial Heritage, Aveiro, Portugal.