Advertisement

Cosmopolitan and Non-cosmopolitan Surfaces

  • Eduardo de la Fuente
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, I extend arguments regarding ‘actually existing cosmopolitanism’ by considering the skins, textures, and surface qualities of the cosmopolitan and noncosmopolitan built environment. I contend that cosmopolitan surfaces don’t need to be—as is often the case—shiny, glossy, urbane, glamorous, or expensive-looking. While there is clearly a global architecture of lightweight transparent materials, liquid designs, and ‘starchitect’ designers, there is also a global cosmoscape of Brutalist social housing, Soviet-era public buildings, concrete freeways and parking lots, and buildings that look old well before their time. I proposea material such as concrete embodies the contradictions and paradoxes of globality writ large; and its surface-qualities—including its infamous tendency to stain, deteriorate, and otherwise show the signs of climate and context—ask us to ponder: What if real cosmopolitanism involves the capacity to embrace the world with all its apparent material and aesthetic shortcomings? Following Nietzsche’s Gay Science, I conclude the world’s surfaces are where we encounter life, power, growth, and decay, as well as where we confront the need to engage and more fully appreciate the ‘other’.

References

  1. Amato, J. A. (2013). Surfaces: A History. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Auge, M. (1995). Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Bateson, G. (1973). Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. London: Paladin.Google Scholar
  4. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beanland, C. (2016). Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World. London: Francis Lincoln.Google Scholar
  6. Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bennett, A., & Woodward, I. (2014). Festival Spaces, Identity, Experience, and Belonging. In A. Bennett, J. Taylor, & I. Woodward (Eds.), The Festivalization of Culture (pp. 11–25). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  8. Berger, J. (2007). Berger on Drawing. Aghabullogue: Occasional Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bowlby, R. (1985). Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreisser, Gissing and Zola. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  10. Bruhle, T. (1999). Creating a Magazine for Urban Modernists. In H. Castle (Ed.), Modernism and Modernization in Architecture (p. 17). London: Academy Editions.Google Scholar
  11. Buchli, V. (2006). Architecture and Modernism. In C. Tilley et al. (Eds.), Handbook of Material Culture (pp. 254–266). London and New York: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chadwick, P. (2016). This Brutal World. London: Phaidon.Google Scholar
  13. Cheah, P., & Robbins, B. (Eds.). (1998). Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  14. Clandfield, P. (2015). Red Road Re-Visions. Writing Visual Culture, 6, 91–120.Google Scholar
  15. Clark, N. (2000). Botanizing on the Asphalt? The Complex Life of Cosmopolitan Bodies. Body and Society, 6(3-4), 12–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clark, T. J. (1999). The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers. London: Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
  17. de la Fuente, E. (2016). A Qualitative Theory of Culture: Georg Simmel and Cultural Sociology. In D. Inglis & A.-M. Amila (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Sociology (pp. 78–90). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. de la Fuente, E. (2017a). Aprender a Amar el Hormigón: El Campus Brutalista como Problema Organizativo, Material y Estético. In A. Rodriguez-Morato & A. Santana-Acuna (Eds.), La Nueva Sociologia de las Artes: Una Perspectiva Hispanohablante y Global (pp. 309–336). Editorial Gedisa: Barcelona.Google Scholar
  19. de la Fuente, E. (2017b). Brutalism, a Campus Love Story—Or How I Learnt to Love Concrete. The Conversation, March 15. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/brutalism-a-campus-love-story-or-how-i-learned-to-love-concrete-72081
  20. Douglas, M. (1966). Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concept of Pollution. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  21. Edensor, T. (2005). Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics, and Materiality. New York: Berg.Google Scholar
  22. Fehervary, K. (2013). Politics of Colour and Concrete: Socialist Materialities and the Middle Class in Hungary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Forty, A. (2012). Concrete and Culture: A Material History. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar
  24. Gibson, J. J. (1979). Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  25. Hage, G. (1997). At Home in the Entrails of the West. In H. Grace, L. Johnson, J. Langsworth, & M. Symonds (Eds.), Home/World: Space, Community and Marginality in Sydney’s West (pp. 99–153). Sydney: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hannerz, U. (1990). Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture. Theory, Culture and Society, 7(2–3), 237–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heidegger, M. (1993). Building, Dwelling, Thinking. Basic Writings. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Jackson, J. B. (1997). Landscape in Sight: Looking at America. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Jervis, J. (1999). Transgressing the Modern. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  30. Jonas, T. (2013). Eating the Vernacular, Being Cosmopolitan. Cultural Studies Review, 19(1), 117–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kendall, G., Woodward, I., & Skrbis, Z. (2009). The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism: Globalization, Identity, Culture and Government. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Kristal, M. (2011). The Immaterial World: Transparency in Architecture. New York: Monacelli Press.Google Scholar
  33. Landry, C. (2004). The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Commedia.Google Scholar
  34. Landry, C. (2006). The Art of City-Making. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  35. Law, L. (2011). The Ghosts of White Australia: Excavating the Past(s) of Rusty’s Market in Tropical Cairns. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 25(5), 669–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McNeil, D. (2005). In Search of the Global Architect. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29(3), 501–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Molz, J. G. (2006). Cosmopolitan Bodies: Fit to Travel and Travelling to Fit. Body and Society, 12(3), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Molz, J. G. (2011). Cosmopolitanism and Consumption. In M. Rovisco & M. Nowicka (Eds.), Ashgate Research Companion to Cosmopolitanism (pp. 33–52). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  39. Murawski, M. (2012). Cosmopolitan Architecture: Deviations from Stalinist Aesthetics and the Making of Twenty-First-Century Warsaw. In C. Humphrey & V. Skvirskaja (Eds.), Post-Cosmopolitan Cities: Explorations of Urban Existence (pp. 141–169). New York: Berghan Books.Google Scholar
  40. Nava, M. (2002). Cosmopolitan Modernity: Everyday Imaginaries and the Register of Difference. Theory, Culture and Society, 19(1–2), 81–99.Google Scholar
  41. Nietzsche, F. (1974). The Gay Science. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  42. Ponzini, D., & Nastasi, M. (2016). Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities. New York: Monacelli Press.Google Scholar
  43. Quinn, M. J., & Talbott, J. (2011). It’s Lonely in the Modern World: The Essential Guide to Form, Function, and Ennui from the Creators of Unhappy Hipsters. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.Google Scholar
  44. Scalway, H. (2006). A Patois of Pattern: Pattern, Memory and the Cosmopolitan City. Cultural Geographies, 13, 451–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sklair, L. (2010). Iconic Architecture and the Culture-Ideology of Consumerism. Theory, Culture and Society, 27(5), 135–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Söderstrom, O. (2006). Studying Cosmopolitan Landscapes. Progress in Human Geography, 30(5), 553–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Urry, J. (1995). Consuming Places. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Yaneva, A. (2012). Mapping Controversies in Architecture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo de la Fuente
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarIllawongAustralia

Personalised recommendations