Book Review: Growing Up Modern - architecture and design

Book Review: Growing Up Modern



Growing Up Modern, by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster (Birkhuser, 2021)
REVIEW Javier Zeller
PHOTOS Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster
Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster?s Growing up Modern is among the more original and unexpected accounts of architectural modernism written in recent years. Architectural histories are typically stubbornly resistant to personal narratives from inhabitants and clients?let alone from children, whose experience of architecture is rarely recounted. This elegant book challenges academic convention, re-examining four iconic projects through the memories of the people who spent their childhoods living in them.
The four homes of Growing up Modern are so self-consciously avant-garde, so much associated with the rhetoric of modernism, that one expects the book to stridently argue for architecture?s ability to effect moral or aesthetic transformation. Instead, Jamrozik and Kempster?s deliberate focus on the childhood experiences of their four narrators delivers unexpected and delightful insights into these familiar projects. It ultimately offers lessons about the experience of architecture, and the enduring capacity of spaces and materials to act as vessels for memory. Ernest Tugendhat recounts his memories ?of his family?s Mies van der Rohe-designed villa.
The four dwellings that the book chronicles span 25 years of early European modernism, bracketing either side of the Second World War. They include Mies van der Rohe?s Tugendhat House, J.J.P. O...
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