The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design and Persuasion

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Tim Culvahouse
Princeton Architectural Press, Jun 14, 2007 - Photography - 144 pages
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In the wake of the Great Depression, one of Franklin Roosevelt's most successful New Deal programs was the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal governmentowned corporation created in 1933 to revitalize the Tennessee River Valley. The TVA provided navigation, flood control, electricity generation, strategic materials for national defense, economic development, unemployment relief, and an overall improvement of living conditions in this once-impoverished rural area.

The TVA Architects Office built a huge number of structures during the late 1930s and early 1940s,including the many dams that dramatically altered life in the Tennessee River Valley. Its design agenda was comprehensive, addressing all scales of designfrom door handles to landscapewith equal dedication. The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design and Persuasion, the most in-depth examination of the TVA ever assembled, includes essays by experts in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, industrial design, and the fine arts.

In serving the social, political, and economic endeavors of the government, TVA architects directlyhelped shape the nascent American design culture and, arguably, create the finest extended body of modernist architectureand certainly its most technologically sublimein North America. Featuring a preface by Al Gore and new photography by Richard Barnes, The Tennessee Valley Authority interweaves technical, political, aesthetic, and cultural concerns to complete a missing chapter in the study of modern American architecture and design.

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About the author (2007)

Richard Barnes is an architectural photographer whose work has appeared in a number of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, ARTnews, and Architectural Record. Barnes's work has been exhibited worldwide and is a part of the permanent collection at some of the world's most notable museums.

Tim Culvahouse, FAIA, is an architect, writer, and adjunct professor of architecture at the California College of the Arts. He leads Culvahouse Consulting Group, Inc., and is senior advisor to Public Architecture, a nonprofit public interest architecture group.

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