War Diaries: Design After the Destruction of Art and Architecture

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Elisa Dainese, Aleksandar Staničić
University of Virginia Press, 2022 - Architecture - 230 pages
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In recent decades, the development of advanced weaponry systems and the instant flow of information have redefined the notion of urban warfare as a local phenomenon with global effects in an increasingly interconnected world. The annihilation of Aleppo and the broadcasted demolitions of Palmyra demonstrate the accelerating politicization of the destruction process. In this timely volume, Elisa Dainese, Aleksandar Staničić, and a broad range of contributors explore the weaponization of architecture--targeted attacks on art and infrastructure meant to destroy not only physical structures but also political unity and cultural memory.

Focusing on regions where planners, architects, and artists are involved in concrete initiatives on the ground, War Diaries looks at complex postwar settings to illuminate design responses to urban warfare and violence against the built environment. The essays discuss creative strategies for rebuilding and restablizing damaged sites, often within the context of continuing animosities; the establishment of design coalitions to work with local communities on reconstruction; the designing of emergency settlements; the development of new and customized strategies for rebuilding diverse parts of the ravaged world; and the teaching of culturally sensitive design practices to architects and urbanists, among many other topics. A much-needed contribution to our understanding of postconflict design, this volume maps the creative approaches that specialists have used to remediate the effects of violence against cities and cultural heritage.

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About the author (2022)

Elisa Dainese is Assistant Professor in History and Theory of Architecture at Georgia Tech. Aleksandar Staničić is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

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