Orthogonality and the Modern City
This talk discusses the history of the orthographic plan and how it instantiated cultural values of modernity in France. Often taken for granted, the orthographic representation is an abstract diagram whose authority had to be established and maintained through not only symbolic but also institutional means. During the nineteenth century, orthogonal modes also gained legal authority, and beyond shaping architectural and building culture, it became the way governance was organized based on the Revolutionary values of universality, standardization, and scientific objectivity.
Min Kyung Lee is Associate Professor of the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr College (Philadelphia). Her primary research concerns the history of mapping, architecture and urbanism, especially related to urban representations and quantitative methods in planning. Her forthcoming book is The Tyranny of the Straight Line: Mapping Modern Paris (Yale University Press). Currently, she studies the impact of the Korean diaspora on the American built environment, looking at transnational and interracial histories of Korean immigrant and African-American communities.
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