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  • Fresh Brew | Authors Showcase: In Conversation with Andrew Shanken

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    Fresh Brew | Authors Showcase: In Conversation with Andrew Shanken

    Thursday, December 15, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am PST
    Virtual Event

    Join us for this final "Fresh Brew" segment of the year featuring Andrew Shanken, author of The Everyday Life of Memorials and Ronald Rael who will talk shop about the timely study about the ordinary — and oftentimes unseen — lives of memorials.


    AIA Member: $10 | General: $15 | Student: $5


    Memorials are commonly studied as part of the commemorative infrastructure of modern society. Just as often, they are understood as sites of political contestation, where people battle over the meaning of events. But most of the time, they are neither. Instead, they take their rest as ordinary objects, part of the street furniture of urban life. Most memorials are “turned on” only on special days, such as Memorial Day, or at heated moments, as in August 2017, when the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville was overtaken by a political maelstrom. The rest of the time they are turned off.

    This book is about the everyday life of memorials. It explores their relationship to the pulses of daily life, their meaning within this quotidian context, and their place within the development of modern cities. Through Shanken’s close historical readings of memorials, both well-known and obscure, two distinct strands of scholarship are thus brought together: the study of the everyday and memory studies.

    From the introduction of modern memorials in the wake of the French Revolution through the recent destruction of Confederate monuments, memorials have oscillated between the everyday and the “not-everyday.” In fact, memorials have been implicated in the very structure of these categories. The Everyday Life of Memorials explores how memorials end up where they are, grow invisible, fight with traffic, get moved, are assembled into memorial zones, and are drawn anew into commemorations and political maelstroms that their original sponsors never could have imagined. Finally, exploring how people behave at memorials and what memorials ask of people reveals just how strange the commemorative infrastructure of modernity is.

    Book available for purchase through Princeton University Press; receive 30% off with discount code: ELM30
    Published: Oct 4, 2022 / Illus: 8 color + 138 b/w illustrations

    Fresh Brew is a series of online morning conversations covering a variety of topics about all things architecture and design. Fresh Brew provides the general public and industry professionals with engaging dialogue and a space for inspiration. Co-presented by the Center for Architecture + Design in collaboration with AIA San Francisco.

    About the Presenters

    Andrew Shanken is Professor of Architectural History and the Director of American Studies at U.C. Berkeley. He publishes on the topic of architecture and memory, the history of preservation, keywords in architecture, and the visual culture of architecture and planning. His book, 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Homefront (2009), examines anticipatory architecture on the American homefront. A second book, Into the Void Pacific (2015), is an architectural history of the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair. His new book, The Everyday Life of Memorials (Zone Books, 2022), explores the meaning of memorials within the quotidian context of daily life and their place within the development of modern cities.

    Ronald Rael is the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture in the Department of Architecture in the College of Environmental Design, and is also a member of the art faculty in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California Berkeley. His past leadership roles have included serving as Department Chair, Director of the Masters of Architecture, and Director of the Masters of Advanced Architectural Design programs. He is distinguished as being both a Bakar and Hellman Fellow, and directs the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials). His research interests connect indigenous and traditional material practices to contemporary technologies and issues and he is considered to be a design activist, author, and thought leader within the topics of additive manufacturing, borderwall studies, and earthen architecture.


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    Thursday, December 15, 2022
    9:00 am - 10:00 am PST
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    AIASF + Center for Architecture + Design
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