About crankyprofessor

I'm an associate professor of the history of art and architecture at a small liberal arts college in Upstate New York.

Archaeology and Product Placement

Excavators along Hadrian’s Wall found the remains of a Roman wooden toilet seat recently – and a manufacturer toilet seat manufacturer intends to make a special edition of one of their seats and devote some of the proceeds (it’s not clear how much) to the conservation effort. Click to read – and the “also read” stories are also loo-related.

Corbusier and Mussolini – Big-M Modernism and Fascism (the Real Thing)

This isn’t just Fascism-the-adjective-that-means-something-BAD. This is an example of architectural authoritarianism.

Corbusier was pestering Mussolini with designs for Addis Ababa three months after the conquest. That’s eager collaboration!

The link goes to a fascinating case study at Failed Architecture that discusses how eager European architects were to treat Addis Ababa as a blank slate – even though it had been the capital city of an empire since 1889 and was a real city.

Perhaps one should file this under War Crime Trials: Architects?