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Cement and Multiculturalism

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Chapter Summary

Concrete is generally seen as a material that has obliterated local differences, and made everywhere seem the same. In Latin America, and particularly Brazil, though, a regionally distinctive architecture was developed using the medium of concrete. This essay explores how, in the Brazilian context, concrete was used to signify modernity, and yet in such a way as to resist the processes of globalisation through which modernity was known and manifested. The essay contains a detailed discussion of the cultural implications of concrete in one building in particular, the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo, designed by Vilanova Artigas.



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