Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism by Elana Shapira (Editor)

Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism by Elana Shapira (Editor)

Jewish designers and architects played a key role in shaping the interwar architecture of Central Europe, and in the respective countries where they settled following the Nazi’s rise to power. This book explores how Jewish architects and patrons influenced and reformed the design of towns and cities through commercial buildings, urban landscaping and other material culture. It also examines how modern identities evolved in the context of migration, commercial and professional networks, and in relation to the conflict between nationalist ideologies and international aspirations in Central Europe and beyond.

Pointing to the production within cultural platforms shared by Jews and Christians, the book’s research sheds new light on the importance of integrating Jews into Central European design and aesthetic history. Leading historians, curators, archivists and architects present their critical analyses further to ‘design’ the past and push forward a transformation in the historical consciousness of Central Europe. By reconsidering the seminal role of Central European émigré and exiled architects and designers in shaping today’s global design cultures, this book further strengthens humanistic, progressive and pluralistic cultural trends in Europe today.

Year first published: 2021

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