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Title: Living in a monument – a matter of taste and class. A case study
Authors: Anita, Aigner
Keywords: modernist architecture
economy of symbolic goods
production of cultural value
architectural iconicity
lived-in monuments
architectural heritage
Wiener Werkbundsiedlung
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Publisher: CEACT/UAL
Abstract: This paper addresses an increasingly observable but until now hardly examined phenomenon: how individuals, highly engaged with the symbolic value of architecture, appropriate modernist housing estates, progressively replacing the former residents who are mostly indifferent towards architecture. This process, long yearned for and welcomed by experts and culture lovers, is considered here as a form of ‘displacement through architecture’, or a type of gentrification that is anchored in the high appreciation of architecture. Using the example of the Vienna Werkbund estate (1932), an icon of modernist architecture that was declared as a national monument in 1978, this sociocultural change is illustrated by two user profiles representing the prevailing type of the ‘fully engaged connoisseur’ and the declining type of the ‘indifferent resident’. The paper employs ideas and concepts of Pierre Bourdieu to better understand how the economy of symbolic goods – of which architecture and architectural heritage are a part – works at the micro level of the users. The central argument is that monumentalization of architecture is a state supported hegemonic project of a cultural elite leading to exclusion of low-income and culturally less inclined residents in the long run.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 2182-4339
Appears in Collections:ESTUDO PRÉVIO - OITO [inverno 2015]

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