Title

Camouflaged Modernism: Tracing Corbusian Symbolism through the Rodger Young Village

Authors

Anna Jane Jones

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

This essay examines the Rodger Young Village?a temporary, post-World War II veterans housing development?as an incidental synthesis of 1920s European modernist principles and American suburban ideals. Designed as an emergency response to drastic postwar housing shortages in Los Angeles, the Village was constructed entirely of military surplus Quonset huts. This status as ?stop-gap? emergency housing has largely eliminated the Village from the canon of architectural history, and scholarship on the Village is limited to Dana Cuff's socio-historical account of urban transformation in The Provisional City . Yet the Village applied Machine Age technology to the question of mass housing, forming a tangible intersection of wartime industrial productivity and domestic life?and ultimately addressing a primary aim of modern architecture. This aim is expressed in architect and theoretician Le Corbusier's important and influential book Vers une architecture , which utilized mechanized mass production as both inspiration for and a critique of the development, form, and function of modern architecture. Using this text and examples drawn from Le Corbusier's work of the 1920s and 1930s, I will create conceptual links between the Village and Le Corbusier's theories that have previously gone unrecognized. As existing scholarship on Rodger Young Village is characterized by Dana Cuff's comprehensive historical approach, my essay will expand the scholarship on the Village by demonstrating its connection to the high modernist concepts of functionalism and mechanized mass production.

Advisor

Amy Lyford

Department

ahva

Support

Robert W. Winter History of Art and Architecture Summer Research Fellowship

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