CAIRO: a 100-years dilemma between capitalist, imperialist policies and the transformation to a Socialism oriented system.
The evolution of the capitalist system, how Eurocentric imperialist policies failed to address social economic and political polarisation as well as their consequences on the built environment.
MSc Delft University of Technology,
The following thesis attempts to shed some light in the current socio-politico-economic scenery of the South by understanding and reflecting on the true causes of the explosion of urban inequality and segregation that dominates societies in the south periphery of the planet. A number of political, social and economic transformations, starting from the French Revolution are understood in terms of urban development and are thus expressed in a series of images generated by Modernization planning proposals. These images and transformations, presented in a linear historical order, attempt to illustrate the deeper links of contemporary generalized monopoly capitalism to the imperial industrial capitalism and colonial past of such countries. The focus of this thesis is on Egypt and the city of Cairo, where rural and urban development is understood in terms of the practicing of politics, the evolution of the economy and the birth of the market, as well as their physical manifestation in the production of space. The thesis attempts to provide a better understanding of Cairo’s urban evolution in relation to this ongoing modernization process, and capitalist-oriented reforms so as to underline the need for the transition to an alternative system than that of capitalism that would allow the majority of the population to live in a higher-state civilization and not in this polarized in all senses environment.
Keywords: colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, generalized-monopolies, globalization, polarization, urban segregation, informal settlement, modernization, inequality, poverty, middle classes, low-income population, forms of enclose, politics, Egypt, Cairo.
The New Acropolis Museum
Political, Economic and Social Implications
BArch University of Nottingham,
The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, through its exhibition program attempts to provide visitors with a complete picture of the archaeological remains of the Acropolis, providing information regarding themes such as politics, economics and society. With a collection that travels from Prehistoric times to Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods until the late antiquity (1000B.C- 700A.D), the museum contributes vigorously to the reinforcement of global interest in the classical era. This exquisite collection will be displayed as a whole for the first time, transforming the museum from an institutional building to a cultural landmark. The 226,000 (sqft) museum, was designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects with association by Michael Photiades, who won the international competition organized for this project in 2000. The New Acropolis Museum opened its gates to the public in 2009. Bernard Tschumi wanted to design a “non-monumental” structure so as to enable visitors to focus solely to the sculptures. Whilst critiquing the architecture of the New Acropolis Museum, I decided to focus on its social, political and economic characteristics both during the design, construction and post-construction phase, driven by the Marxist theory of the nineteenth century, which I believe is more relevant than ever especially under the current socio-economic and political circumstances in Greece, which in my opinion, affect directly architecture.
Keywords: New Acropolis Museum, Athenss, Bernard Tschumi, Marxist theory, 19th century, social, political, economic consequences, construction, design, architecture, theory thesis.