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Title: Le Corbusier's exploration of primitive culture and worldwide civilizations through the construction of a personal museum (circa 1930)
Author: Liang, Ming-Kang
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Behind Le Corbusier’s creative imagination, there were extensive resources collected and transformed in this studio and his imagination. This ‘collection’ can be thought of as his personal museum. As Le Corbusier’s primary experience was constructed throughout the itinerary of his travels, sources of primitive and distant civilizations are categorized by cultures and geographical regions in this thesis. The chronological emphasis falls between the late 1920s and early 1930s, when his Purist themes diminished but those of folk culture, women and Surrealism came to the fore. What these sources were and how they were incorporated into his architectural designs, art and writings will be elaborated in this dissertation. The definition of primitivism still remains nebulous. Therefore, it is Le Corbusier’s own vision of primitivism, folk and remote cultures which will serve as the foundation of this research. One objective of this dissertation is to reassemble the materials scattered in a multitude of publications from various geographical and cultural categories, such as the vernacular, archaic and medieval heritage of Europe, the Orient and the African interior. In discussing these diverse cultural influences, particular attention has been paid to the material from Asia, as it has not yet been well examined by Western scholars. Many distant materials, such as the Chinese images and Persian drawings, reveal much about Le Corbusier’s thought of that period. The European references, such as the Breton and Cyclades folk houses, Balkan wooden houses and Pompeii remained as a key resource of spatial experience to him. These sources, led by his modernist ideology, informed the construction of his language of modern architecture. Much of Le Corbusier’s source material has not been accredited by him. In order to identify the relations between this material and his numerous works, much of my archival research has been devoted to exploring the original sources. Although only a small portion of these could be restored, they may contribute to a deeper understanding of Le Corbusier’s work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available