Event Date: 

PhD Colloquium: Nicholas D'Avella


Please join us Friday, April 14th at 5pm as Nicholas D'Avella presents
“Architecture is for Everyone: Peronism and the Values of Architecture in Buenos Aires”

In the aftermath of Argentina’s political and economic crisis in 2001, buildings became an important form of economic investment for middle class Argentines, resulting in a boom in investment-driven construction.  Pedagogic practice in the architecture school, however, remains an important place for the maintenance of forms of value in architecture that exceed those defined by real estate investment.  This paper examines the politics of architectural design pedagogy in Argentina by drawing recent ethnographic observation into dialogue with the history of leftist movements that emerged in the architecture school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  In a university system purged by dictatorship, these Peronist movements asked after the relationship between architecture and commodity society, and began the work of thinking architecture otherwise — work that continues today in some corners of the architecture school, where the inheritance of this past continues to work to extend architectural value beyond the terms defined by the market.


Nicholas D’Avella is A Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at the Cooper Union. He is an ethnographer of contemporary Argentina with research interests in markets, expert knowledge, and urban ecologies.  Both his current and future projects focus on aftermaths of the Argentine economic crisis of 2001. His current manuscript, Concrete Dreams:  Markets, Politics, and the Lives of Buildings in Post-Crisis Buenos Aires, is an ethnographic study of a construction boom in the early post-crisis years.  His next project, Developing Economics: Unorthodox Economists in Argentina and Beyond, is a study of post-neoliberal economic knowledge and policy in Latin American urban financial centers. D’Avella completed his PhD at the University of California, Davis prior to holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at the University of California, Berkeley. 


RSVP is required. Papers will be pre-circulate a week before each session. Please email Megan Eardley (meardley@princeton.edu) for a copy of the paper.

This event will take place in S-11.

School of Architecture
Princeton University


Convened by Carson Chan, Martin Cobas, Megan Eardley, Curt Gambetta, and Elis Mendoza.

With kind support from:
Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities
Program in American Studies
Program in Media + Modernity
Program in Latin American Studies
Race and Citizenship in the Americas Network