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Charles L. Davis, II, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Architecture, College of Art + Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, NC United States

Charles Davis is an architectural historian and critic. He received his Master’s of Architecture from SUNY Buffalo and his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines the racial discourses of modern architectural style in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His scholarship has been published in numerous interdisciplinary journals such as Architectural Research Quarterly, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Places Journal, Aggregate and Append-x and has been supported by grants from the Canadian Center for Architecture and the Graham Foundation. He is co-author of Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences (Routledge, 2015) and author of the forthcoming Building Character: the Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh Press).

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Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975

BY CHARLES L. DAVIS, II, PH.D.
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"We started with several books that looked at the brownstone as a site of intervention."

In Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975 from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Charles L. Davis, II, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, shows works from his recent exhibition project, Building Black Utopias, and discusses the literature that served as inspiration. 

The Building Black Utopias project combines the tools of the architect, the historian and the literary critic to recover the historical contributions of African American writers to architectural utopian thought. It specifically examines the role of literary depictions of place in June Jordan, Amiri Baraka, Paule Marshall and Angela Davis’ writings. Davis argues that each authors’ rhetorical manipulations of the built environment operates on the same level as architectural utopian thought insofar as both mediums created rich, alternative depictions of modernist space to liberate the architect’s imagination. The final exhibit translates the spatial ideas of literature into drawings, models and other ephemera.

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PAST VOL 17

Buffalo @ Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Sep 15, 2016