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Ephemeral HistoriesPublic Art, Politics, and the Struggle for the Streets in Chile$
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Camilo D. Trumper

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520289901

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520289901.001.0001

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Of Spoons and Other Political Things

Of Spoons and Other Political Things

The Design of Socialist Citizenship

Chapter:
(p.17) 1. Of Spoons and Other Political Things
Source:
Ephemeral Histories
Author(s):

Camilo D. Trumper

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520289901.003.0002

Chapter 1 examines the connections between urban planning and political theory, with particular attention to how the state’s urbanization and industrial design programs of the 1960s and 1970s shed light on the era’s political debates over citizenship. It looks especially closely at the work of the state-sponsored industrial design team that was charged with reshaping both everyday objects like spoons, plates, and chairs, and the larger processes that underwrote the integration of industry into a national socialist economy. This chapter examines the connections between seemingly mundane or innocuous everyday objects, and the era’s most ambitious projects. It ends with a study of the building designed for and built to host the Third United Nations Congress on Trade and Development (UNCTAD III), which acted as a symbol of Popular Unity socialist modernity and a stage upon which its residents and visitors could practice an inclusive vision of Popular Unity socialism. The UNCTAD building was, in short, a public sphere rooted or grounded in public space and action. This chapter offers a unique view into multilayered visions for an “ideal” socialist city, and a model for the practice of a particular, modern socialist citizenship.

Keywords:   architecture, industrial design, modernity, socialism, citizenship, public sphere, UNCTAD III

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