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Midcentury: Architecture, Landscape, Urbanism, and Design

Encompassing architectural, landscape, urban, interior, and other forms of design, Midcentury Modernism was an international movement that had its inception in the era immediately preceding World War II and extended well into the 1960s. It was expressed not only in important High Modernist works by Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius, and the daring futuristic constructions of Buckminster Fuller, but also, more modestly, in the new vernacular landscapes, architecture, and cityscapes of suburbia. Today we have enough distance on the quotidian works of the era to consider them of historical and cultural significance. In fact, stylistic aspects of both high-style and mass-market design of the time are frequently reiterated in contemporary architecture, and period buildings have escalated substantially in value. 

MIDCENTURY: A Series on Architecture, Landscape, Urbanism, and Design will consider manuscripts in architecturally related disciplines within the distinctive cultural context of their time. Its temporal parameters will be 1945-1970; though primarily American in focus, it will be open to transnational and comparative projects as well. 

Format for Proposals: Approximately 80,000 to 85,000 words with a maximum of 60 black-and-white illustrations (e.g., halftones, line drawings, maps, site plans). Only under very unusual circumstances will color illustrations be considered for inclusion. 

For more information, please contact : 

Boyd Zenner
Acquiring Editor, Architecture and Environment

Environmental Design

Architecture, Politics, and Science in Postwar America Avigail Sachs

Much of twentieth-century design was animated by the creative tension of its essential duality: is design an art or a science? In the postwar era, American architects sought to calibrate architectural practice to evolving scientific knowledge about humans and environments, thus elevating the... More

Monumental Jesus

Landscapes of Faith and Doubt in Modern America Margaret M. Grubiak

The American landscape is host to numerous works of religious architecture, sometimes questionable in taste and large, if not titanic, in scale. In her lively study of satire and religious architecture, Margaret Grubiak challenges how we typically view such sites by shifting the focus from... More

Traces of J. B. Jackson

The Man Who Taught Us to See Everyday America Helen L. Horowitz

J. B. Jackson transformed forever how Americans understand their landscape, a concept he defined as land shaped by human presence. In the first major biography of the greatest pioneer in landscape studies, Helen Horowitz shares with us a man who focused on what he regarded as the essential American... More

American Autopia

An Intellectual History of the American Roadside at Midcentury Gabrielle Esperdy

Early to mid-twentieth-century America was the heyday of a car culture that has been called an "automobile utopia." In American Autopia, Gabrielle Esperdy examines how the automobile influenced architectural and urban discourse in the United States from the earliest days of the auto industry to the... More

Indoor America

The Interior Landscape of Postwar Suburbia Andrea Vesentini

Cars, single-family houses, fallout shelters, air-conditioned malls—these are only some of the many interiors making up the landscape of American suburbia. Indoor America explores the history of suburbanization through the emergence of such spaces in the postwar years, examining their design, use,... More

Detached America

Building Houses in Postwar Suburbia James A. Jacobs

During the quarter century between 1945 and 1970, Americans crafted a new manner of living that shaped and reshaped how residential builders designed and marketed millions of detached single-family suburban houses. The modest two- and three-bedroom houses built immediately following the war gave... More