Constructing The Cold War Environment (Black and White)
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A study of the headquarters of the RAND Corporation, a little-known building in Santa Monica, California, designed from 1951 to 1953 and demolished in 2005. As the epicenter of strategic military thought during the Cold War, the thesis tracks the reciprocal relation between RAND’s unique research culture and its physical architecture, which was designed (based on a memorandum written by a RAND mathematician) as a matrix of corridors to maximize chance interactions among researchers in order to promote creative thinking. What does the as-yet untold story of the RAND building tell us about the climate of thought in the postwar period? What lessons does the abstract, analytical process of its design hold for contemporary practice? The thesis attempts to answer these questions, in the conviction that the RAND Corporation and its headquarters hold an important and unrecognized place in the social history of architecture in the second half of the 20th century.