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IN CONVERSATION: DOMESTICITY AT WAR

IN HER NEW BOOK, Domesticity at War, published by MIT Press this spring, architectural historian Beatriz Colomina writes that “war does not end but evolves, and so does architecture”—as does our fundamental experience of space, she might have added. Colomina’s study looks specifically at the cold-war era in the United States, where domestic environments in the wake of World War II were, she says, made totally modern both in material and mind-set—inscribed by military technologies being assimilated into daily life and by a changed awareness of global geopolitics requiring a normalization (or “domestication”) of societal conditions that might otherwise be frightening. Chapter by chapter, Colomina investigates a psychological drama wherein the lawn becomes a battlefield against Japanese beetles and the “house of the future” is cut off from the outside world in its all-encompassing automation—which

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