• French Encounters with the American Counterculture, 1960-1980
    Caroline Maniaque-Benton
    Routledge, 2011
    Caroline Maniaque-Benton

Cosmorama, Architectural Design, September 1970.

French-American interrelationships in the areas of design and creative thinking have been under acknowledged. It is normally asserted that French architects looked to North America for technical lessons in the development of modern architecture in the 1960s but that the French cultural environment was generally hostile to American ideas. The American counterculture fired the imagination of the generation which took to the streets in May 1968, while the lessons of American architectural education were incorporated into the schools of architecture established after the dissolution of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Maniaque Benton interviews French architects who visited the States in the 1960s and who then went on to assume positions of influence in the press and in education, and she analyzes the penetration of American radical ideas into French publications.

Caroline Maniaque-Benton received a professional degree in architecture and a PhD from Paris VIII University. She has worked on the history of architecture and design after the Second World War, focusing on postwar domestic architecture in America and France. Her book Le Corbusier et les maisons Jaoul: Projets et fabrique (Picard, 2005; Princeton Architectural Press, 2009) was awarded the 2006 Prix national du livre d'architecture de Briey. She has also collaborated on exhibitions on modern architecture and design including L'Art de l'ingénieur (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1997). She has been an associate scholar at the Getty Research Institute, a Fulbright Fellow (2003), and a fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2007 and 2008). She has published a number of articles on the subject of architecture and the counterculture ("Hard French/Soft America," in Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine, May 2002; and "Searching for Energy," in Ant Farm: 1968-1978, UCP, 2004). She is an associate professor in the history of architecture at the Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture Paris-Malaquais, France. She was visiting professor in the graduate program in the history of art at Williams College in 2009, and also at the Bard Graduate Center (2003 and 2007).