• Inland Empire: Settler Colonialism, Modern Architecture, and the Rise of American Hegemony
    Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió
    Duke University Press, 2025
    Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió

"Council Chairwoman Eileen Miguel and developer Sam Banowit outside Palm Springs Spa Hotel," designed by William Cody, Donald Wexler, and Richard Harrison, ca. 1964. Courtesy Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Archive, Palm Springs, CA

Inland Empire explores how modernist architecture and urban design structured the settler-colonial project and American hegemony in the twentieth century. Focusing on Palm Springs’s settlement upon the Agua Caliente Reservation and the Inland Empire region in Southern California, it shows how architecture became a fundamental technology for governing Empire through Indigenous land, while also mediating the Agua Caliente’s own efforts toward self-determination. Analyzing canonical modernist architects’ works for builders, speculators, and politicians, the manuscript argues that design offered particular new ways of managing Indigenous resistance. In turn, it shows how the Agua Caliente’s own architectural projects heralded a decolonial modernity with consequences for how the United States understood and wielded power, both at home and abroad.

Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió is an assistant professor in the department of urban studies and planning at the University of California, San Diego—on unceded Kumeyaay land—where he is also codirector of the Just Transitions Initiative, member of the Indigenous Futures Institute, and faculty in the Design Lab. He holds a PhD in architecture, history and theory, from Columbia University, a master’s degree in aesthetics and politics from CalArts, and a bachelor’s degree with honors and MArch from University College London. Previously, he was assistant professor in the History of Architecture and Urban Development Program at Cornell University. In 2018, he received a Citation of Special Recognition for the Carter Manny Award from the Graham Foundation. As a practicing architect, he worked for OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, with Barozzi/Veiga in Barcelona, and was project architect for David Chipperfield Architects in London. His books, essays, and articles have appeared in collections from Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, Architectural Design, ARQ Magazine, Bloomsbury, Dialectic, the Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Development, The Avery Review, Places Journal, and others.