The Infrastructure of Itinerancy: Aviation, American Economic Imperialism, and the Late Modern Architecture of Minoru Yamasaki, 1951-1986


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art




Located at the intersection of the constant motion of modern life and the stability inherent in buildings, this dissertation focuses on Detroit-based architect Minoru Yamasaki’s contributions to late modern architecture as a result of the widespread demands of foreign commerce, diplomacy, and international travel in the newly globalized condition of modernity. It examines the boundary between form and structure in projects ranging from the US consulate in Kobe, built in 1955, and the 1961 Dhahran Civil Air Terminal to the 1970-1 World Trade Center as a means to explore the changing role of architecture in response to the mandates of air travel through political and technological lenses. In a time of increased migration of people and goods across the globe, the project considers Yamasaki’s diverse set of projects as part of a growing “infrastructure of itinerancy” that expanded the United States’ modernist ideology and economic imperialism through architectural form.