Nicholas D'Avella F'11

Nicholas  D'Avella
Postdoctoral Fellow
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
Doctoral Candidate
Anthropology
University of California, Davis
“From Banks to Bricks”: Architecture, Investment, and Neighborhood Life in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This dissertation is an ethnographic study of the cultural place of buildings in contemporary Buenos Aires. It asks how buildings are situated in three different cultural worlds that contribute to their production: real estate investment, architecture, and neighborhood life. In the years following Argentina’s latest economic crisis, Buenos Aires has witnessed a construction boom driven by the redirection of personal savings from banks to real estate. New forms of financing construction have altered the practice of architecture. Residents of neighborhoods impacted by the boom have organized to resist the changes that new architectural forms bring to their lives. This project traces the emergence of buildings from the frictions between these three different understandings of what a building should be.