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Thinking about themes

At this very early stage in my reading I am starting to try and sort out some of the mechanics of note keeping, what do I need to read first, how to remember to go back to something I saw in passing and so on. At the moment its all a bit scattergun but a few things seem to come regularly to the fore and may end up being areas for more investigation:
  • Concrete and Prefabs - John Laing did a lot of development work on concrete and how it could be used as part of house building systems (which might be considered prefabs depending on your definition of that term) - this led to commercial products such as Lytag. Concrete has a vast history but seems to have been reborn in the post WWII period - Jones suggests that 'As the modern world rose from the rubble of Second World War, it was shaped by one material above all others.' 1 and that material was concrete.
  • Coventry Cathedral - This might provide a focus based on the design work, the documentation of the building and of course the importance to John Laing's of religion.
  • Motorways - John Laing was responsible for the construction of the M1 and its hardly news that such roads have radically altered our social world.
  • The Atomic Age - John Laing was responsible for work on some of the earliest nuclear plants and its hard to think of something that does not embody the idea of a modern world than nuclear power in the 1950s.
  • National Identity - All of the above might be considered as mechanisms for (re)creating a national identity following WWII.

1) Jones, N. (2017). The world recast : 70 buildings from 70 years of Concrete Quarterly / Nick Jones: London : Artifice books on architecture : The Concrete Centre.


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