This blog was created for Dr. Gregory Ulmer’s “Gift Game Economy” seminar, a graduate theory course at the University of Florida. It uses the CATTt heuretic as a method of intellectual invention with the aim of developing a new poetics and informing general policy with a fatal strategy. CATTt stands for Contrast, Analogy, Theory, Target, tale; each of these is a slot filled by instructions provided by course texts. A page is devoted to each slot. The blog entries serve as a record of the creative process.
My main focus is the Pruitt-Igoe Projects, a mid-20th century housing project in St. Louis Missouri. It was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who would later serve as chief architect of the World Trade Center towers. Pruitt-Igoe, Yamasaki’s first major project, was an ambitious endeavor in low-cost/high-density public housing, fantastically expensive for its time, and an unmitigated disaster—its functional lifespan was barely over two decades, and its history is one of social discord and material decay.
I chose this topic out of an interest in Modernist architectural aesthetics, and how this design style may relate to social disaster. Unlike other studies of Pruitt-Igoe, which focus on socio-political aspects, a major focus here is Pruitt-Igoe’s place in metaphysics and its relation to mathematics.