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4 | 2013
Global experts “off radar”

Des experts mondiaux « hors des radars »
Sous la direction de Johan Lagae et Kim De Raedt
Henri Jean Calsat presenting his project for the new Brazzaville hospital to French officials, early 1950s.
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Crédits : Archives of the University of Geneva, Fund Calsat.

Recent scholarship in architectural history testifies of an interest in a new type of professional which emerged in the postwar era, at a time when new international agencies emerged and a development discourse focusing on the Global South was on the rise. Travelling architects and planners turned into consultants consciously marketing their expertise in a worldwide arena and becoming what some have described as “global” or even “nomadic” experts. While well-known names such as Le Corbusier, Michel Ecochard or Constantinos Doxiadis immediately come to mind, this theme issue of ABE journal wishes to bring to the fore some more obscure figures which operated on a transnational scale. Following the trajectories of such figures like Michel Kalt, David Oakley, Max Lock, Henri-Jean Calsat or Erica Mann, we aim at broadening our understanding of the role this new kind of actor played in the shaping the “anxious modernisms” of the postwar global world, while at the same time acknowledging, among others via a discussion of Louis Kahn’s work in India, the often neglected role of local agents with whom these global experts de facto interacted.

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