Circulating Asbestos: The International AC Review, 1956–1985

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Circulating Asbestos: The International AC Review, 1956–1985

CAD 0.00

Environmental Histories of Architecture presents the work of eight researchers who each analyze specific environmental relations, crises, and reforms and demonstrate how society and the environment have been co-constructed, represented, and lived in their respective geographies. While their essays are published independently as chapters, together they cover an expansive range of thinking about how the environment changed, and was changed by, architecture.


In Chapter 6, Hannah le Roux follows the material flows and corporate geographies of asbestos-cement, a construction material that proliferated globally in the twentieth century. The essay reveals the industrial, academic, professional, and political links between modernity and toxicity: le Roux traces how the Swiss-based multinational Eternit marketed its asbestos products from the 1950s on through the company magazine ac: International asbestos-cement review; how architectural historian Sigfried Giedion placed himself at the service of industry by writing for ac review and by using asbestos-cement in his own home; and how, through the efforts of the United Nations, the material became widespread in the Global South through prefabricated housing. Even after bans in many countries, the lingering presence of asbestos-cement is a form of “slow violence” that suggests the need for a “slower science.”



Author: Hannah le Roux

Editor: Kim Förster

Managing Editor: Claire Lubell

Copyeditor: Ruth Jones

Other contributors: Aleksandr Bierig, Nerea Calvillo, Daniel Barber, Kiel Moe, Jiat-Hwee Chang, Isabelle Doucet, Paulo Tavares, Kim Förster

Graphic Design: Tessier A

Programming: Rosen Tomov


Published by the CCA and distributed open access through Library Stack.

This open-access publication is made available according to the terms of the license CC BY-NC-ND.


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