Critical Appropriations of Modernity
Michel Écochard’s 8 by 8 Meter Housing Grid, Hay Mohammadi, Casablanca
Abstract Using an object ethnography approach, in this chapter I focus on an emblematic colonial planning and housing instrument designed by the head of the urban planning service in 1950s Morocco. Combining attention to historical and transnational dimensions with the ethos of ethnographic work, I unravel the conditions behind the grid’s design, materialization, transnational circulation, and later appropriation and rich transformation in the hands of its eventual inhabitants. As such, my intention is to explore and illuminate the contributions of multiple actors and to shed light on the complicated entanglements between emblematic colonial materialities and the postcolonial lives grafted onto them.
Keywords Appropriation, Margins, Morocco, Modernism, Object Ethnography