Has Modern Architecture Run Out of Steam?

Seminar Particular Questions in Architectural Theory (052-0839-18)
Organizer: Chair of Prof. Stalder
Lecturers: Dr. Andreas Kalpakci
Time: Monday, 12.45-14.30
Location: HIL D 60.1

Postmodernist critics saw 1972 as the year of the “death of modern architecture.” However, recurrent sociopolitical questions (the housing and environmental crises) and new techno-economical visions (the quest for digital fabrication and smart cities) suggest that central issues of modernism still characterize today’s built environment throughout the world, despite the intense postwar backlash against modernism. How do these continuities endure? Whereto is modernism going? In this seminar we will approach modernism by moving beyond the rhetoric of its declarations, analyzing instead the continuities of its institutions. We will look at the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM), one of the most consequential architectural association of modernism, and we will closely collaborate with the gta Archives, where CIAM’s original documents are stored. To disclose the long-lasting effects of organizing architects through paperwork, we will interrogate modernist projects through the means of their own making, from Neues Frankfurt settlements and the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, to the Carrières Centrales in Casablanca and the Golden Lane Estate in London.


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Dr. Andreas Kalpakci