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Augustin IOAN, MA, MSArch, PhDLecturer, Institute of Architecture “Ion Mincu” BucharestFellow, The New Europe College BucharestROMANIAARCHITECTURAL THINKING SINCE 1950 IN EASTERN EUROPECourse reportI. Introduction
a. The course aims to outline the theoretical thinking behind the urban planning andarchitecture in the post-war period, focusing on the Central and Eastern Europe whiledeepening the question of Modern architecture in Romania in the mentioned period. While inour schools there are courses on the history of Modern architecture and on the Romanianarchitecture up to the WWII, there are very few approaches on the architectural thinking(critical theory) behind the buildings, and even less on the political events that influences or even determined the architectural and urban planning. There seems to be a sort of retreat behind the “safer” wall of the WWII period, which allows us to discuss openly about brutalism, megastructures, postmodernism, but not about what happened in our countriesduring the same period, which is still “too close” to us to be “objective”.The course is designed for the Master students at the Institute of Architecture “Ion Mincu”Bucharest, while the adjacent seminary is to be taught at the New Europe College (theadvanced studies institute that I am associated with since 1995) for an interdisciplinary groupof scholars and students in architecture and arts from various years, including, of course, themaster students who are the basic auditors of the course. Therefore, there are in fact twosubstantially different items and beneficiaries. The course is highly technical and devoted tospecific architectural questions, while the seminary will broaden the discourse to bring forth points of contacts with various other disciplines. b. Within the curriculum, the course will support the Theory file and will address to theresearch students in the masters program. Previous knowledge of the topic is scarce and is based exclusively on free discussions in the studio classes, not on organized courses. Basedon my previous experience as assistant of the Modern architecture course, there is little, if any, knowledge of styles and edifices in Romanian architecture in general, let alone of the post-war architecture.c. Although some of the authors of the more important post-war edifices and books are stillalive and some of them still active, there is little systematic knowledge of the topic. Whilemore and more important architects of the contemporary Western discourse come andlecture in our school, there are no conferences devoted to the post-war Romanian and East-European architecture. With the exception of the exhibition-to-be on the topic, organized bythe Union of Romanian Architects in 1999 and curated by me, nothing else relevant – articles, books, exhibitions, films - have yet emerged in the field.
II. Objectives of the course
a. The course and seminary aim then to create a greater awareness among the architecturalmaster students (the future professors) and among the post-doctoral researchers of the NewEurope College, present and future leaders of opinion in the Romanian culture.Within several years of teaching, hopefully the topic will become more relevant to thecurriculum as a whole, since there is need to be taught in lower undergraduate levels as well.In the process, a better understanding of our environment – as configured in the last fiftyyears - might help us to come to terms with our own traumatic past.
 
III. Course detailsa. Lecture synopsisRemodernizing the discourse1.Socialist realism: its birth, its politics, and its major works and players, bothofficials and artists. The pre-war and the post-war period. The “first”postmodernism? (1949-1954)
Boris Groys
The total art of Stalin
, Princeton University Press, 1992
2.
3. Post/Stalinist architecture: the resurgence of Modernism in Central and EasternEurope (1954-1960). Political events that have reshaped and remodernized thediscourse
(, the Communist Berlin program in 1950’s, Khruschev’s speeches in 1954, 56and 57, the 1956 revolution in Hungary, the 1957 UIA congress in Moscow and so on).
The pre-war national traditions and their revival.
Kulterman, Udo
 Zeitgenossische Architektur in Osteuropa,
DuMont Buchverlag,
o
ln, 1985Szendr 
`
i, Jen
`
et al
 Neue Architektur in Ungarn
, G.D.W Callwey Verlag, M
h
nchen1978
Geschichte, Bedeutung, Umgang, Erhaltung -
Dokumentation der Tagung des Deutschen Nationalkomitees f 
h
r Denkmalschutz am 15-16 Mai 1995 in Berlin
4. The Communist “Hi/tech” architecture, or the aesthetics of heavy industry and of theCosmic adventure (1960-1980). The lyrical functionalism: Le Corbusier and OscarNiemeyer in the East. Major “civic centers”.
 Augustin Ioan:
 Architecture and Power 
, film and book, 1992
5.The Communist Postmodernism: Its grounds, its politics, and its edifices.
Hal Foster, editor:
The Anti-Aesthetic - Essays on PostmodernCulture
, Bay Press, Seattle, 1982,
Organic architecture
(Hungarian exhibition at the VeniceBiennial, 1991, catalogue).
The city6. Major themes of Modern Communist architecture
: rewriting the cities; urban planningin West & East. Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Bucharest Center and boundaries: social housing,new vs. historic city centers.Glendenning andMuthesius, Stefan
Tower Block 
, Yale University Press, New Haven/London, 1994
7.
Megastructures and the “systematization of the national territory”: the question of control.
  Reyner Banham Megastructure - Urban Framesof the Recent Past 
, Thames and Hudson, London, 1976
8.The previous plans before the war and the future of reconstruction after 1989
Bucharest 2000.The catalogue of the 1995 competition and of the 1998 student workshop, commentaries published in the press;Augustin Ioan
235 Times Bucharest 
(film, 1997).
The substance and its form
 
9. Structural experiments with concrete and metal. A non-derridean philosophy of thegrid.
Bucher, Max
 Building in Visual Concrete
, Technical Press Ltd, London, 1971(printed in Germany in 1966)
10. The framed glass. On transparency in Communist edifices.
11.
The culture of plastics: “The” Modern material, from linoleum to nylon to plexy.
Baudrillard, Jean:
Sistemul obiectelor 
, Echinox, Cluj, 1996Quarnby, Arthur 
The Plastic Architect 
, Pall Mall Press, London, 1974
B. SEMINAR/TUTORIAL SYNOPSIS1. Khruschev’s speech in 1954 and its influence on our region
in:a)repressing/replacing the theoretical/critical edge of East-European architecture;
b)
 practice in the USSR and satellite countries. Discussions on the discourse and its wider relevance on the Stalinism legacy not just in architecture, but on the whole establishment.Eigen, Edward (editors)
 Architecture Culture 1943-1968 - A Documentary Anthology
,Columbia Books of Architecture, Rizzoli, NY, 1993Gutschow, Niels
 Architektur und St 
@
dtebau der
h
nfziger Jahre
, Band 41,Schriftenreihe des deutschen nationalkomitees
h
Denkmalschutz, Bonn 1990Ioan, AugustinCommentaries on Khruschevs speech, in
Sfera Politicii
42-43/1997Broadbent, Geoffrey"Buildings as Symbols of Political Ideology" in
Semiotics 1980
,Plenum Press, NY/London, 1982Questions asked:
* How influential are/can be the politics and politicians in shaping up a certain architecturaldiscourse?
Which are the relevant aspects of the speech that can be found present in the architectureafter 1954?
Commentaries on the Romanian political speeches on architecture
2.The politics of Modernism in Central/Eastern Europe (DDR, Poland, Estonia,Hungary, Yugoslavia).
Cãlinescu, Matei
Cinci feţe ale modernitaţii
, Univers, Bucureºti, 1996Colquhoun, Alan
 Essays in Architectural Criticism - Modern Architecture and  Historical Change
, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1986Conrads, Ulrich (editor)
 Programs and Manifestoes on 20th Century Architecture
, LundHumphries, London, 1970
Dűwel, Jarn
 Baukunst voran! Architektur un Städtebau in der SBZ/DDR,
Schelzy&Jeep, Berlin, 1995* slides from various countries in the region
Q
:
How simmilar are the architectures of various Communist countries?
Are there relevant differences and discrepancies?
If yes, how can they be justified?
3. The architecture of national identity
Vale, Lawrence J.
 Architecture, Power, and National  Identity
, Yale University Press, New Haven/London, 1992

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