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Augustin IOAN, MA, MSArch, PhD Lecturer, Institute of Architecture “Ion Mincu” Bucharest Fellow, The New Europe College

Bucharest ROMANIA ARCHITECTURAL THINKING SINCE 1950 IN EASTERN EUROPE Course report I. Introduction a. The course aims to outline the theoretical thinking behind the urban planning and architecture in the post-war period, focusing on the Central and Eastern Europe while deepening the question of Modern architecture in Romania in the mentioned period. While in our schools there are courses on the history of Modern architecture and on the Romanian architecture 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 countries during 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 (the advanced studies institute that I am associated with since 1995) for an interdisciplinary group of scholars and students in architecture and arts from various years, including, of course, the master students who are the basic auditors of the course. Therefore, there are in fact two substantially different items and beneficiaries. The course is highly technical and devoted to specific 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 the research 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. Based on 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 still alive and some of them still active, there is little systematic knowledge of the topic. While more and more important architects of the contemporary Western discourse come and lecture in our school, there are no conferences devoted to the post-war Romanian and EastEuropean architecture. With the exception of the exhibition-to-be on the topic, organized by the 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 architectural master students (the future professors) and among the post-doctoral researchers of the New Europe College, present and future leaders of opinion in the Romanian culture. Within several years of teaching, hopefully the topic will become more relevant to the curriculum 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 fifty years - might help us to come to terms with our own traumatic past.

III. Course details a. Lecture synopsis Remodernizing the discourse 1. Socialist realism: its birth, its politics, and its major works and players, both officials 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 Eastern Europe (1954-1960). Political events that have reshaped and remodernized the discourse (, the Communist Berlin program in 1950’s, Khruschev’s speeches in 1954, 56 and 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, Koln, 1985 Szendr`i, Jen` et al Neue Architektur in Ungarn, G.D.W Callwey Verlag, Mhnchen 1978 Geschichte, Bedeutung, Umgang, Erhaltung - Dokumentation der Tagung des Deutschen Nationalkomitees fhr Denkmalschutz am 15-16 Mai 1995 in Berlin 4. The Communist “Hi/tech” architecture, or the aesthetics of heavy industry and of the Cosmic adventure (1960-1980). The lyrical functionalism: Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer 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 Postmodern Culture, Bay Press, Seattle, 1982, Organic architecture (Hungarian exhibition at the Venice Biennial, 1991, catalogue). The city 6. Major themes of Modern Communist architecture: rewriting the cities; urban planning in West & East. Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Bucharest Center and boundaries: social housing, new vs. historic city centers. Glendenning and Muthesius, 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 Frames of 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 the grid. 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, 1996 Quarnby, Arthur The Plastic Architect, Pall Mall Press, London, 1974 B. SEMINAR/TUTORIAL SYNOPSIS 1. 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, 1993 Gutschow, Niels Architektur und St@dtebau der fhnfziger Jahre, Band 41, Schriftenreihe des deutschen nationalkomitees fhr Denkmalschutz, Bonn 1990 Ioan, Augustin Commentaries on Khruschev’s speech, in Sfera Politicii 42-43/1997 Broadbent, Geoffrey "Buildings as Symbols of Political Ideology" in Semiotics 1980, Plenum Press, NY/London, 1982 Questions asked: • * How influential are/can be the politics and politicians in shaping up a certain architectural discourse? • Which are the relevant aspects of the speech that can be found present in the architecture after 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, 1996 Colquhoun, Alan Essays in Architectural Criticism - Modern Architecture and Historical Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1986 Conrads, Ulrich (editor) Programs and Manifestoes on 20th Century Architecture, Lund Humphries, 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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The books and designs of Constantin Joja slides Q: What are the grounds for a rhetoric of identity in architecture? What is the agenda of national identity in the times and region envisaged? Comparisons between the identity discourse in the architecture before and after WWII in Romania Is such a rhetoric still relevant? Is “critical regionalism” an alternative? The role of vernacular tradition in the process 4.Visual vs. Tactile in Modernism. A phenomenology of building in our region. Leach, Neil (editor) Rethinking Architecture, Routledge, London/ New York, 1997 Slides. Architecture and power, a film written by Augustin Ioan. Q: The concept of dwelling in Heidegger’s terms – how can it be questioned when one discusses the collective dwelling units? The concept of place and placelessness Public edifice, public space, public space – is there a place for privacy in this project?

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Postmodernity. Theoretical grounds for a philosophy of conversions. Sherban Cantacuzino Old buildings, new uses and Re-architecture. Q: Should Communist architecture be restored? (The Stalin Alee example in Berlin) Is there such thing as a Modern “monument”? How can one use the empty/unfinished spaces left from the Modern/Communist projects? 5. Is there life after death for the Communist architecture? Q: • Can one punish the architecture for/instead of the ideology? • Is architecture guilty? Is the architect guilty? The ethics of architecture • Is Modernism a totalitarian project? VI. Teaching methodology Courses of two hours each, with one hour theoretical framing of the question and one hour of discussing urban plans, photos, slides and other documents. There will be papers written by the students on a proposed topic (at least four over a semester). The final exam at the end of the teaching period will comprise the discussion on at least two relevant text (one on the period in general and one on the local architecture within the envisaged area) and a relevant edifice or urban intervention. The final note will combine the papers and the final/oral examination. The comparative method is used to trace back similarities and differences between Western thinking/ practice and Eastern politics and practice of architecture, from the way the cities were rebuilt after the WWII down to the question of materials, techniques and symbolism employed in the works of architecture erected in our region. A close examination of the most important political decisions on architecture and building industry will require techniques imported from “kremlinology” - that is, reading Communist

official documents between the lines, tracing hints on the actual meanings, (Freudian) slips and untold stories behind the texts. Postmodern interpretations will enlighten links such as the questions of play, stage design and anti-Modernism in both Postmodern and Socialist Realist architecture. The deconstructivist way of reading&questioning underlaying strata of power and political control within a given text, be it written or built, would also help in a contemporary understanding of the totalitarian texture of our erected environment. Number of participating students in course lectures: 15 (the master students in architecture) plus the usual guests from various other programs in the school of architecture and from the university (master students in history, history of arts and philosophy): Number of auditors participating in the seminary: 20-25 (the master students and the scholars in the NEC programs).