The Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History is a seminar-format lecture series stressing works-in-progress and is organized by PhD students in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia.
All events are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
Monday, October 14, 6:30 p.m.
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Reto Geiser, Gus Wortham Assistant Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture
Toward an Education of Vision
Reto Geiser will discuss art historian and architecture critic Sigfried Giedion's persistent advances to improve visual literacy by offering students from all fields deeper insight into the history of art and architecture. From early proposals for an "education of vision," to his involvement with the "Explorations Group" in Toronto, to attempts exerting influence on the formation of the Visual Arts Center at Harvard, Geiser will trace how visual sensibilities that originated in the early twentieth century not only provided Giedion with a methodological framework to overcome disciplinary specialization, but also formed the basis for a broader dissemination of the principles of modern architecture.
Tuesday, March 26
Esra Akcan, University of Illinois at Chicago
"News from the Living Room: Storytelling and Participatory Architectural Writing"
Wednesday, April 17
Alex Bremner, University of Edinburgh
"Architecture, Religion, and British Global Expansion in the Nineteenth Century: Rethinking Empire and the Built Environment"
Wednesday, September 19
Juliet Koss, Scripps College
"Filming the Future Perfect, Moscow 1938"
Juliet Koss is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at Scripps College in Claremont, California, and the author of Modernism after Wagner (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), a finalist for the College Art Association's Charles Rufus Morey Book Award. Her essays on modern European art, architecture, and related fields have appeared in journals and edited volumes in Europe and the United States and she has received fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the Humboldt Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation. In 2008 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and, in 2009, a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin; in 2011 she was the Rudolf Arnheim Visiting Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin, where she taught seminars on the Bauhaus and on the Russian and Soviet Avant-Gardes. Her current book project, "Model Soviets," addresses the visual culture of the Soviet obsession with construction in the 1920s and 1930s and explores how documentary images of architecture—of models, of buildings covered in scaffolding, and of completed edifices—emblematized the role of construction more generally within the Soviet state.
"Filming the Future Perfect, Moscow 1938" explores the utopian grammar of architectural models in the Soviet 1920s and 1930s, focusing especially on Alexander Medvedkin's film The New Moscow, released in 1938 and removed from circulation by the censors. Showing architects looming over models for the Soviet capital, scenes filmed in Moscow's newly built metro and on its newly constructed streets, and Muscovites experiencing the built environment in a state of constant flux, The New Moscow tells the story of the design of a "living model of Moscow," a combination of large-scale architectural model and film projection that is presented to the Soviet public in the film's final scene. Possible reasons for the film's censorship abound; contravening Soviet cultural mandates to celebrate construction achievements through visual documentation, it includes documentary footage of large-scale destruction, reveals characters' confusion and nostalgia for the disappearing urban fabric, and overtly mocks construction propaganda. By poking fun at both Soviet technology and the utopian vision of the "living model," The New Moscow ridicules Soviet construction ideals and, by extension, the model Soviet future.
Wednesday, December 5
Jeremy Aynsley, Royal College of Art
"A Tale of Two Germanys: Design in the 1950s and 60s in the GDR and FRG"
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Wednesday, February 15
Juan José Lahuerta, Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB)
"Ornament, Crime and Architecture: Loos the Architect Faces Loos the Writer"
Juan José Lahuerta is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). His primary interests include Gaudí, Dalí, Le Corbusier, Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe. His most recent publications are Le Corbusier (Milan, 2011), Estudios Antiguos (Madrid, 2010), and Humaredas. Arquitectura, ornamentación, medios impresos (Madrid, 2010). He is an editorial member of Casabella Milano, director of Mudito & Co. publications (Barcelona), and curator of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
Wednesday, March 7
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Yale School of Architecture
"Towards Cognitive Architecture: Louis Kahn meets Josef and Anni Albers"
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen is Associate Professor at the Yale School of Architecture, where she is also Director of the Master of Environmental Design Program. Her most recent works include Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity and Geopolitics (Yale University Press, 2009) and Achtung Architektur! Image and Phantasm in Contemporary Austrian Architecture (MIT Press, 1996). She is the editor of Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment (Yale, 2011), and coeditor of Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (Yale, 2006).
Wednesday, April 11
Guido Montanari, Polytechnic University of Turin (POLITO)
"Architecture and Fascism: An 'Other' Modernity in Italy Between the Wars"
Guido Montanari is Associate Professor of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Turin. His primary interest is in the fields of modern and contemporary architecture and city planning in Italy and Europe. His most recent publication is Architettura e cittá nel Novecento (with Andrea Bruno, Rome 2009), and his recent publications have focused on the neglected work of Amedeo Albertini (Skira, 2007) and Guiuseppe Momo (Celid, 2000).
José Lira, University of São Paulo
"Avant-garde, the City and Real Estate: Gregori Warchavchik, Odessa-São Paulo"
Monday, October 24, 5.30 p.m.
Judith Lee Stronach Center
José Lira is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planing in the University of São Paulo (FAU-USP), where he presented both his PhD and PD Dissertations (1997 and 2008). He has served as a visiting scholar at GSAPP, Columbia University (2009), and as a Research Affiliate at the National Council of Research, Brazil (CNPq-BR). He is the author of Warchavchik: Fraturas da Vanguarda (Cosac & Naify, 2011), and edited Caminhos da Arquitetura, de Vilanova Artigas (Cosac & Naify, 2004), Tempo, Cidade e Arquitetura (FAU-USP/ Annablume, 2007) and Cidade: impasses e perspectivas (FAU-USP/ Annablume, 2007). He has also published chapters in books such as L'Aventure dês Mots de La Ville, Arquitetura + Arte + Cidade, Les Mots de la Stigmatisation Urbaine, and Rediscutindo o Modernismo, as well as articles in several journals in Brazil and elsewhere. He is currently the director of the University of São Paulo Center for Cultural Preservation (CPC-USP).
Claire Zimmerman, University of Michigan
"Activist History: Architectural Surfaces, ca. 1914"
Wednesday, November 2, 6 p.m.
Judith Lee Stronach Center
Claire Zimmerman is Assistant Professor of art history and architecture at the University of Michigan. She teaches courses on 19th and 20th century European and America architecture with emphases in Weimar Germany and the United Kingdom. Research interests include architecture culture as it interacts with commerce and industry, and the infrastructures of globalization that underpinned the spread of modern architecture throughout the 20th century. Her co-edited essay collection, Neo-avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond (with Mark Crinson) appeared as Volume 21 in the Yale Studies in British Art (Yale University Press) in fall 2010; an earlier monograph, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was published by Taschen in 2006. Zimmerman's recent work has appeared in OASE, AA Files, Perspecta, the Journal of Architecture, and Harvard Design Magazine. She is completing a manuscript on photography in modern architecture in 2011. She was the 2009-2010 Helmut F. Stern Professor at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.
John Harwood, PhD Columbia '06, Oberlin College
"Danger Zones: Aerial Bombardment and the Politics of Risk Analysis in 1930s-40s Britain"
Wednesday, November 16, 6 p.m.
Judith Lee Stronach Center
John Harwood is Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Architectural History at Oberlin. His research centers on the architectural articulation of science, technology, and corporate organization. His articles have appeared in Grey Room, AA Files, and do.co.mo.mo. He is co-author, with Janet Parks, of The Troubled Search: The Work of Max Abramovitz (2004), and co-author with Jesse LeCavalier and Guillaume Mojon of This - Will This (2009). His essays have also appeared in catalogues for the Venice Biennale for Architecture 2008, the V&A's exhibition Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970 (2008), and several forthcoming edited volumes. His book, The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976, will be published in November 2011 by The University of Minnesota Press. He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the National Gallery of Art, the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Studies, and the University of Queensland, and received Oberlin's B. Wade and Jane B. White Fellowship and the Class of 1957 Distinguished Professor Award.
Kurt W. Foster
"Architecture in Print: How Karl Friedrich Schinkel Invented the Oeuvre Complète"
Thursday, March 24, 6.30 p.m.
Schermerhorn Hall, room 612
Among Schinkel's numerous professional credentials, an architectural treatise is missing. But he must be recognized as the inventor of a new and singularly successful format of promotion, the oeuvre complète. A gifted designer of public displays, panoramas, and stage sets, Schinkel fed the visual avidity of his contemporaries (and continues to do so today) with ingenious images of his projects and buildings. A biographical thread replaces the categorical order among architectural projects and suggests a conspectus of works across time and place.
Kurt W. Forster is director of doctoral studies at the Yale School of Architecture. He has held professorships at Stanford, M.I.T., the Federal Institute of Technology, ETH, Zurich, and the Gropius Chair at the Bauhaus University, Weimar. He has organized major exhibitions, including the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004, and is now collaborating on exhibitions of Carlo Mollino (Munich) and Karl Friedrich Schinkel (Berlin). He also writes on historiography and contemporary photography.
"American Glamour: Mid-century Modern Installation"
Thursday, April 28, 6.30 p.m.
Schermerhorn Hall, room 612
Professor Friedman will discuss collaborations between architects, sculptors and lighting designers in mid-20th century American design. Specifically, she will elaborate projects between Richard Kelly, Richard Lippold and Harry Bertoia on the one side and Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) on the other. This talk represents a work-in-progress, drawing on her recent book American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture (Yale 2010).
Friedman is the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and Director of the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College. She is the author of numerous books and articles including House and Household in Elizabethan England: Wollaton Hall and the Willoughby Family (U. Chicago, 1989), Women and the Making of the Modern House: A Social and Architectural History (Abrams, 1998), and most recently, American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture (Yale, 2010).
The Frankfurt Kitchen
Wednesday, December 1, 6:30 p.m.
Join MoMA's Design Curator Juliet Kinchin for a private tour of the new show "Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen," and its centerpiece, an unusually complete example of the Frankfurt Kitchen (1926), designed by Austrian Architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky. Columbia GSAPP Professor Mary McLeod, who has written on Lihotzky for MoMA's recent publication Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, will comment.
Colin Rowe's "Space Talk"
Tuesday, December 7, 6:30 p.m.
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Columbia Professor Christoph Schnoor will discuss seminal architectural historian Colin Rowe's notion of "space talk," or his unique interpretation of urban and architectural space, and its vital legacy for architectural history. Schnoor is lecturer in architectural history, theory and design at Unitec New Zealand, and has written extensively on 20th architectural history, German colonial architecture, and Le Corbusier (most recently "La Construction des villes," gta, Zürich 2010).