International symposium EAST WEST CENTRAL 02

Re-scaling the environment. New landscapes of design, 1960–80

The years between 1960 and 1980 were a period of a hitherto unknown scale of building production both in East and West Europe. The rhetoric of "great numbers" (Jakob Bakema), "no-stop city" (Archizoom) or "megastructure" reveal the advent of new dimensions in architectural thinking. The shift from objects to processes, systems and networks went hand in hand with rapid modernization and gave rise of technocratic concepts and utopian ideals. Economic recession and social upheavals fueled a crisis-consciousness from 1968 on, leading to a widespread criticism of modernization and modern architecture which can be seen as a counter-current to the temptations on bigness.

After "Re-humanizing Architecture. New Forms of Community, 1950-1970" our second East West Central symposium focuses on the expansion of the territory of architecture between 1960 and 1980. The aim of this symposium is to analyze how architects in East and West reacted to such contradicting pressures, questioning the disciplinary confines of architecture as well as basic tenets of modernism.



10:30–11:00 Registration

11.00–11:15 Welcome by the conference organizers

11.15–13.00 Introductory lectures

  • Ákos Moravánszky (ETH Zurich): Blow-up. The powers of scale
  • Hashim Sarkis (Harvard Graduate School of Design): Geo-Architecture. Expanding context after WWII

14.30–16.30 Panel 1: Planning, state and territory

  • Kenny Cupers (University of Illinois): Géographie volontaire and the territorial logic of architecture
  • Jan Dostalík (Masaryk University Brno): Czechoslovak urban and regional planning in the 1960s: Eco-friendly theories vs. everyday practice
  • Karl R. Kegler (ETH Zurich): 1968 – Towards the functional society. Paradigm shifts in regional planning of West and East Germany 

17.30–19:00 Evening lecture and discussion

  • David Crowley (Royal College of Art, London): The choreography of the console. The design of electronic environments and their operators in the Cold War

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29 (morning session)

9.00–10.00 Introductory Lecture

  • Ljiljana Blagojevi? (University of Belgrade): Modular Design. Architect Milan Zlokovi? and the discourse on industrialized construction

10:30–12:30 (parallel panels)

Panel 2a: New scales and prospects

  • Mirko Baum (RWTH Aachen): On bees and screws. Školka SIAL – an architects' Commune in Czechoslovakia
  • Cornelia Escher (Universität of Konstanz): Between model and utopia. GEAM's large-scale designs
  • Torsten Lange (ETH Zurich): The limits of planning. Horst Rittel's theories between cybernetics, convergence and crisis

Panel 2b: Frameworks for exchange

  • Andreas Kalpakci (ETH Zurich): Total Environment and its architectural consequences. UIA’s Seminar on industrial architecture as sense-making strategy
  • Piotr Bujas/ Alicja Gzowska (Warsaw / Warsaw University): New agencies. Convergent frameworks of post-war research and architectural design in Central Europe
  • Tamás Meggyesi (Budapest Technical University): Urbanism and academia. Teaching urban design in Hungary

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29 (afternoon session)

14:00–16:00 (parallel panels)

Panel 3a: Environment, design and planning 

  • Aleksandra K?dziorek (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw): Exercises on the Great Number. Scales and strategies of Oskar Hansen's Open Form
  • Axel Zutz (Berlin): Complex projects. Landscape development and the typology of open spaces in the GDR
  • Daniela Spiegel (Bauhaus Universität Weimar):  Vacationing within the walls. The design and development of holiday resorts in the GDR

Panel 3b: Practices and agencies

  • Eugene Asse (MARCH Moscow): A Moscow architect in the 1970s. Thoughts, projects and buildings
  • Andres Kurg (Estonian Academy of Arts Tallinn): The Concise Dictionary of Modern Architecture. Readdressing the environment in Estonia in the 1970s
  • Tom Cubbin (University of Sheffield): Culture, environment and historical time at Senezh studio 1974- 1991


  • Final discussion 
  • David Crowley (Royal College of Art, London)
  • Ljiljana Blagojevi? (University of Belgrade)
  • Ákos Moravánszky (ETH Zurich)
  • Hashim Sarkis (Harvard Graduate School of Design)
  • Lukasz Stanek (University of Manchester)
  • Max Welch Guerra (Bauhaus Universität Weimar)