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14:00 Monday 14 November 2011
Room G04, Wates House, UCL, 20Gordon Street London WC1H 0AJ
UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture,with the support of the Bartlett School of Planning, and UCL UrbanLaboratory
Socialist Globalization: ArchitecturalTransfer from the People’s Republic of Poland
Lecture by Łukasz Stanek
In the Cold War period, socialist Polandwas considered a highly valued brand—at least in certain markets, andparticularly the global market of architectural labour. This talk presents thedesigns of architects and planners from the People's Republic of Poland (PRL)as they operated in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Ghana, and Nigeria during theCold War. Working in these territories gave Polish professionals anacquaintance not only with advanced technologies, materials, and functionalprograms, but also, from the 1970s on, with 'postmodernism' as a new tendencyin architectural practice and discourse. As well as examining suchinternational projects, Stanek questions the impact this design experience hadon the subsequent production of urban space in Poland after socialism. Indoing so, Stanek provides new empirical evidence and analysis, of an as yetunder-explored field of international architectural development, challengingreceived conceptions of the period as constituted solely by a binarised 'East/West'cultural hegemony.
Łukasz Stanek is the 2011–2013 A. W.Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in VisualArts, National Gallery, Washington. After studies and research inarchitecture and philosophy at Kraków, Weimar, Münster, Paris, and Zurich,Stanek has taught at the Faculty of Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute ofTechnology (ETH) in Zurich. Stanek's recently published book, HenriLefebvre on Space: Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production ofTheory (Minneapolis, MA: Univeristy of Minnesota Press, 2011), 'takesthe discussion [on sociospatial and urban theory] to a new level ofphilosophical sophistication while also grounding Lefebvre's work in relationto a series of concrete engagements with architecture and urbanism' (NeilBrenner). Stanek recently curated the exhibitions "PRL™ ExportArchitecture and Urbanism from Socialist Poland" (2010) and“Postmodernism Is Almost All Right” (2011) at the Warsaw Museum of ModernArt.
This public lecture is open and free toall. If you would like to attend, please contact Nick Beech.
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