Art historian Y. L. Lucy Wang analyzes the architecture and photographic record of the 1955 Bandung Conference, revealing the ways in which the event visually projected its aims of South-South solidarity by bringing new meanings to architectural forms previously charged with colonial and historical associations.
As the entrepreneurial co-founder of the Société Zin, a modernist design company, Safia Farhat (Tunisian, 1924–2004), contributed to the visual aesthetics of civic space during the formative period of Tunisian socialism and state feminism. Jessica Gerschultz introduces Farhat’s key role in sustaining a mural tradition for Tunisian modernists.
Art historian Inesa Brašiškė highlights the ideas behind the work of Lithuanian-American artist and architect Aleksandra Kasuba (1923–2019), most notably her countering of the rigid geometry of architecture through the use of soft materials and curved shapes, and her emphasis on the fundamental connection between the built environment and the formation of subject.
Estonian artist Sirje Runge’s (born 1950) visionary 1975 thesis project conceptualizes the dynamics between the needs of the individual and the overall logic and construction of the city space in late Soviet Estonia.
Da Hyung Jeong proposes a reading of Soviet-built structures in the region. He attempts to reveal the intentions behind their construction through an analysis of Soviet-era cultural criticism, socioeconomic studies, and encyclopedia entries.
The exhibition Neri Oxman: Material Ecology shows the architect’s practice at the intersection of nature and computation. Her dynamic approach, though rooted in the modernist tradition, brings together material science, digital fabrication technologies, and organic design.
A look at the history of the modern house suggests that domestic living takes shape in the intermediate, and sometimes contentious, space between the aspirations of the dweller and architect.
Amanda Williams painted eight condemned houses in and around Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, selecting colors from the consumer products and companies marketed to the Black communities of the city’s South Side. The project highlights the ways we construct meaning from color, how these associations are inextricably linked to race and class, and how they connect to the long-standing history of public disinvestment in Black neighborhoods.
Raised during the socialist period of the former Yugoslavia, Irena Lagator Pejović examines two case studies of Yugoslav art and architecture that provide insights into Montenegro’s transition to neoliberalism.
Riyaz Tayyibji considers the little-known architectural collaborations of Mahatma Gandhi, charismatic leader of the Indian freedom movement, in light of discourses of modern architecture. Weaving in discussions of phenomenology, material, and a discipline of privacy, the essay explores aspects of Gandhi’s philosophical and political thinking that propose a notion of the modern with an ethical and spiritual underpinning for 20th century architectural practice.
The history of the reconstruction of the Macedonian capital Skopje, after a devastating earthquake in 1963, is at this point firmly associated with the role played by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and his Brutalist contributions to the cityscape. But Maja Babić turns her attention to the Ottoman heritage of the city, which she argues was largely disregarded in Skopje’s efforts to assert its “political modernization.”
The following excerpt is from Socialist Architecture: The Reappearing Act, published in Berlin by The Green Box in 2017. A collaboration between the architect Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss and the photographer Armin Linke—supported by the Graham Foundation—the book introduces the concept of an “architecture of Balkanization” and explores textually and visually what that might be in the landscape of the decentralized socialist society of Yugoslavia.