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Garagem Sul | Architecture Exhibitions

Laurent Stalder

What Happens to Architecture?


Were one to have to summarize the history of modernity (up to the recent past) under a single heading, one of the crucial concepts that would have to be named is the untiring search for the “new”: from new ways of living, to new ways of building, new materials, new construction methods, new design processes, new building tasks, new protagonists, and even new human beings. But what would it mean to examine the succession from the old to the new, from the modern to the postmodern, from the avant-garde to the neo-avant-garde, not simply as rhetorical figures but rather as real, physical phenomena? To no longer represent the new as a postulate, but to study it precisely at the juncture where it becomes outdated, where the materials fail, where the infrastructure no longer performs, and where the construction does not to meet the demands required of it? What would be the result, in other words, if modern architecture were to be studied not simply in terms of its innovations, but rather also in terms of what occurs to them, when time elapses? What would the implications therefore be were one to seriously pay attention to the passage of time and to equally study architecture at the point where the building and its users do not follow the program inscribed therein; where the architecture breaks down, is destroyed, is abandoned, or simply does not fulfill its premises?

Laurent Stalder
is professor and researcher at the Institu gta and ETH Zurich. His research focuses on the history and theory of architecture from the 19th century to today and where it intersects with the history of technology. His most recent publications include Hermann Muthesius: Das Landhaus als kulturgeschichtlicher Entwurf (2008), Valerio Olgiati (2008), Der Schwellenatlas (2009), and God & Co. François Dallegret: Beyond the Bubble (2011). Laurent Stalder is a member of the board of trustees of the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basle and the Werner Oechslin Library Foundation, and member of the scientific board of the Jaap Bakema Center in Rotterdam and the LIAT, of the ENSA-Paris-Malaquais.
In 2015 he was awarded the Golden Owl for his teaching at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich.


May 8, 2018
7 pm

Sophia de Mello Breyner Room
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