Organized by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Chair of Architectural Theory, the “Brutalism. Architecture of Everyday Culture, Poetry and Theory” symposium will be taking place in Berlin May 10-11. Their position on this topic is that Brutalism’s critical review of classical modernism and post-war modernism gave rise to a unique laboratory situation, in which modern architectural trends still of relevance today were developed and tested for the very first time. More information on the event after the break.
Not only did Brutalism’s aesthetic and formal features set the course of future developments, as late minimalism attests; the ethical, which is to say socio-political subtexts of its ‘Everyday Architecture’ approach likewise exerted a lasting influence on architectural and urban planning discourse, as evinced by the Las Vegas- and Suburbia-oriented postmodernism of Venturi, Scott, Brown, for example, or by the Dirty Realism of the late 1980s, which fostered a new urban planning approach to urban sprawl. To investigate Brutalism in the light of the above can thus contribute significantly to understanding key architectural developments that occurred in the later years of postmodernism.
A crucial concern of the symposium is to establish substantial criteria and benchmarks, and thus promote the consistent and considered evaluation of the Brutalist legacy. We consider it imperative also to heighten public awareness and thereby foster a sensitive approach to this endangered architectural heritage.
In the light of papers presented by the discipline’s ‘Elder Statesmen’, the symposium will seek primarily to analyse architectural theory and the latest research into Brutalism as a theoretically underpinned architectural practice. A further ‘country-by-country’ strand will illustrate the histories of the major labs established by the Brutalist movement, and thereby reflect on their respective interactions. Both as a turning point and as a critical factor in late modernism, Brutalism paved its way out of its own era and into the present. New inter-pretations of Brutalism are not exactly a novelty on our horizons in the UK or Switzerland, for instance, and a growing appreciation of its discrete, understated impact is increasingly putting it back on the drawing board. The third strand of the symposium will therefore be to address contemporary manifestations of the Brutalist tradition, in the light of various areas of research and the open questions to which these give rise.
For more information, please visit here.