Event: Pratt Explores the Importance of Cold War Era Pre-Fabricated Building Systems

Prototype Systems; Courtesy of Pedro Alonso

Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture will present “COLD war COOL digital,” an of 20 scaled prototypes of modernist, pre-fabricated, and globally-distributed Cold War era housing systems that were created using contemporary 3D printing technologies (opening reception 2/18 at 6:15, details below). The will investigate architectural modernism and its global influence and will connect with contemporary prototype pre-fabrication methods and digital research in housing and skyscraper design. A symposium that explores the technical, aesthetic, and political aspects of prototyping and pre-construction in architecture will be held tonight in conjunction with the exhibition.

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© Peter Tannenbaum

The work presented in “COLD war COOL digital” is of significance as approximately 190 million apartments were built using pre-fabricated concrete panel building systems during the Cold War years. The use of these prefabricated systems ushered in a new construction paradigm that transferred building efforts from the construction site to the factory and resulted in housing blocks that were functional, cheap, and quick to assemble. These systems were exported and adapted internationally, which reveals their diversity and variability within worldwide cross-cultural relationships of exchange and influence. Films and other forms of documentation from the Cold War era will be exhibited to provide the context in which these buildings were produced.

© Peter Tannenbaum

SYMPOSIUM: “COLD war COOL digital: variable, pre-constructed, consequential”

  • Thursday, February 28 at 6PM
  • Higgins Hall Auditorium, 61 St. James Place, Brooklyn
  • Moderator: Catherine Ingraham, curator, “COLD war COOL digital,” and professor, Pratt Institute School of Architecture
  • Panelists: Pedro Ignacio Alonso, professor, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and program director, Architectural Association School of Architecture; Adrian Forty, professor, Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London; James Garrison, adjunct associate professor, Pratt Institute School of Architecture; Hugo PalmarolaSagredo, doctoral candidate, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; and Tom Wiscombe, professor, Southern California Institute of Architecture 

EXHIBITION: “COLD war COOL digital”

  • February 19-March 20, 2013
  • Hazel and Robert Siegel Gallery
  • Higgins Hall, 61 St. James Place, Brooklyn
  • Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Curator: Catherine Ingraham, professor, Pratt Institute School of Architecture
  • Exhibition By: Pedro Ignacio Alonso, professor, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and program director, Architectural Association School of Architecture, and Hugo Palmarola Sagredo, doctoral candidate, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Sponsors: 3D Systems Corporation; ZCorp; Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture; the Universidad Catolica de Chile; Chilean Arts and Culture Council; and the Architectural Association

Please click here for directions to Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, and here for a map of the Brooklyn campus.

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Event: Pratt Explores the Importance of Cold War Era Pre-Fabricated Building Systems" 28 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=337937>