After WW II, architecture was used and misused as an ideological signifier for competing systems and for new national identities. Diverse actors and networks took part in architectural exchange within the blocks and beyond the Iron Curtain. Different aid projects posed an attempt to overcome political and economic divides, but at the same time they were often considered as foreign imposition or neo-colonial practice. Tensions between commercial interests and political solidarity arose.
Against this background and referring to the growing scholarly interest for the multi-layered and multi-centred exchanges between the Global South and socialist as well as capitalist countries, we would like to investigate this issue in relation to architecture and the constructing industry from an interdisciplinary perspective of architectural, urban and economic history as well as postcolonial studies and heritage preservation.
The conference focuses around five aspects
- What actors, institutions and networks worked on international
- architectural and urban planning projects on the micro-, meso- and
- macro-scale? Which motives can be outlined?
- What were the geographies, temporalities and typologies of international architectural and urban planning projects?
- How were international projects adapted to different local circumstances (e.g. with regard to clima, local culture or economy)?
- What were the repercussions of international involvement
- on the architecture and urban planning in the exporting countries?
- How were architectural projects influenced by the Cold War politics and economy (e.g. intra-block cooperation, power imbalances)? What was the ideological context of the architectural exchange (e.g. between different socialist countries around the world)?