Where do we stand?*
Architecture. The Influence of Cultural Exchange between Europe and America.
The Fundació Mies van der Rohe Barcelona and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York are organizing a panel discussion on the influence of European architecture in America, past and present.
The Museum of Modern Art is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe since 1983.
This event will be a key point in future interaction between both institutions and their role in the dissemination and consciousness of architecture’s importance worldwide.
Mr. Pedro Gadanho, MoMA’s Contemporary Architecture and Museum Design curator, Mr. Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of the city of Barcelona and Ms. Giovanna Carnevali, Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, will present the institutions’ aims and future programs which will have a worldwide scope.
What: Academic/Institutional Exchanges & Practice Exchanges between Europe and America
Where: MoMA’s Titus 1 Theatre
When: 23 November 2013, 2.15pm
How: 2 panels, each with one moderator and 3 or 4 participants
Who: Panel 1 Panel 2
Academic/Institutional Exchanges Practice Exchanges
Moderator: Barry Bergdoll Moderator: Kenneth Frampton
Mohsen Mostafavi Winka Dubbeldam
Alejandro Zaera-Polo Craig Dykers (SNOHETTA)
Bernard Tschumi Jing Liu, Florian Idenburg (So-IL)
The celebration of the 25 Years of the European Union Award for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Prize presents the opportunity to present this double panel discussion that will analyze and debate how the European cultural background has been and is still being exported to America.
The discussion will delve into the influence and status of cultural exchanges between Europe and America in the field of architecture.
Out of the reconciliation of eastern and western Europe and in the context of economic prosperity during these 25 years, European architecture has experienced a golden age. Many landmarks rose up all over the continent showing a spirit of audacity and self-confidence.
Since the economic and social crisis is now lasting, conditions for and demands to architecture are changing, and so do the main values it is expected to carry on.
Many European architects worked and lived in the United States following strong economic and politic changes occurring in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. The discussion aims at discovering if from both in thinking and in action the sprawl of European architecture is having again today a strong influence in American architecture and culture.
Is European architecture exporting values as much as craft expertise in the fields of education, built environment and competition criteria?
The context of building production is different on both sides of the Atlantic but does the evaluation of architecture differ too? Does the European way of thinking influence America? What kind of criteria are used today and will be used in the coming years to judge architecture works? How do those criteria retroactively influence European practitioners?
“Where do we stand?”
The Participants in each panel are internationally recognized professionals from the architecture field, both in theory and practice, who have had a strong relationship with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
These architects have influenced architecture and continue having an international influence on it today specifically in the relationship between Europe and America.
Participants will not present their own projects. Instead, together with the moderator of each panel, they will present their thoughts and ideas through their experiences and wrapped up knowledge.
Row 0 participants will take part in the discussion supporting the dialogues with their points of views and through their skills.
The discussions should clarify the European influence of architecture and where we stand now.
* Marcel Breuer asked himself the same question in an article published in Architectural Review (April 1935, 133-136): “In the past I have been opposed to much of this theorising about the New Architecture, believing that our job was to build, and that our buildings sufficed, since they speak plainly enough for themselves. I was, moreover, not a little startled when I realised how often there was a considerable discrepancy between the theories and the personalities who advanced them. The danger of all theorising is that, by carrying one’s arguments too far, one is apt to leave the world of reality behind. Some of the principles of the Modern Movement have been widely adopted, but they have been compromised by being used separately without any coordinating relation to the aims of that Movement as a whole. A closer examination of the ideology of the New Architecture has therefore become a pressing necessity”.
The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and the Museum of Modern Art support the converging influence of theory and practice in architecture. The coincidence in the title is a pure but also a magnificent coincidence.
November 23rd, 2013
MoMA, 11 W 53rd St, New York, New York 10019
Fundació Mies van der Rohe
Mercedes Soler-Lluró, Gemma Pasqual/ICE