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Architecture in the Age of 'Empire'

11th International Bauhaus Colloquium as the highlight of Bauhaus Anniversary Week

On April 2-5, architectural theoreticians from around the globe will be coming to Weimar to debate the political and ethical challenges of globalization and how architecture responds to them.

In today's globalized world, star architects are frequently given their most spectacular commissions by states and regimes that do not have to adhere to democratic rules or committees. "The more centralized the power, the fewer the architectural compromises that have to be made", explains Peter Eisenman. The consequences for architecture will be debated by philosophers, historians and architectural theoreticians from April 2 to 5, 2009, at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

"Progressive architecture seems to flourish most in countries with repressive regimes and questionable human rights records. Still, contemporary critics tend to ignore economic, political, social and moral issues that pervade any globalized architectural practice, focusing instead on aesthetic aspects of design, such as ornament, atmosphere and mood", explains Prof. Dr. Kari Jormakka, one of the chairmen of the colloquium. "They openly refuse to accept any political or moral responsibility and disclaim the very possibility of resistance to economic or political power."

In three plenary sessions 23 renowned international scientists will present their viewpoints. Among those invited are Philip Ursprung (Universität Zürich), M. Christine Boyer (Princeton University), Wolfgang Pehnt (Universität Bochum), Stanford Anderson (MIT), Philipp Oswalt (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau) und Bill Hillier (University College London). The mornings are reserved for five workshops with a total of thirty presentations. The organizers wish to promote successful dialogue between established scientists and emerging scholars with this format.

The Bauhaus Colloquia, held in regular intervals since 1976, are the oldest and most esteemed conferences on architectural theory in the German-speaking world. Organized by the Chair of Theory and History of Modern Architecture at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the colloquium is directed by Prof. Kari Jormakka and Prof. Dr. Gerd Zimmermann. This interdisciplinary forum aims to discuss crucial questions of contemporary architecture. The previous five meetings - Power (1993), Technofiction (1996), Global Village (1999), Medium Architecture (2003), and The Reality of the Imaginary (2007) - focused on the effect of changing social and technological conditions on the practice of architecture.

11th International Bauhaus Colloquium,
April 2 - 5, 2009
Opening Lectures on April 2, 2009, 10 a.m.
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Audimax, Steubenstraße 6, 99423 Weimar
Journalists are cordially invited to participate in the press conference on the occasion of the Bauhaus Anniversary Week and the 11th Bauhaus Colloquium
Press conference
April 1, 2009, 12 p.m.
location: Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Oberlichtsaal, Main Building, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 8, 99423 Weimar

Claudia Weinreich | idw
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