Emmanuel Petit, Sven-Olov Wallenstein and Dirk van den Heuvel
Friday 24 October 2014, Ludoteca Venice

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An evening of talks on the work of second generation Modernists architects and their impact on thinking in the United Kingdom and Europe. The event will begin with a series of short lectures by leading scholars followed by a round-table discussion chaired by Penny Lewis looking at the issue of Modernity in the post-war period. Architects during this period operated within a culture in which there was a strong sense of a collective social project—the welfare state—and yet a small number of emerging and established architects chose not to legitimise their professional activity through Welfarism. Their task was to revitalise architecture at its core. In their own way, James Stirling, the Smithsons and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were at the forefront in setting the agenda for a reconstructed idea of modern culture tied to the history of innovation, intellectualism, will and agency. Their stance was, as with all significant artists, to give a voice and form to their particular epoch.

The Scottish Government
Creative Scotland
The British Council
Reiach & Hall Architects

Emmanuel Petit is an Architect, Writer, and Teacher. He is editor of Philip Johnson: The Constancy of Change and is the editor of Schlepping through Ambivalence: Writings on an American Architectural Condition, a book of Stanley Tigerman’s collected essays. Petit is the author of the book Irony, or, The Self-Critical Opacity of Postmodern Architecture and has recently been appointed Sir Banister Fletcher Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Sven-Olov Wallenstein is Professor of Philosophy at Södertörn University. His areas of research include aesthetic theory, Architecture and Modernity, German Idealism, phenomenology, and modern philosophies of desire, power, and subjectivity. Works in progress include translations of Diderot’s Salons and essays on art, Hegel’s Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts, and Adorno’s Negative Dialektik and Ästhetische Theorie. He is editor-in-chief of Site Magazine.

Dirk van den Heuvel is Associate Professor at TU Delft. His expertise is in the field of postwar modern architecture. His output includes ‘Team 10—In Search of a Utopia of the Present’ and ‘Alison and Peter Smithson – from the House of the Future to a house of today’. He has co-curated the Dutch entry for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Open: A Bakema Celebration reflecting on the idea of an open society through the work and research of Jaap Bakema.