Re-framing IdentitiesArchitectures Turn to History 1970-1990
The year 1990 marked the end of Europes political division. Looking back at the two decades before this event, this conference seeks to investigate the significance of the „historical turn“ in urban design and architecture in both East and West Europe since the beginning of the 1970s in relation to the political and socio-economic transformations of this period. Moreover, we intend to reflect on the emergence of the third category of Central Europe at that time, creating a new cultural entity in order to bridge the political divide. “Re-framing Identities” follows the two previous East West Central conferences “Re-Humanizing Architecture” in May 2014 and “Re-Scaling the Environment” in November 2014.
Our aim is to discuss the growing interest in theory, phenomenology and meaning in architecture and urban design as well as revisionist thinking and the rise of antimodernism. This radical intellectual shift that originated in discourse of Postmodernism affected East and West equally, encouraging, for example, many East European architects to reassess attempts to engage national and regional traditions under Socialist Realism in the 1950s. During the 1970s and 1980s, the recognition of architecture’s capacity to reflect and ground identity reignited the search for local, national and regional languages. At the same time, an expanded understanding of history, freed from the notion of progressive tradition, allowed for integrating regional differences and multiple histories into a wider spectrum of “heritage”. In this process alternative spatial identities were developed, which questioned the ideological and territorial divide between East and West.