24. November, 18:00

CBC Talk 5: Jitka Molnárová

Housing Estates between top-down and bottom-up transformations

  Flyer of the fifth CBC Talk Urheberrecht: © städtebau

The issue of housing estate regeneration has been intensively addressed in Western European countries since the late 1980s through very complex, lengthy and financially demanding processes. The question is whether it is possible to achieve similar quality of urban environment in countries with smaller budgets, weaker institutional capacities, different ownership structures and higher shares of housing estates from the overall housing stock, i.e. countries of the post-socialist region.

At the same time, findings collected in twenty-five housing estates across the world show that despite differences in culture, climate or available resources, ordinary citizens in economically and institutionally weaker countries (including the post-socialist region) recognize the same shortcomings of housing estates as urban experts in the West and address them through interventions with spatial characteristics similar to those known from large regeneration projects in western countries.

It is argued that understanding bottom-up strategies through which residents are increasing the quality of the environment in housing estates, despite limited funding and minimal to no support from the government, can become the key to more effective housing regeneration processes in post-socialist countries.

Jitka Molnárová is an architect, a town planner and an urban policy analyst with a focus on housing and urban regeneration in post-socialist and developing countries. As a graduate of Faculty of Architecture of CTU in Prague, she further studied urban governance at Urban School Sciences Po Paris, and at the Faculty of architecture and urbanism PUCP in Lima, where she later worked as a lecturer and researcher. She gained professional experience in France, Peru, Colombia and the Czech Republic. Currently she works on a doctoral thesis about spontaneous transformations of modernist housing estates and designs urban planning and housing estate renewal projects.

Date: Thursday, November 24 at 18:00 (CET)
Meeting-ID: 985 7640 9544 | Code: CBCTLK

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5. Juli, 18:00

CBC Talk 3: Maria Mikaelyan, Ph.D.

Shaping the Memory: Russian Museums as Political Instruments 

  Flyer CBC Talk 3 Urheberrecht: © Maria Mikaelyan, 2022

Remembrance and commemoration of traumatic historical past have become one of the major issues of the international museological practice over the last decades. By means of architectural and exhibition design, contemporary museums pose questions concerning history, memory, national identity, alternative perceptions of the past and the present.

During the last decade, Russian museums of political history are being exploited by the authorities for shaping an official, state-sponsored memory discourse concerning primarily the Soviet and immediate post-Soviet period. The museum practice is widely used by the state policy makers as a political instrument of primary importance: it is an effective and efficient tool for transmitting specific messages that fit into the ideological framework of Putin’s administration.

The lecture will explore selected case studies addressing dissonant memories and political history in the light of the ongoing nationalization of historical memory started in 2012 and intensified significantly after the Russian invasion in Ukraine in 2022. By using such examples as the GULAG History State Museum in Moscow or the 'Perm-36' memorial, we will trace the process of formation of fundamentally new cultural identities and, specifically, public policies in the field of memory in today’s Russia, which is progressively reviving neo-imperial rhetoric.

Maria Mikaelyan is an art historian and museologist, and a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). During the last 10 years, she has been active in the academic field of architectural and heritage studies. She holds a Ph.D. cum laude received in the program of “Architectural Urban Interior Design” (auid.polimi.it) of Politecnico di Milano (2020). Maria is the author of books «The Museum as a Political Instrument: Post-Soviet Memories and Conflicts» (2022) and «Three Museum Decades: Architectural and Exhibition Design of Contemporary Art Museums in the 1970s–1990s@ [Russian language] (2021).

Date: Tuesday, July 5 at 18:00 (CET)
Meeting-ID: 985 7640 9544 | Code: CBCTLK


24. Mai, 18:00

CBC Talk 2: Daniel Kiss

From Socialist Planning to Investor Urbanism. 
Recent Revival of Socialism's Abandoned Renewal Plans in Budapest.  

  Zsolt Reviczky Urheberrecht: © Zsolt Reviczky, 2009

Based on the case study of a deteriorated neighborhood’s protracted redevelopment in Budapest, this talk will argue that besides the socialist period‘s built legacies, its unrealized plans have also had significant impact on shaping the post-socialist city’s development and remain perceptible until today. While neglecting areas between the historical centers and new satellites, resulting in their decay, socialist planning also provided a model for their blank slate renewal, which ironically made its revival under market conditions in the form of discontextual investor urbanism. The talk will discuss this nexus and introduce the contemporary developments as belated consequences of planning practices under state socialism.

Daniel Kiss (D.Sc. ETH Zurich and M.Arch. Harvard University) is Senior Lecturer in the Network City Landscape, ETH Zurich. His field of expertise comprises theories of urban form, strategic design, as well as the history and theory of planning with focus on the socialist and post-socialist eras. In his book, Modeling Post-Socialist Urbanization: The Case of Budapest (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, 2019) Daniel constructed an explanatory model of post-socialist urbanization, based on the single case study of recent urban development, planning, and governance in Budapest, Hungary. He is co-editor of Relational Theories of Urban Form (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, 2021), a commented anthology outlining the concept of urban form within the relational field of space and agency. Besides his academic affiliation, Daniel is founding partner of the Basel-based architecture and urban design firm XM Architekten.

Date: Tuesday, May 24 at 18:00 (CET)
Meeting-ID: 985 7640 9544 | Code: CBCTLK


11. Februar, 17:30

CBC Talk 1: Identity in Typical 

The past, present, and future of Socialist urban heritage in Russia
Learning from the practitioners’ point of view

  Logo Identity in Typical Urheberrecht: © Identity in Typical

Case Study on Restoring Houses of Culture in Russia

Russian-Dutch team of architects ‘Identity in typical’ is working with one of the most significant types of architectural legacies of Socialism – Houses of Culture (doma kultury in Russian), multifunctional buildings constructed for the leisure and entertainment of the residents of mikrorayony in Soviet cities. Despite its prevalence (there are more than 40,000 such buildings in Russia alone), there is no comprehensive policy regarding their preservation and usage, resulting in buildings being destroyed and their potential not being realized. The talk will document the results of the architects‘ project, focusing not only on the practical ‚architectural‘ side of the development but also sharing their experience of working with local authorities and local communities.

The talk is organized as part of the research project ‘Cities.Buildings.Culture’.



Meeting-ID: 964 0775 4630