Dr Richard Anderson – A Second-World Empire: Soviet Architecture, Socialism and Globalization

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Tuesday the 1st March 2016


2.13 Evolution House, followed by drinks reception


The reconstruction of Tashkent after the earthquake of 1966 that left the city in ruins produced the most complete realization of a Soviet governmental and administrative centre of the 1960s and ‘70s. This ensemble gives us the clearest picture of the urban and architectural forms that the Soviet Union enlisted in the creation a model city for socialist and decolonizing countries. As one site within a vast architectural system, Tashkent offers an opportunity to consider the images, forms and organizational infrastructure of a global socialist architecture. The origins and ambitions of this project invite us to reconsider the geopolitics of architectural production in the twentieth century and to recognise the significant, yet little-understood role of the Second (socialist) world in global architectural culture.



Richard Anderson specializes in the history of modern and contemporary architecture in North America, Europe, and Eurasia, with emphasis on German- and Russian-speaking regions. His research and teaching explore architecture’s relationship to modern media and modes of economic reasoning. He is currently Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh’s school of architecture and landscape architecture (ESALA). He has previously taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University.

Richard received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He studied at Moscow State University (MGU), the Technical University, Berlin, and Pitzer College, where he received his B.A. He is the recipient of Whiting Foundation and Fulbright fellowships, as well as a Mellon/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship.

His essays have appeared in AA Files, Grey Room, Log, and Future Anterior. He is co-author, with Kristin Romberg, of Architecture in Print: Design and Debate in the Soviet Union (Columbia University, 2005). His writing has been featured in the book In Search of a Forgotten Architect: Stefan Sebök 1901-41 (Architectural Association, 2012). He is editor and principal translator of Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Metropolisarchitecture and Selected Essays (Columbia University, 2012; second edition 2013). Richard is the author of Russia: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion Books, 2015), a cultural history of Russian architecture from 1861 to the present.

Jilly Traganou -Insurgent and Radical Forms of Dissent: Resisting the Olympic City

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We are very excited to welcome Associate Professor Jilly Traganou, The New School, London to Prokalo…

Evolution House, 2.13 

Tuesday the 16th February at 5pm

with drinks and nibbles


The Olympic Games are known as mega events that celebrate universal humanism, fair play and peaceful internationalism. Their realization in the urban environment of a host city involves processes of spatial transformation, militarization of public space, evictions of vulnerable populations, and introduction of new models of citizenship. This process of spatial enforcement is often accompanied by questioning, disagreement, and resistance. Within this broad spectrum of Olympic contestation, I will distinguish two different, but often complementary, forms of urban resistance, that involve creative engagement with material practices: those of insurgent and radical habitus. I will do so by discussing the Clays Lane Live Archive, a multidisciplinary project organized by artist Adelita Husni-Bey, and the Olympic Tent Village, an encampment that was part of the protest against the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Based on the idea of “radical habitus,” a term coined by sociologist Nick Crossley, and James Holston’s concept of “insurgent space,” I will compare these two forms of habitus as prefigurative of new forms of communal life.


Jilly Traganou is architect, Associate Professor in Spatial Design Studies, and Director of the MA in Design Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory, at Parsons School of Design, The New School. She is the author of The Tôkaidô Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), and a co-editor with Miodrag Mitrasinovic of Travel, Space, Architecture (Ashgate, 2009). Traganou is Reviews Editor of the Journal of Design History. Her new book Designing the Olympics: Representation, Participation, Contestation is currently under production by Routledge (2016). Her broader research interests include the study of spatial controversy, design as critical pedagogy in conditions of crisis, and the role of design in social movements and dissent.