80 406 Curating Architecture: Ten Exhibitions for a Journey into Post-War Architecture


Det kreves ingen forkunnskaper utover opptakskrav i studieprogrammet.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

The course is open for all master students at AHO. It is recommended that students have some previous knowledge of post war architecture history.

Course content

Although architects’ graphic and textual production had been exchanged, collected and exposed since the neo-classical period, the act of ‘curating’ architecture has only been amplified in the post-war period. Indeed, in the second half of the twentieth century and up to our days, architecture exhibitions have been important testing grounds, allowing architects to discuss, expand and disseminate their work. Currently in art history there has been a new trend in viewing exhibitions as an important part of art’s historiography. Art historians such as Bruce Altshuler and Carlos Basulado believe that the history of exhibitions can lead to new insights in the history of art. In the same way, looking at the history of architecture through the lens of significant exhibitions is now considered as valid historiographical method.

This seminar proposes a journey into the history and theory of post-war architecture through the study of ten seminal exhibitions. As such, it will serve to disentangle the way architecture was discussed and represented at different time in recent history. Traveling from MoMA’s 1932 “Modern Architecture: International Exhibition”, 1980’s Venice Architecture Biennale “The Presence of the Past”, and more recent examples such as the 2003 OMA’s “Content” exhibition at the Neue Gallery in Berlin, this seminar will be divided into ten sessions, comprising reading, workshops and group discussions.

Each seminar will look at one particular exhibition, previously introduced to students and situated in their specific historical, political and economical context. Key texts will serve to link each exhibition to one or more themes of post-war architecture. This seminar will be an interdisciplinary link between architecture and urbanism and other related fields such as philosophy, visual arts and literature. Furthermore, it will offer a practical and hands-on experience, the final assignment being the planning and production of an exhibition of exhibitions.

Learning outcomes

This seminar pursues a double objective: First, to explore ideas and concepts implied by the act of ‘curating’ architecture; Second to study major episode in the history and theory of post-war architecture.

Working and learning activities

Lectures, reading assignments, writing assignments, class discussions, film screenings and invited guest lectures. Each session will include looking at visual material as well as reading and discussing curatorial texts or essays about specific exhibitions.

The students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in seminars, their performance during the final “jury/critique” and their submission of the final assignment. The course is assessed as Pass/Fail, subject to the Regulations for Master’s degree programs at AHO, §6-14.

Professor in charge

Léa-Catherine Szacka