MA HCT / PhD Seminar: Anthony Vidler

MA HCT / PhD Programme
Date: 01/12/2016
Time: 1 p.m
Venue: 32 First Floor Back (Organised and hosted by the MA History and Critical Thinking Programme)

Anthony Vidler“The [New] Brutalism: Theory or Style?”

In the wake of the serious revival of love for the reinforced concrete buildings of the 60s and 70s, called more or less randomly “Brutalist” and in the light of Reyner Banham’s two essays – “The New Brutalism” (1955) and “Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?” (1967), the seminar will examine the theoretical supports  of a “movement” that never became a Movement, and the ways in which journalism transformed raw concrete into a style to be hated.  The post-war of shortages, de-mobilisation, coupled with the rise of class cultural identity (“Room at the Top,” “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner,” “Lucky Jim”) produced more than the rather wistful plea of Banham’s “New Brutalism,” while the theoretical developments stemming from the culture of “as found” were more far -reaching than have been recognized, and are still remarkably prescient with respect to today’s over-the-top star-building and under-funded social habitat. Our future will need more “as found” and less “buy and sell.”

Readings:
Reyner Banham, “The New Brutalism” Architectural Review 1955, On Line
Reyner Banham, The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic? 1967
Steve Parnell, “Ethics VS Aesthetics Architectural Design 1965-1972,” www.field-journal.org vol.4(1)
Owen Hatherley, “Strange, Angry Objects,” London Review of BooksVol. 38, No. 22 (17 November 2016), pp.11-16.
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