Post-Colonial Planning, Global Technology Transfer, and the Cold War

The interdisciplinary research platform south of eastwest focuses on the transfer of architecture, urbanism, and building technology from socialist countries to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East during the Cold War, and its consequences for the conditions of urbanization in the Global South today.

The project was initiated by Łukasz Stanek at the ETH in Zurich (2009) and it was developed by means of research grants, exhibitions, symposia, and seminars at ETH Zurich, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Berlage Institute Rotterdam, CASCO Utrecht, Harvard GSD, Canadian Center of Architecture, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, COST Action “European Architecture Beyond Europe”, Future Cities Laboratory Singapore, Manchester Architecture Research Center. The webpage was designed by Kasia Korczak/ Slavs and Tatars.

Collaborators: Hajir Alttahir, Piotr Bujas, Alexander Kofi Eduful, Alicja Gzowska, Zain Toma.

Past collaborators: Elena Balabanska, Maga Baryła, Michał Bartnicki, Maciej Bojarczuk, Tomasz Chmielewski, Daria Dulok, Dorota Flor, Tomasz Fudala, Michał Grzegorczyk, Tomasz Janko, Aleksandra Kędziorek, Anna Sidorczuk, Monika Rendzner, Filip Surowiecki, Agnieszka Szymczakiewicz, Aleksandra Stępień, Anna Wójcik.

Movie Theater Baghdad
Movie Theater, Baghdad (Iraq), designer: Jerzy (Georg) Baumiller (1961)


Architects from Socialist Countries in Ghana (1957-1967): Modern Architecture and Mondialisation, by Lukasz Stanek, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74, no. 4 (December 2015), 416–442, see full text here

"Mobilities of Architecture in the Global Cold War: From Socialist Poland to Kuwait and Back" by Lukasz Stanek, in: International Journal of Islamic Architecture , Volume 4 Number 2 (2015), see full text here

"Miastoprojekt Goes Abroad. Transfer of Architectural Labor from Socialist Poland to Iraq (1958—1989)" by Lukasz Stanek, in: The Journal of Architecture (London), Volume 17, Issue 3, 2012, pp. 361—86; re-published by The Architectural Review here

"PRL™ Export Architecture and Urbanism from Socialist Poland" by Lukasz Stanek, in: Piktogram. Talking Pictures Magazine (Warsaw, ISSN 1734-8137) 15/ 2011, pp. 1-54, see the cover and table of content here, buy the issue of Piktogram here or on amazon

"Building Export from Socialist Poland. On the Traces of a Photograph" by Lukasz Stanek, in: ANZA Magazine (Dar es Salaam) 1/ 2011, pp. 22-23.

Cold War Transfer. Architecture and Planning from Socialist Countries in the “Third World”, themed volume of The Journal of Architecture (London), Volume 17, Issue 3, 2012, edited by Lukasz Stanek and Tom Avermaete, see table of content and buy the issue here, download the introduction to the issue here

Postmodernism Is Almost All Right. Polish Architecture After Socialist Globalization by Lukasz Stanek (Warsaw: Fundacja Bec-Zmiana, 2012, ISBN 978-83-62418-14-5), see the table of content and the introductory essay here. Buy on the web-page of the publisher Fundacja Bec-Zmiana, or on amazon

Socialist Networks and the Internationalization of Building Culture after 1945, themed volume of ABE Journal (London), 6 (2014), edited by Lukasz Stanek, see the issue here

Reviews in English:

"Postmodernism Is Almost All Right" on

"The Many Returns of Socialist Realism" on

Discussion about"PRL™" and "Postmodernism Is Almost All Right" on Includes the texts: Exporting Socialism by Steven Harris, Going South to Meet the West? by Viviana d'Auria, Going South by Elke Beyer, and the response to both texts Disenchantment in a Wunderkammer by Lukasz Stanek.

Two reviews of the project in Centropa vol. 13, no 3 (September 2013) by Alicja Gzowska and Dora Wiebenson

"Exchanging architecture and urban planning practices during the Cold War: between political ideology, architectural ambition, and economic opportunity" by Kim de Raedt, in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31(6) (2013), preview here

"Postmodernism Is Almost All Right" on

"A Nice Mosque" on the webpage of Canadian Centre for Architecture

"Warsaw's Postmodern Revival" on

Reviews in German:

"Im Süden von Ost-West" in dérive - Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung (Vienna), 10-12/ 2013, download here

Reviews and Interviews in Polish:

"Architektura made in PRL" in Architektura (Warsaw), 12/ 2010, download here

"Eksport z Polski Ludowej" [Export from Socialist Poland] on

"Egzotyczna historia architektury PRL-u" [An Exotic History of Architecture in Socialist Poland] in Notes na 6 tygodni (Warsaw), no. 64, 10-12/ 2010, download here

"Postmodernizm jest w porzadku?" [Is Postmodernism All Right?] in Architektura (Warsaw), 12/ 2011, download here

"Warszawa w budowie" [Warsaw in Construction] in A&B (Krakow), 1/ 2012, download here

"Postmodernizm jest w prawie w porzadku" [Postmodernism Is Almost All Right] Polskie Radio (Warsaw), October 2, 2012, listen online here

"Pokolenie świadomych mieszczan" [A Generation of Conscious Burghers], October 28, 2012, on Rzeczpospolita

"Postmodernizm jest w prawie w porzadku" [Postmodernism Is Almost All Right], on m is for books

"Postmodernizm jest w prawie w porzadku" [Postmodernism Is Almost All Right] in A&B (Krakow), 11/ 2012, download here

"Arabskie przygody polskiej architektury" [Arab Adventures of Polish Architecture] in Architektura (Warsaw), 12/ 2012

"Interview with Piotr Bujas", Radio TOK FM, November 28, 2012, listen online here

"PRL trademark" by Max Cegielski in Przekroj, March 25, 2013, download here

Notes in K-Mag (11/ 2012), download here, Bryla, see here and Futu (1/ 2012), download here