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

"For the Third World": Knowledge Transfer and Architecture in the Cold War. Seminar, Chair for Architecture Theory ETH Zurich.

The seminar investigates knowledge transfer in architecture and urbanism on the basis of case studies in North Africa and the Middle East from the 1950s on.

The concept of the Third World was coined during the Cold War in reference to countries which belonged neither to the socialist nor to the capitalist block. Many of these states in Africa and Asia became independent from the colonial powers around 1960 and strove for political identity and modernisation. In the conditions of the Cold War, development aid from the East and the West was combined with competing political interests. Architects, urbanists and engineers played an essential role in this process, from the export of prefabricated building systems up to planning and construction of whole towns.

Tutors: Judith Hopfengärtner, Lukasz Stanek


24.09.10 Introduction

01.10.10 Overview: Knowledge Transfer and Architecture in the Cold War

08.10.10 Guest lecture: Ola Uduku, Edinburgh College of Art

15.10.10 Ghana 1952–1957: “Tropical Architecture.” Projects by E. Maxwell Fry & Jane Drew, Lindsey Drake, Denys Lasdun, James Cubitt, Kenneth Scott, Constantinos A. Doxiadis

22.10.10 Ghana 1957–1981: Socialist Networks. Projects by D. A. Barratt & J. G. Halstead, Jacek Chyrosz & Stanislaw Rymaszewski

04.11.10 Iraq 1947–1958: Orientalism and Internationalism. Projects by Walter Gropius, Josep Lluis Sert, Frank Lloyd Wright, Constantinos A. Doxiadis

11.11.10 Iraq 1958–1991: Standards und City Images. Projects by Miastoprojekt-Krakow, Ricardo Bofill, Robert Venturi, John Rauch & Denise Scott-Brown

18.11.10 Guest lecture: Yasser Elsheshtawy, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain

25.11.10 Algeria 1952–1962: Colonial Modernisation and Vernacular Inspirations. Project by Fernand Pouillon, Roland Simounet, Pierre-André Emery, Louis Miquel, Georges Candillis, Marcel Mauri, Denis Pons

03.12.10 Algeria 1962–1988: Urban Forms after the Independence. Projects by Oscar Niemeyer, Ricardo Bofill, COMEDOR, Fernand Pouillon, Jakob Zweifel, Bauakademie der DDR

10.12.10 Final debate