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Maik Novotny | Digital Bauhaus Summit 2017 | Being Modern

Maik Novotny

Maik Novotny was born in Stuttgart in 1972 and has been living in Vienna since 2000. He studied architecture and urban planning in Stuttgart and Delft and has been working in architecture practices in and near Vienna. He is the architecture critic for daily newspaper Der Standard and Vienna weekly Falter and regularly contributes to architecture publications such as Bauwelt, Zuschnitt, wohnenplus, Architektur&Bauforum, and is a columnist for Der Plan, the official publication of the Vienna Chamber of Architects. In 2004, he co-founded the online archive eastmodern.com focusing on post-war Eastern European architecture. He has co-edited the books Eastmodern - Architecture and Design of the 1960s and 1970s in Slovakia (2007, with Hertha Hurnaus and Benjamin Konrad) and PPAG: Speaking Architecture (2014, with Anna Popelka und Georg Poduschka) and has contributed to numerous other books, most recently Berlin the 1920s (2017). Since 2014, he has been teaching at the Institute of Spatial and Sustainable Design at TU Vienna University. In spring 2017, he is researching post-war housing estates in a three-month residency in London as part of the Harvard GSD Richard Rogers Fellowship.

Talk: "It's alive!" – Regional Survival Strategies of the International Style

Conference: MoM – Museum of Modern
Date: Day 2 – 12:15
Location: E-Werk Kesselsaal, Weimar

Global und rootless, produced with mindless efficiency, plonked down onto cities with no regard to human scale and context. Such was the cliché of modern architecture, and more often than not it was true. Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building in New York, the embodiment of International Style, was copied countless times around the globe, and a good dozen times by Mies himself. On the other hand, wherever it landed, modern architecture has mingled and mixed with local mentalities and traditions in weird and exciting ways, producing a host of clever and lively bastard kids in countless sub-styles. In Japan, Metabolism turned the austerity of Le Corbusier into biomechanical structures ready for takeover, while its next generation of architects turned cold concrete surfaces into something warm and earthy. Brazilians Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi and Mexican Luis Barragán twisted the Mediterranean DNA of High Modernism slightly further and made it lush and sensual. In rainy England and Scotland, architects oscillated between the humanist grimness of Brutalism and low-key Scandinavian cosiness, and in Eastern Europe, industrial prefabrication met in controlled collisions with archaic forms and symbols. Today, the modern heritage has entered its next phase, with Africa rediscovering and updating its traditions, and social design in Chile and elsewhere reclaiming the egalitarian modern ideals against retro-chic commodification. Modernism's not dead, it just smells different.

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

Supported by


Organized by

Media and event partners

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Uni Weimar