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"Conference: The Challenge from Within: Progressive Architects in Capitalist Systems"

5-6 July 2024 – Zurich, Switzerland ZHAW Institut Urban Landscape - Tössfeldstrasse 11, Winterthur



In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in architecture as a tool for social and political reform. From academic curricula to various international events like Biennales and Triennales, the discussion surrounding our discipline’s potential to address global inequalities has become a prevalent theme, continuously gaining momentum. As a result, architectural practitioners and educators are increasingly embracing a progressive agenda in their work, with many doubling as activists. Yet, how does a commitment to progressive social ideals translate into pedagogy and practice? And what does it really mean to be a radical architect within a system that prioritizes profit above all else? This conference proposes to examine the challenges, contradictions, and aporias inherent in progressive architectural practice and teaching within and against capitalism, tracing its trajectory since the postwar period.

The event is supported by ZHAW’s Institut Urban Landscape and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Participation to the conference is free and open to the public. The conference is organised by Davide Spina (dspina@hku.hk) and Andri Gerber (andri.gerber@zhaw.ch), and sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation, as part of the SNSF funded research project Challenging or Reproducing the Status Quo? The Leftist Architect in Milanese Architecture, 196X-198X.