capitalism and architecture symposium

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Date/Time: 27/02/2004 12:00 am

University of Toronto, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
February 27-28, 230 College Street, Toronto, free
Info: span@ald.utoronto.ca
The question of how processes of commodification influence the production and
reception of architecture has been a topic for some time. In recent history,
discussion of this topic has tended to focus on the phenomenon of “branding,” the
effect that corporate sponsorship of quasi-public spaces has upon civic experience,
and the difficulty, under current political-economic conditions, of forming
strategies for effective resistance to these processes. ar©hitecture, a conference organized by the Master of Architecture students in the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, is a symposium that will examine this question and its related issues under three rubrics: Buying into Bigness, Architecture and its Authorial Effects, and Critique as Commodity. The symposium will consist of three-member panel discussions dealing with each of these rubrics.
Moderator: Dean Larry Richards
Buying into Bigness
This panel will examine the role that large scale commissions and competitions have in establishing architectural reputations and by extension in enhancing the
commodity value of the buildings associated with those reputations.
Participants: George Baird (Harvard), Mark Kingwell (Toronto), Charles Waldheim (Toronto)
Moderator: tba
The Author Function: architecture and its authorial effects
The role that a producer’s proper name may have in accruing both monetary value and symbolic dignity to the artifacts he or she produces has for sometime now been a topic in other cultural sectors, literature in particular. This panel will examine how the proper name, with its associated symbolic values, operates within the discourses, both promotional and critical, that surround the contemporary practice of architecture.
Participants: Beatriz Colomina (Princeton), Peggy Deamer (Yale), Rebecca Comay (Toronto)
Moderator: An Te Liu
Critique as Commodity
This panel will examine the appropriation and ensuing commodification of those productive and discursive strategies associated with the cultural and political
avant gardes of the first half of the twentieth century. What is the role of
critique in the current cultural and political context? What efficacy can it be
thought to have in an epoch that no longer participates in the myth of progress that determined the self-understanding of cultural modernism? Finally, to what extent was a vulnerability to appropriation and commodification implicit in the original development of cultural and political vangardism? These are the questions that will organize the terms of discussion for this panel.
Participants: Sylvia Lavin (UCLA), K. Michael Hays (Harvard), Robert Levit (Toronto) Moderator: tba