Preserving postmodern architecture – between value and authenticity

Why the talk is inspiring?

Many postmodern buildings – mainly built between the mid 1960s to the early 1990s and often condemned as trashy, tacky, ephemeral, superficial, tasteless or even dishonest – are now in need of serious restoration. As a consequence, a series of debates around postmodern architecture’s preservation have recently occupied the public arena. While the preservation of post-war modern architecture is already well established in accordance with a specific set of national and international regulations, postmodern buildings, landscapes, and interiors have only recently become eligible for landmarks protection because of their young age. This talk will address the question of preservation and demolition of postmodern buildings addressing questions of value and authenticity.



Léa-Catherine Szacka

How the speaker is exceptional?

Léa-Catherine Szacka is doctor in architecture history and theory (Bartlett School of Architecture, 2011) and an Assistant professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Her research interests include the history and theory of architecture exhibitions and the history of postmodern architecture and postmodernism in general. Szacka is the author of Exhibiting the Postmodern – the 1980 Venice Architecture Biennale (Marsilio, 2016). In 2014, she presented her research project, ‘Effimero, or the Postmodern Italian Condition’ at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.



Lea-Catherine Szacka

Why the book is worth reading?

Exhibiting the Postmodern traces the origins and significance of the First International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, The Presence of the Past in 1980. Looking at the institutional changes, exhibition techniques and exhibition spaces, as well as the discourses and controversies between advocates of modern and postmodern architecture, this book narrates the development of architectural exhibitions as a ‘genre’ of cultural manifestations. It also reveals how the 1980 Venice Architecture Biennale announced a changing relationship between the worlds of art and architecture, and the consequent transformation of the architectural product as end object.