Event: International Symposium “Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism”. Vienna, 16-17 May 2019

The International Symposium, “Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism,” offers a contemporary scholarly perspective on the role of Jews in shaping and coproducing public and private, as well as commercial and socially-oriented, architecture and design in Central Europe from the 1920s to the 1940s, and in the respective countries in which they settled after their forced emigration starting in the 1930s. It examines how modern identities evolved in the context of cultural transfers and migrations, commercial and professional networks, and in relation to conflicts between nationalist ideologies and international aspirations in Central Europe and beyond.

This symposium sheds new light on the importance of integrating Jews into Central European design and aesthetic history by asking symposium participants, including architectural historians and art historians, curators, archivists, and architects, to use their analyses to “design” – in the sense of reconfigure or reconstruct – the past and push forward a transformation in the historical consciousness of Central Europe. In doing so, the symposium points to the necessity of challenging the present political and cultural status quo, which prefers to suppress cultural differences in society, by projecting progressive and transformative “designs” that recognize the value of such differences for the future.

More information about the symposium, speakers’ bio, and abstracts of the talks can be accessed here.

The full program and the registration to the symposium are available here.

Concept and Organization: Dr. Elana Shapira

Venue: University of Applied Arts Vienna, Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Vienna, New Auditorium

Cooperation Partners: University of Brighton Design Archives, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art

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