Animals, Architecture, and the Critique of Modernity

Kostas Tsiambaos

MA HCT & PhD Debates: History in Translation. Marina Lathouri and Guest Speakers

Thursday 30 January | 4:00pm | 32 Bedford Square (First Floor Back)

Although the representations of animals in architecture since 1900 receded, as positivism and functionalism prevailed, one can still notice various representations of animals in the work of modern and postmodern architects. From the goat in Hans Poelzig’s Porzellanpavillon (1922), and the pack-donkey in Le Corbusier’s The City of Tomorrow (1929), to the horse in Superstudio’s Atti Fondamentali (1972), and the dog in Lina Bo Bardi’s Intermezzo per bambini (1984) the animal, as a symbolic representation, comes to serve a critical-interpretive function. In my talk, I will focus on a few case studies in which the animal comes to question the form and content of architecture by pointing towards a meta-architectural future.

ImageMassimo Scolari, The Solitary Sparrow, 1974


Spyros Papapetros, The Birth of Design

Boris Groys, Romantic Bureaucracy: Alexander Kojeve’s post-historical wisdom (in: Radical Philosophy 196, March/April 2016)

Efthymia Rentzou, Animal (Columbia University Press, 2016)

Biography: Kostas Tsiambaos is Assistant Professor in History & Theory of Architecture at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University in Athens (NTUA). He is Chair of Greece. He studied in Athens (NTUA) and New York (GSAPP Columbia University). His research has been published in international journals (The Journal of ArchitectureARQArchitectural Histories, AΡΕΝΑ JAR) and international collective volumes. His recent books include From Doxiadis’ Theory to Pikionis’ Work: Reflections of Antiquity in Modern Architecture (London & New York: Routledge, 2018) and Ambivalent Modernity: 9+1 texts on Modern Architecture in Greece (Thessaloniki: Epikentro, 2017 – in Greek). He has also co-edited the exhibition catalogue The Future as a Project: Doxiadis in Skopje (Athens: Hellenic Institute of Architecture, 2018). In the fall semester of the academic year 2019-2020, he was a Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.