IBA 87 Revisited - Postmodernism in Architecture

30 Aug 2018 – 3 Sep 2018

Event times

09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Cost of entry

390 €

Berlin Summer University of the Arts

Berlin, Germany


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The seminar will deal with the International Building Exhibition Berlin 1987 through interdisciplinary practices and strategies. Visual artists, architects and designers are invited to discuss the Postmodernism movement, its relevance for today’s Berlin and to develop their own work.


This workshop revises the concept of Postmodern Architecture using interdisciplinary practices and strategies.

The term of Postmodernism in architectural discussions is often mentioned in connection with decay and incredibility of the great utopias of modernity. At the same time, it is characterized by rejection of any “anything goes” doctrines.

First, we will go deeper into the theory of Postmodernism, which is currently undergoing a revival by "sampling" in the post-Internet discussions. Referring to the International Building Exhibition IBA 87, we will specifically explore the architectural style of Berlin, develop concepts and ideas, and implement them artistically. Buildings will be offered to and examined by us as a source of material. Contextually it will be about mannerism, subversion, emotion, memory and the image of the city just before the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The IBA 87 was an architecture exhibition and urban planning concept created by the Berlin Senate to regain the West of the Berlin city center as residential location. “Critical reconstruction” and “careful urban renewal”  were its two distinct strategies. Thirty years later and a Wall after, this approach seems to be unthinkable for today’s Berlin.

Together, we will visit the buildings located around the former Checkpoint Charlie crossing point, Lützowplatz and Tegel (e.g. the residential building Checkpoint Charlie, OMA, houses of Peter Eisenman, Aldo Rossi, Raimund Abraham, John Hejduk, Mario Botta, Michael Graves, Charles Moore, etc.). Besides that, we will comprehend the architecture as a material and discuss the heritage of the IBA 87 and the modern Berlin city based on this understanding.

Documentary and free approach to the formal language, border situation or downfall should play an important role in the implementation of ideas, which can be worked out in groups as well. The aim of this seminar is to provide an expanded perception through a freely selected medium such as photography, collage, performance, experimental film or texts. The final works will be presented in the end of the course.

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