DIAGNOSE 1968/2018

Geschrieben am 05.12.2018
Kategorie(n): ARCH+ news, Konferenz, Symposium, TU Berlin, Philipp Misselwitz

Critical Perspectives on the Legacy of Reform and Revolt in Architecture, Planning and Urbanism

International Symposium, 13–15 December 2018, TU Berlin


The year 1968 has marked a turning point for an array of different social, cultural and political movements and actions, which have had a lasting effect on the way we live together. Global political topics became closely intertwined with the personal, dominant systems and power relations were increasingly questioned and contested. Demands for participation, openness and pluralism in society prevailed and challenged the establishment and existing societal institutions. This predisposition manifested itself also in the politics of urban development, housing and real estate as well as in the unlikely contexts of design and planning practices. Architecture and planning were confronted with fundamental criticism and pressing conflicts developed in 1960s and 70s. In architecture and planning – contexts that are otherwise not known for wide-ranging internal disputes – these contestations have led to a process of introspection, fundamental questioning and radical experimentation, some traces of which remain present until today. This conference aims to revisit reforms and revolts of 1968 and their impact on architecture, planning and urbanism aiming to critically examine their continuous influence up until today.

In Germany, the 1968 ‘Diagnose’ exhibition at the Technical University Berlin marked the beginning of alternative architectural and planning approaches. It was designed to criticise processes of planning and the production of the built environment in Berlin at the time. A range of issues were addressed, including corruption in the construction of mass housing, the demolition of entire urban quarters and the involvement of architects in this process, as well as the perceived bias in architectural competitions. Similarly, the very principles of traditional architectural practice and education were critically examined. An integration of contemporary theories from different disciplines was prompted. Students, young graduates, and teaching assistants not only organised the ‘Diagnose’ exhibition, they also experimented with collective teaching formats, developed ideas for educational reforms, and started getting involved in communal social and political work in local districts. In the years to follow, their demands and approaches increasingly shaped more critical educational and planning practices.

The ‘Diagnose’ exhibition in Berlin is representative for a range of reform initiatives in architecture faculties and planning approaches across European cities at the time. More and more, especially urban conflicts became an important issue in architecture and planning discourses: from housing shortages in Prague, the car-friendly remodelling of London, to the mass demolitions and ensuing monotony of standardised housing in Belgrade and Paris. The politics of urban development and increasingly also the implicit role of architects and planners were questioned. New and more critical practices were developed.

This symposium will take place at the birthplace of the ‘Diagnose’ exhibition at the Institute of Architecture at TU Berlin. Today, 50 years after, the symposium aims to revisit and reflect on the development of urban practices in Europe since 1968, when Berlin’s planning and building development was denounced as a ‘public assassination of a city’. Besides a retrospect, the symposium follows three main topics, which were central for the formulated critique in 1968 and still urgently need to be addressed in 2018: Housing, Land, and Critical Practice.



Thursday, December 13, 2018

16.00 – 16.30
Introduction and Welcome
Nina Gribat & Philipp Misselwitz

16.30 – 17.30
Wohnen Stadt Markt – A Film Lecture
with Florian Wüst

17.45 – 19.30
Session 1 – 1968 in Retrospect: Architecture and Urbanism in Times of Revolts
with contributions by Ljubica Slavković (Belgrade), Tobias Zervosen (Munich), Eléonore Marantz (Paris) and Matthias Heyden (Berlin); Discussant: Christian Haid & Hannes Langguth

19.30 – 20.00
Opening Diagnose 2018 Exhibition
& Presentations by Current Student Initiatives

20.00 – 22.00
Tavolata foresta – Joint Dinner Performance
with La Foresta – Academia di Comunità, Rovereto, Italy

Friday, December 14, 2018

9.00 – 10.45
Session 2 – Housing
with contributions by Alexander Vasudevan (Oxford), Jelica Jovanovic (Belgrade) and Mara Ferreri (Barcelona/Malmö); Discussant: Andrej Holm

11.00 – 12.45
Session 3 – Land
with contributions by Sabine Horlitz (Berlin), Laura Calbet Elias (Berlin), Stavros Stavrides (Athens); Discussant: Nina Gribat

14.00 – 15.45
Session 4 – Critical Practice
with contributions by Isabelle Doucet (Gothenburg), Tatjana Schneider (Braunschweig), Oliver Clemens (Berlin), Dagmar Pelger (Berlin/Hamburg); Discussant: Philipp Misselwitz

16.00 – 17.00
Closing Session
Interactive fishbowl discussion

Saturday, December 15, 2018

11.00 – 13.00
City Walk: Berlin Mitte-Kreuzberg and the Legacy of 1968 for Urban Development
with POLIGONAL, Berlin


Attendance is free of charge. We kindly ask you to register here.
For further information, please visit www.diagnose1968.com.

IfA Forum
Institute of Architecture
Technische Universität Berlin
Strasse des 17. Juni 152
10623 Berlin 

U2 Ernst-Reuter-Platz
Bus 245 Marchstraße
Bus M45 Ernst-Reuter-Platz

The event is a collaboration among:
Institut für Entwerfen und Städtebau, TU Darmstadt
Habitat Unit, TU Berlin
sub\urban.zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung

SSS Siedle Dornbracht Euroboden
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