CONF Nov 8, 2023

Modernism beyond East and West (Berlin, 16-18 Nov 23)

Pilecki-Institute, Pariser Platz 4 A, 10117 Berlin, Nov 16–18, 2023

Ben Buschfeld

Convergences and Divergences. Modernism beyond East and West

The international conference with partners from different parts of Europe critically rethinks and analyzes the history of European modern architecture with reference to Central and Eastern Europe.

It has been organized by the Pilecki-Institute in cooperation with the initiative for a “European Triennial of Modernism (ETOM)“ and ETOM´s alliance with DOCOMOMO International and ICOMOS.

The conference in English language addresses the history of modern architecture from a horizontal and non-hierarchical perspective, overcoming outdated and simplistic categories such as East and West. It will focus not only on design and urban planning issues, but also on questions related to the transformation of societies, the exchange of ideas, the building of relationships and the struggle for a better future. The conference approaches architecture from a broader perspective – presenting it as a „seismograph“ of the visionary and at the same time ambivalent experience of Modernism, which has much to say not only about the particular moment in history but also about the present.

The conference brings together various perspectives and areas of expertise represented by researchers, architects, designers, architectural historians, urban activists and civic society actors. The main goal is to critically rethink the legacy of Modernism and its associated transformations in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of international relations, dependencies, influence, and power.

DAY I: 16 Nov 2023 – SESSION / PANEL 1:
Contested architectural heritage
across Central and Eastern Europe

08:45 - 9:30 Registration

09:30 - 10:00 Welcome speeches

- Dr. Christoph Rauhut, Berlin Monument Authority, State Conservator
- Hanna Radziejowska, Director of the Pilecki-Institute Berlin
- Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin, Head of Exercising Modernity Program
- Robert K. Huber & Ben Buschfeld, ETOM – European Triennial of Modernism, TDM-Berlin

10:00 - 12:00 Session I –
Contested architectural heritage across Central and Eastern Europe
Moderator: Ingrid Ruudi, Ph.D., Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn

Dr. Christoph Rauhut, Berlin Monument Authority, State Conservator: Karl-Marx-Allee and Interbau 1957. Architecture and Urbanism in Postwar Modernism (working title)

Marii Laanemets, Ph.D., Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn: The intertwined history of the Linnahall. Reflections on modernity and society

Prof. Andrzej Leśniak, Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences: The Parade Square between modernisation and globalization: the controversies and entangled histories on the site of the future Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Iryna Matsevko, Ph.D., Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Kharkiv School of Architecture: Is the Soviet Built Heritage Ukrainian? Challenges and Perspectives of the Legacy of Modernism in Shaping Postwar Ukrainian Identity

Aleksandra Sumorok, Ph.D., Academy of Fine Arts W. Strzemiński in Łodź: Socialist Realist Monuments in Poland. A „difficult” heritage?

12:00 - 13:30 Lunch break

Iron curtain(s) of the 20th century.
Modernism beyond the binary of East and West

13:30 - 15:30 Session II –
Iron curtain(s) of the 20th century. Modernism beyond the binary of East and West
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Jörg Haspel, ICOMOS, former State Conservator of Berlin

Błażej Ciarkowski, Ph.D., University of Łódź: Looking through “a nylon curtain”. How do architects describe their international experiences in the times of socialism

Dr. des. Helena Huber-Doudová, National Gallery Prague: The Typology of Architecture Practice between the East and the West in the 20th century

Vaidas Petrulis, Ph.D., Institute of Architecture and Constructon. Kaunas University of Technology: National Narrative without Borders: Architecture of the Lithuanian Diaspora in the USA after World War II

Denada Veizaj, Ph.D. / Georgij Islami, Ph.D., Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Department of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Tirana: Modernity without modernism. The particular path of architecture in Albania from 1975 to 1990

Miłosz Gortyński, Łódź University of Technology: Open Form and Open Society in the Architecture

Ana Ivanovska, Continuo, Faculty of Architecture, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje: Building the City of Solidarity, the case of Skopje

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break

Built narratives.
Multilayered identities of modern architecture

16:00 - 18:00 Session III –
Built narratives. Multilayered identities of modern architecture
Moderator: Aleksandra Janus, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin, Exercising Modernity Program Curator

Marija Drėmaitė, Ph.D., Faculty of History, Vilnius University: Is there East Central European Modernism? The multifaceted case of Kaunas Modernism (1919-1939)

Prof. Dr. Jasna Galjer, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb: Lost or found? Utopia and reality of modernism in the croatian architecture of the socialist and post-socialist period

Prof. Almantas Samalavičius, Department of Architectural Fundamentals, Theory and Art, Vilnius Giediminas Tech-nical University: Behind the Curtain – Reception and Integration of Modernism(s) in Lithuanian Architectural Discourse During the Later Soviet Era (1970-1990)

Prof. Dr. Svitlana Smolenska, Department of Construction, Architecture and Design, Kherson State Agrarian and Economic University, visiting researcher at TH OWL: International competition 1930 in Kharkiv, Ukraine – Modernism beyond the binary of East and West

Katarzyna Solińska, Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Krosno: Tracing papers. Lost archives and forgotten narratives – hidden and silenced microhistory of the “Deaf German” architect, his Trans-Olza opponent and Modernism beyond Subcarpathian Region

18:00 - 18:30 Coffee break

18:30 - 20:30 Keynote lecture 1 – with talk and Q&A
Moderator: Robert K. Huber, BHROX bauhaus reuse / zukunftsgeraeusche GbR, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
Prof. em. Dr. Ákos Moravánszky, Theorist and Historian, ETH Zurich, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture: Shifting Grounds – Re-Mapping the Historiography of Architectural Modernism in Europe

20:30 - 22:30 Get together

DAY II: 17 Nov 2023 – SESSION / PANEL 4:
Shared heritage.
Points of contact and best practices

09:30 - 10:00 Registration

10:30 - 12:30 Session IV –
Shared heritage. Points of contact and best practices
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Uta Pottgiesser, Docomomo International, TH-OWL, TU Delft Heritage & Technology

Alex Bykov, Architect and activist, Kyiv: SAVEKYIVACTIVISM

Prof. Marcin Lachowski, Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw: The history and utopia of modernism in the narratives of contemporary Polish artists

Louis Volkmann and Ben Kaden: Isn’t the new post office beautiful? Picture postcards as visual and textual testimonies of Eastern Modernism

Julia Bojaryn, Stiftung Haus Schminke, Löbau: TOPOMOMO – Experiments of modernism.

Daniel Kovács, Hungarian Museum of Architecture and Monuments Protection Documentation Center / The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (KÉK), Budapest: Promoting Modernism, with Women’s Stories

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break

New Communities, New Buildings, New People:
the notion of the “new” in Central and Eastern European modern architecture

14:00 - 16:00 Session V – New Communities, New Buildings, New People: the notion of the “new” in Central and Eastern European modern architecture
Moderator: Ben Buschfeld,, ETOM, TDM-Berlin

Nadiia Antonenko, Ph.D., Department of Information Technologies in Architecture, Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture: Large-scale housing estates in Ukrainian cities of the 1960s-1980s - A new look at value in the context of the war

Małgorzata Burkot, Independent researcher: 100 schools in the Vilnius region

Kateryna Didenko, Ph.D., Department of Architecture, Vilnius Technical University: Laboratory for the information of a new soviet man. The case study early-modern architecture of residential complexes in the metropolitan Kharkiv

Piotr Woliński, Łódź University of Technology:
Transfer of modernism and planning of post-war Warsaw and Singapore. Relationships and circumstances of building "new" states, cities, societies.

Michal Wisniewski, Ph.D., Institut of Architecture Foundation (FAI) and International Culture Center Krakow: Wehen the new is becoming old – the case of postwar housing in Poland

16:00 - 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 - 18:30 Keynote lecture 2 – with talk and Q&A
Moderator: Robert K. Huber, BHROX bauhaus reuse / zukunftsgeraeusche GbR, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
Prof. Dr. Henrieta Moravčíková, STU Bratislava, Slovak Academy of Science, Docomomo Slovakia: Tests of perspective – architectural histories of a vague country


18:30 - 20:30 Lessons learned – Panel discussion
Moderators: Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin,
Ben Buschfeld and/or Robert K. Huber, ETOM, TDM-Berlin

Special-Input I: Dr. Tino Mager, Ph.D., ICOMOS Germany, History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Groningen: Contentious Spaces – Uncovering the Hidden Narratives of Socialist Built Heritage

Special Input II: Prof. Edward Denison, The Bartlett School of Architecture: Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene and the need for the Cape Town Document on Modern Heritage

Maja Babić, Ph.D., Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Groningen

Prof. Dr. Franziska Bollerey, TU-Delft, Institute of History of Art, Architecture and Urbanism, Delft-Berlin

Kacper Kepinski, National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning, Warsaw

Programme online:

Download PDF

CONF: Modernism beyond East and West (Berlin, 16-18 Nov 23). In:, Nov 8, 2023 (accessed Jul 18, 2024), <>.