Recent Opportunities

Radical Exchanges between Latin America and Europe in the Everlasting Sixties

Radical Exchanges between Latin America and Europe in the Everlasting Sixties
(Session at EAHN 2020 in Edinburgh, 10-13 June 2020).
Deadline: September 20, 2019

During the sixties and seventies, the expectations of imminent political and social turmoil stirred the architectural field. Exchanges between Europeans and Latin Americans promoted new concepts, theories and practices in the broad field of the built environment, fostering transnational and interdisciplinary approaches. We know a lot about the transatlantic interactions during the “first machine age”; however, only a few monographic approaches refer to the fertile field of these joint experiences after the crisis of traditional conceptions of architecture. Much remains to be revealed and problematize about how these interchanges proposed new ways of conceiving the profession and a theoretic debate that historiography can reveal in its actuality.

Key examples can be mentioned: the UIA congresses in Havana (1964), Buenos Aires (1969) and Madrid (1974); the VIEXPO in Santiago de Chile (1972); the Triennale di Milano on free time (1964); the stays of students and professors on both sides of the ocean (Yona Friedman, Moshe Safdie and Jap Bakema in Buenos Aires, Aldo van Eyck in Santiago, Enrique Ciriani in Paris, Mario Soto in A Coruña); the experiences opened by the new social agenda for young practitioners (Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi in Havana, John Turner in Peru).

In these receptive scenarios, ideas about the great number, the big dimension, the right to the city, the economic and social “development”, the swift of the attention from the building to the landscape and the territory, were proposed. They enabled experimental practices, a particular relationship with art and the reconsideration of the architect as an agent for social practice. They opened alternatives to a polar world, particularly between Latin America and Eastern Europe, as well as forms of political and economic solidarity around urban issues that put traditional forms of discipline and profession at stake.

The session expects contributions on the scenarios, opportunities and scope of:

‐the debates that expanded the professional field within international congresses and conferences;

‐the crossed stays of architects, students and professors in both, intellectual centers and urban reality, where new alternatives for the profession under revolutionary strain were recognized;

‐design experimentation to transform social reality in exhibitions or international  competitions;

‐social, urban and technological approaches promoted by the agency of international  organizations or within the framework of international political solidarity programs.

Horacio Torrent, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile,
Ana Maria Rigotti, Universidad Nacional de Rosario,


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