Tao DuFour, Lior Galili, and Iulia Statica: Revolutionary Modernism: Mass Housing and Experimental Life in the Socialist East and Cuba

high rises in city

Socialist housing in Moscow, 2011. photo / Boris Bochkarev

Critically Now: A Pop-Up and Growing Event Series

The M.Arch. expanded practices studio, taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Tao DuFour and Visiting Critic Lior Galili, is hosting a studio lecture via Skype by architect and scholar Iulia Statica. The lecture is part of the Critically Now series and all are invited.

The lecture will situate post-revolutionary Cuba in the context of wider discursive and concrete practices that refer specifically to its rapports with the Eastern Soviet paradigm. It will explore the ideas of the Russian Avant-gardes and the ways in which they contributed to the creation of a new socialist subject, one in which the state project of infrastructure becomes the prime mechanism to normalize ideology as a part of everyday life. Through the construction of extensive housing projects which reconfigured entire cities, the socialist state aimed to reinvent domesticity, and at the same time to erase gender differences and redefine labor patterns. Within this framework, we will see how the Cuban revolutionary imaginary imported Soviet mechanisms of prefabrication that paralleled social and cultural transformations made possible through both local innovation and transnational exchange.

Iulia Statica completed her doctor of philosophy at the department of architecture at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in 2016. Her research focuses on the discourses of material culture in postsocialist spaces, and the role of ideologies and their critique in architecture and urbanism. She has been a visiting scholar in philosophy at the University of Toronto (2014–15) and a fellow in architecture at the Romanian Academy in Rome (2012–14). In 2016, she participated as a guest scholar in Cuba as Project: Urban, Political, and Environmental Transformations of the Island as part of the Mellon Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities seminar series at Cornell.