Estranging Devices: Architectural Modernism and Strategies of De-alienation
PhD Research by Alexandra Vougia, Architectural Association – School of Architecture.
(2011 – PRESENT)
Alexandra’s thesis was concerned with the various ways that architectural modernism of the interwar era functioned against the dominant bourgeois ideology. This complex and historically specific function was explored through the agency of a conceptual pair: (social) alienation and (aesthetic) estrangement, the latter as the avant-garde artistic device of de-alienation. The two terms, associated with the evolution of capitalist economy and the practices of the historical avant-garde respectively, manifested in a concrete way the linguistic and conceptual reworking of the discourse on ideology, which took place during its migration through the disciplines of philosophy and political economy, to the aesthetic practices, and eventually to the spatial production of architecture. The thesis studied by what means alienation, after becoming closely interdependent on the ideological and cultural hegemony of the bourgeoisie, was perceived by the historical avant-garde and defied in practice by the conception of the homonymous device of alienation or estrangement, but, primarily, how interwar architectural modernism attempted to transform the ‘negative’ function of this device into a ‘positive’ project for a de-alienated restructuring of human production.
The following articles and conference papers emerged from this work:
2020. Destruction and Production: The Dialectic of the Negative and its constructive transformation by Architectural Modernism.
Original in Greek: “Καταστροφή και Δημιουργία: Η αρνητική διαλεκτική της πρωτοπορίας και ο δημιουργικός μετασχηματισμός της στην αρχιτεκτονική του Μοντέρνου,” archetype.gr, 23 November 2020. [Link to the article]
2020. Radical Collectives: Forms of Living in Hanne Meyer’s Freidorf Estate.
Original in Greek: “Ριζοσπαστικές Συλλογικότητες: Μορφές Κατοίκισης στο Freidorf Estate του Hannes Meyer,” archetype.gr, 4 November 2020. [Link to the article]
2020. Thoughts on Architecture and Ideology: a short Historiographical Study of the end of the 20th century.
Original in Greek: “Σκέψεις για την Αρχιτεκτονική και την Ιδεολογία: μια σύντομη Ιστοριογραφική Έρευνα του τέλους του 20ου αιώνα,”archetype.gr, 12 October 2020. [Link to the article]
2017. Alienation and Habit.
Paper presentation in: MNYMOsin: Alien Memory, conference organised by Claudia Palma and Emmanouil Zaroukas for the London Festival of Architecture, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 3 June 2017.
2016. After all, One Red: Unity and Conflict in the case of Freidorf.
Paper presentation in: Contagion, Symposium organized by Godofredo Pereira for the Lisbon Architectural Triennale, 25 November 2016.
2015. Prescribing the Collective Experience: The Hellerhof Housing Estate (1928-1930).
Lecture at: Dis-Locutions: Architecture and the Political, organised by Marina Lathouri, MA History and Critical Thinking Debate Series, Architectural Association, 30 January 2015.
2013. Hannes Meyer and the Co-op Zimmer.
Paper presentation in: Instead – Postgraduate Program, organised by Aristide Antonas,Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, December 2013.