gta Invites
Colloquium Series HS23

Veranstalter: gta Invites
Datum: Donnerstag, 28. September 2023 bis Donnerstag, 7. Dezember 2023
Zeit: 18.00 Uhr bis 19.30 Uhr
Ort: HIL E 67 (Rote Hölle) / HIL E 71.1

28 September 2023
18.00-19.30 HIL E 67 (Rote Hölle)

Daniel A. Barber: "Architecture and the Arts of Sufficiency” In Conversation with Chase Galis and Debjani Bhattacharyya

The April 2022 report Mitigation of Climate Change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers a compelling lens through which to look back at the history of “sustainable” architecture and its focus on efficiency. “In most regions,” the “Technical Summary” indicates, “historical improvements in efficiency have been approximately matched by growth in floor area per capita.” Whereas “efficiency … is about continuous short-term marginal technological improvements,” by contrast “sufficiency is about long-term actions driven by non-technological solutions, which consume less energy in absolute terms.” The challenge, for historians and practitioners, is to shift the discussion of architecture’s climate engagement away from efficiency and toward thinking about how buildings can be part of a broader transformation in demand management. This talk will present some case studies for a history of the architecture of efficiency, as means to consider alternative precedents for the present and future.

29 November 2023
18.00-19.30 HIL D 57.1 (ARchENA)

Ijlal Muzaffar: "Dust and Belonging” In Conversation with Denise Bertschi and Niloofar Rasooli

What does it mean to belong, and consequently, to belong no more? This question is just as critical to evaluate how we understand the meaning of immigration and displacement around the world today as it was a hundred years ago under forces of colonialism. In this talk I will explore the question of belonging by looking at how the meaning of land was reshaped by the British colonial government when it embarked in the late nineteenth century on developing a new “cotton belt” in the southern Sindh desert in India (now in Pakistan).Entire villages (my family’s amongst them) were transplanted from the north of the subcontinent to the desert along new canals to not only grow new crops but also to undercut the political power of local pirs (saints) by displacing their followers. As rebellions ensued over half a century, brutally suppressed each time, we see competing ways of giving meaning to how self is related to land. Dust, silt, water, paper, all appear as means of shaping this interaction. Scottish engineers tweaked coefficients to claim keeping a silt particle afloat in the depths of the new canals. Rebel horsemen hid in dust storms to move invisibly through army strongholds. Widows swallowed land deeds to disrupt transfer of property. In charting these stories of settlement and displacement, I will argue in this talk that in theaters of belonging, it is not just the regimes of culture and lineage that determine legitimacy, but who is allowed to give meaning to the self in relation to the surrounding world and who is not.

07 December 2023
18.00-19.30 HIL E 71.1

Alice Hertzog: "Looted Cityscapes. What are Benin Bronzes doing in Zurich?” In Conversation with Mariam Kamara and Henri-Michel Yéré

In 1897 the British Army attacked the walled capital of Benin Kingdom. The ancient city, in current day Nigeria was burnt to the ground, the king forced into exile, and its thriving artisan workshops destroyed. The attack specifically targeted the palace and the royal architecture and enabled soldiers to loot over 10’000 objects from sacred artefacts to everyday objects and building elements. This talk reconsiders 1897 as a case of colonial urbicide resulting in the massive displacement of urban material culture. It questions how certain fragments of Benin City ended up in Zurich, and how current returns and restitutions are reconfiguring urban aspirations in Nigeria.

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Sanna Kattenbeck