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Live Annotation: Critic Owen Hatherley lecturing at CCA


January 24, 2018
by Canadian Architect

Author and critic Owen Hatherley will be lecturing at Montreal’s Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) on January 25. Hatherley presents a ‘Live Annotation‘ on a television broadcast of Open University course A305, for contemporary eyes and ears. The episode, “English Flats of the Thirties,” juxtaposes two housing schemes, one in London and one in Leeds, one public and one private, one modelled on the monumental mass housing of Red Vienna and one on the ideas of Le Corbusier. Looking at how these buildings were perceived in the 1970s, Hatherley reflects both on the changing reputation of modernist mass housing and attitudes toward working class housing and the architectural avant-garde. Why did one of the buildings become “iconic” and get preserved, while the other was demolished?

Owen Hatherley, CCA, Live Annotation, Red Vienna

Still from “English Flats of the Thirties,” television broadcast 14 of History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939, presented by Tim Benton, directed by Edward Hayward, produced by the BBC/Open University, aired 12 July 1975 on BBC2. Image via CCA

Hatherley’s lecture is part of the CCA’s ongoing exhibition, The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture. The exhibit offers a close reading of a pioneering case study: A305, History of Architecture and Design, 1890–1939. This third-year undergraduate arts course, offered by the Open University via television and radio broadcasts between 1975 and 1982, was a radical project for sharing knowledge through the convergence of mass media and mass education.

Hatherley is the author of books including Militant Modernism (2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (2009), and Uncommon (2011), about the pop group Pulp. He has contributed to publications including Building DesignThe GuardianIconJacobinLondon Review of BooksNew HumanistNew StatesmanSocialist Review, and Socialist Worker.

Thursday’s event will take place at 6:30 pm, at the Paul Desmairais Theatre, at 1920 rue Baile. The lecture will be presented in English. More information is available via the CCA website, linked here.



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