Exhibition was held in New York City and opened in June 1959 while the American National Exhibition was held in Moscow and opened one month later in July 1959. Through the medium of exhibition design— curating and planning, spatial strategy, circulation, material selection and presentation—an analysis of the political and social implications of both exhibitions can be clearly realized suggesting the potential of the exhibition format as a powerful political stage.
Albert José-Antonio López “Divergent Modernities: Planning in Havana 1940-1960” Advisor: Mary Caroline McLeod. External Consultant: Brian Brace Taylor This body of research explores the divergent conceptualizations of modernity in Cuban society during the period of 1940-1960, and their manifestations in Cuban architectural practice and urban planning. The primary focus of investigation is the national efforts of urban planning, in particular, the organization of the Junta Nacional de Planificación (JNP) in 1955 under the auspices of the Batista government. A critical investigation of this organization seeks to further understand its relations to the official economic and social visions for the island, and how they corresponded and conflicted with contemporary opinions on national development. Insight into the organization, its related bodies, and its key members is provided by extensive investigation of primary resources related to the Cuban architectural and urbanist profession prior to the revolution. The use of official magazines, transcripts from conferences, and personal interviews contextualizes the proposals for architectural and urban modernization by revealing the political and ideological beliefs of the key figures involved in the expansion and planning of the then-rapidly modernizing city. The efforts behind national and urban planning during this period are portrayed as a complex product of conflicting Cuban cultural identities, the growth of Cuban nationalism in the era prior to the revolution, and the influence that North American values and investment had on the development of the Cuban capital’s architectural and urban image. Though this research takes into account all external factors on the path toward national development that were in order prior to the Revolution, it will argue that the motives and decisions were ultimately internal.
Carlos Mínguez Carrasco “CURATORIAL REANIMATIONS: Atlas of New York Architecture Exhibitions (1977-1987)” Advisor: Mark Wasiuta The 1977 opening of Leo Castelli’s group exhibition Architecture I marked the moment at which a New York private art gallery presented works of architecture as art pieces for the first time. The next year, close to Leo Castelli’s gallery, Bernard Tschumi opened in a non-profit organization gallery called Artists Space an exhibition titled Architectural Manifestoes. Those two exhibitions show the genesis of a polarized production of architectural exhibitions in its multiple versions and formats during the late seventies and early eighties. The final form anticipated for the research is an atlas of the exhibitions of architecture opened in New York from 1977 to 1987. The project has the aspiration of unveiling the crucial importance of the exhibition practice for the theory and the production of architecture during the last 25 years. Specifically the study will be focused on the controversy established in the inception of the discussion: on the one hand the understanding of the documents of architec25