Semester III

Session 26

July 19th 2021
at 7:30PM
Location: zoom space

ID: 614 9395 8715
Passcode: 201566


The text “tableaux” has been proposed by Frida Grahn.

Stanislaus von Moos, “Tableaux” in: Las Vegas Studio images from the archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, edited by Hilar Stadler and Martino Stierli, Scheidegger & Spiess 2015.

Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke (screen-print on paper), 1965
Text Synopsis

* Synopsis by Frida Grahn

About the Authors

In this session we will continue where we ended the discussion with Emmanuel Petit earlier this summer, developing upon the notion of ‘estrangement’ in architecture: namely, as a creative strategy.

Estrangement allows a repetition of a theme without imitation. Through a slight change of scale, material, context etc. the use of reference turns into an artistic practice and adds a layer of commentary. The strategy can be seen as a way of dealing with figurative content after Modernist abstraction and can be found in the work of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Their quest to ‘make the common uncommon’ is inspired by Pop Art practices, as seen in the screen-printed brushstrokes of Roy Lichtenstein: the recognizability of the theme (the brushstroke) and its strangeness (the fact that it is printed and not painted) creates a tension akin to, for instance, the contradictions of the Vanna Venturi House. I will discuss the work of Venturi/Scott Brown in relation to Pop Art, but also to Mannerism – both of which irony and estrangement are central themes.*

Frida Grahn earned a Master of Science in Architecture in 2010 and a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in History and Theory of Architecture in 2018, both from the ETH Zurich. She has worked for E2A Architekten and Caruso St John Architects and has published in architectural periodicals such as Werk, Bauen+Wohnen. She taught architectural criticism at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and is currently a PhD assistant at the Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA) at the Accademia di architettura Mendrisio. Her research focuses on the history of postmodern architecture and transatlantic exchange.