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A festival for lovers of modernist architecture. New Plan in Poznan

05 of October '20

The New Plan Festival in Poznań responds to the need to deepen our knowledge of modernism. It is also an attempt to diagnose how far the modernist revolution in architecture is legible and understandable today, and how its legacy affects our everyday life. Participants of the festival will be able to explore these issues in lectures, discussions and walks with experts from all over Poland.

Modernism has indeed become a term not so much popular as fashionable some time ago. However, as the organizers rightly point out, the widespread use of the term does not carry much weight, and its users themselves often use it as a buzzword without understanding the full meaning behind it. The visual appeal of modernist architecture or design means that they are often reduced to a mere aesthetic sensation. Much has been said about this phenomenon. As early as nine years ago, Grzegorz Piątek commented on it in an ever-present text for Biweekly magazine.

young research

The situation is not improved by the fact that researchers themselves do not agree on many issues related to modernism in architecture. When does it begin? What periodization to use? What research methodology to adopt? Perhaps this is a result of the still relatively small state of research. Serious research on this topic, in a broad research perspective with an interdisciplinary approach, is the domain of the last two decades, although, of course, individual works were created before that. However, this is a fairly fresh area of research, which is due to the relatively young subject matter.

scientifically and popularly

However, theperspective of the time that has passed since the heyday of modernist ideas and the prosperity of the titans of modernism in architecture is growing larger and larger. This creates a growing field for research, as well as popularization. The New Plan Festival represents an interesting intersection of both these directions. The speakers invited to participate in the Festival are experts in the field. During the festival it will be possible to meet Dorota Jedruch, Ryszard Nakonieczny, Agata Twardoch or Maciej Frackowiak, among others. At the same time, the open and accessible formula of the festival is far from a scientific conference or symposium. Topics, are framed in such a way as to be understandable and encouraging not only for "modernist howlers".

house in the first place

This year's festival theme will be home. And although it was already established by the organizers in 2019, it has become remarkably topical in the era of Pandemic. In modernist practice, the house was one of the central issues. In the era of the Great Depression of the 1930s and then the post-war housing famine, the problem of how to build low-cost, ergonomic and user-friendly housing occupied the head of many an architect. Today, when during the lock-down we experienced how much functionality can be accommodated in an apartment: work, leisure, cooking and childcare, modernist considerations of "existence minimum" seem particularly fraught.

with a camera in an apartment

In addition to discussions, lectures and talks, thefestival's program will include workshops for children and a series called "Homemakers." It will consist of 6 films made for the festival. Their protagonists will be Poznan houses from the 20th century. From the tenement house in Jeżyce to the housing from the 70s and 80s. An interesting and rarity for lovers of post-war construction will be an episode devoted to a Poznan atrium house. All the films in the series will be available online and will appear gradually over the course of the festival.

The full festival program is available on the event website.

Helena Postawka-Lech

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