Postmodernist Publishing Architecture in the late 1970’s

Arts and Architecture magazine and its connection to the Case Study House Program is considered some of the most important publishing in Californian architectural history, including its revival in 1981, after mid-century modernism had faded into history, with a more diffuse focus, redolent of postmodern times.
Several upstart architectural and cultural publications like WET, the Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, PAMPHLET Architecture and ARCHETYPE Magazine sprouted out of California to fill the intellectual and cultural vacuum of publishing during that period. These publications were looking east to tightly controlled publications like OPPOSITIONS, published by The Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies and later its newspaper cousin SKYLINE. Inversely, the West coast groups aimed to represent and put forth a more critical architectural and cultural journalism. This was a time that lacked a firm belief in a unified architectural order dictated by East Coast Aestheticism, which gave way and became catalyst for a light-hearted yet still critical platform to propose new ideas, evaluate existing buildings and development, as well as look at the profession as a whole.

While self-glorification and academic manipulation remained part of the East coast Ivy pedigree, the new upstarts from California operated with profound skepticism to that situation and offered a new, more optimistic and overtly inclusive view of architecture as a cultural activity.
This symposia tries to recapture this moment of Californian Awakening in architectural publishing with speakers and panelists with intimate knowledge of that period and climate as they were themselves involved in its creation and development. The panelists will discuss their involvement in the above mentioned publications in analog format countering the current digital state of architectural broadcasting, and its implications today.

Kurt W. Forster and Andrew McNair, Oppositions and Skyline; Leonard Koren, WET Magazine; Steven Holl, PAMPHLET Architecture: Diane Ghirardo and Mark Mack, Archetype Magazine and Western Addition,
In addition representatives of other pivotal institutions and events in the US, Europe and Japan; Peter Noever, Umriss, Kyong Park, Storefront NY will round out the discussions. Hitoshi Abe, former chair at UCLA and Mark Lee, current chair of GSD will put it all in perspective.

The Symposia will be held at the Department of Architecture and Urban Design @ the School of Arts at UCLA on 3/18/2019 from 6-10pm

The Pamphlet Architecture series was founded in 1978 by architects Steven Holl and William Stout as a venue for publishing the thoughts and works of a younger generation of architects. Each issue was written, illustrated, and designed by a single architect, which gives each its unique character. The series, which received an American Institute of Architects award, continues to influence new generations of architects as it disseminates new and innovative ideas on architecture and presents the work of the luminaries of tomorrow.

WET covered a range of cultural issues and was widely known for its use of graphic art. Started as a simple one-man operation that included artwork and text solicited from friends and acquaintances, the production, team, and circulation of the magazine would grow over the years. Its content also evolved to cover a wider expanse of stories that captured a Los Angeles attitude that was emerging at the same time as punk, but with its own distinct aesthetic. As design problems arose, solutions were often improvised on the spot.[3] Its layout and design helped to catalyze the graphic styles later known as New Wave and Postmodern.

Oppositions was an architectural journal produced by the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies from 1973 to 1984. Many of its articles contributed to advancing architectural theory and many of its contributors became distinguished practitioners in the field of architecture. Twenty-six issues were produced during its eleven years of existence. Contributors included: Diana Agrest, Stanford Anderson, Giorgio Ciucci, Stuart Cohen, Alan Colquhoun, Francesco Dal Co, Peter Eisenman, William Ellis, Kurt W. Forster, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, Giorgio Grassi, Fred Koetter, Rem Koolhaas, Léon Krier, Mary McLeod, Rafael Moneo, Joan Ockman, Martin Pawley, Aldo Rossi, Colin Rowe, Denise Scott Brown, Jorge Silvetti, Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Manfredo Tafuri, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, and Hajime Yatsuka. The journal was designed by Massimo Vignelli.

Archetype Magazine, lasting also a brief four years between 1979 and 1983, launched in San Francisco by an editorial team that included Andrew Batey, Kurt Forster, Diane Ghirardo, and Mark Mack. was a West Coast combination of post- hippie rag and Oppositions, the avant- garde New York architectural magazine. Archetype avowed cross-fertilization of media (from photography to art to industrial design), the inclusion of history and theory, and a roving cosmopolitan beat. The opening editorial stated: “One of the objectives for a voice from the west should be to eradicate the fear of communication with the architectural community on the East Coast and in Europe.”

UMRISS was founded by Peter Noever in the 80’s in Vienna prior to his leading the Museum of Applied Art in Vienna. It would occupy the genres of architectural criticism, art and architecture news as well as introducing new and foreign ideas to the self admiring and self absorbing culture of Vienna.

Storefront for Art and Architecture began in 1982, just as the IAUS began to peter out, by the visionary architect Kyong Park started Storefront in a derelict street-level commercial space in Soho. Designed in collaboration between the artist Vito Aconcci and upstart Steven Holl the Storefront had a mission and modus operandi quite different from those of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, but it shared a comparable aspiration to avant-garde cultural production and for radical creative inquiry on architecture and urbanism.