April 13, 2009 - The Brno House of Arts - International Symposium
April 13, 2009

International Symposium

Photo: Bas Princen, 2009

International Symposium
May 19 – 23 2009 

Zlín and Prague


Today the Czech city of Zlín is two things at once: a historically important architectural monument and a dynamic city boasting an energetic social and commercial life, the location of the Tomáš Baťa University, where some 10,000 students are currently enrolled. Built by the Baťa shoe company in the 1920s as a factory city where living and working were to enter into a perfect symbiosis, Zlín possesses a rich architectural and intellectual heritage still very much in evidence today. Zlín is a prime example of a planned city in which all aspects of life, namely domestic living, education, and leisure time, were geared towards achieving a single goal, in this case optimizing the efficiency of a rapidly expanding shoe company. This constitutes its current relevance for city planners and architects.

The symposium featuring prominent scholars and theorists pursues the question if Zlín is relevant for issues currently faced by city planners and architects and thus represents a learning model for the future. From a contemporary perspective Zlín is an irritating example, for it concords neither with the critical articulations of Postmodernism, nor with the certainties proclaimed by defenders of Modernity. The key issues to be discussed are the legacy of Fordism, post-socialist structural change, architectural branding and corporate identity – and last but by no means least, the place of social-utopian thinking in our present age.

The symposium is not limited to a single location – it is conceived as a meandering format which aims to turn the topics up for discussion – architecture and the urban environment – into tangible experiences. With “Walks & Talks”, thematic sojourns conceived and conducted by experts, the symposium provides an opportunity to traverse the Baťa cosmos and show what the everyday life of current residents looks like in this monument of Modernity.

Contributors include Daniel M. Abramson, Anette Baldauf, Ivan Bergmann, Regina Bittner, Pavel Chládek, Markéta Dvořáčková, Klára Eliášová, Lucie Galčanová, Adam Gebrian, Gunter Henn, Petr Hlaváček, Ladislava Horňáková, Hucot, Richard Ingersoll, Lukáš Kohl, Igor Kovačevič, Eric Mumford, Winfried Nerdinger, Dagmar Nová, Jiří Novotný, Jan Obšívač, Ladislav Pastrnek, Zdenĕk Pokluda, Dagmar Prášilová, Arnold Reijndorp, Jitka Ressová, Cyril Říha, Andreas Ruby, Radomíra Sedláková, Zdenĕk Skaunic, Štefan Šlachta, Svatopluk Sládeček, Vladimír Šlapeta, Annett Steinführer, Rostislav Švácha, Petr Szczepanik, Mária Topolčanská, Barbora Vacková, Pavel Velev, Tomáš Vlček, Petr Všetečka and Karin Wilhelm.

The symposium “A Utopia of Modernity : Zlín” is an event staged by Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, together with The Brno House of Arts, the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín, and the National Gallery in Prague; in association with the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau, the Bauhaus Kolleg, Thomas Bata Foundation, Tomáš Baťa University, Zlín Film Studios, Shoe Museum Zlín. With the friendly support of the Zlín Region and the City of Zlín.

Zipp / relations e. V.
E zlin@projekt-zipp.de

The Brno House of Arts
E info@dum-umeni.cz

The Brno House of Arts
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