Architecture and the Welfare State symposium

Twenty of the world’s top experts will gather at the School of Architecture in September for an international scientific workshop.

At the event, the experts, who include architects, architectural historians and conservationists from the UK, Europe and North America – are aiming to develop new insights into, and understanding of, the relationship between architecture and the welfare state in Europe in the years 1918-1979.

The workshop, organised by Professor Mark Swenarton from the School, in conjunction with Tom Avermaete and Dirk van den Heuvel from Technical University Delft, is a closed-doors round-table event with papers circulated in advance.

The participants travelling from universities in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal and Sweden, as well as the UK and the US, will discuss topics ranging from the colonial input into French urban policy in the 1950s to Portuguese experiments in social housing in the 1970s and from the origins of high-rise housing in Britain to the anti-functionalist theories of the Finnish architect Reima Pietilí¤.

Professor Swenarton said: “In the early twentieth century the Liverpool School of Architecture played a key role in shaping the architectural ideology of the emerging welfare state. Today, as we seek to unravel the complex relationship between architecture and architects on the one hand, and the aims and contradictions of the welfare state on the other, it is fitting that such distinguished experts should gather in Liverpool.”

A benchmark publication from the workshop, edited by the organisers, will follow.

For further information, email Filomena Saltao.

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