Conference "Convergences and Divergences", Berlin 16.–18.11.2023

Interdisciplinary conference




Conference Venue
Pilecki-Institute Berlin,
Pariser-Platz 4a, 10117 Berlin

• Thu, 16.11.2023, 9:30 – 20:30 h
• Fri, 17.11.2023, 10:00 – 20:00 h

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• Pilecki-Institut Berlin / Exercising Modernity

• ETOM – European Triennial of Modernism  
• BHROX bauhaus reuse / zukunftsgeraeusche GbR (BHROX / zkg)
• (Ben Buschfeld)

• Stiftung für Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit
• Botschaft der Republik Litauen 


The conference program includes two keynote-lectures and is shaped along five sessions and topic areas with uptown five panelists each who come from all over Central Europe to present and discuss their projects and concerns:


Thu, 16.11.2023, 18:30 h: Prof. em. Dr. Ákos Moravánszky, 
Architectural Historian, ETH Zürich: 
Shifting Grounds: Re-Mapping the Historiography of Architectural Modernism in Europe

Fri, 17.11.2023, 16:00 h: Prof. Dr. Henrieta Moravčíková, 
STU Bratislava, Slovak Academy of Science, Docomomo Slovakia:
Tests of perspective: architectural histories of a vague country

DAY I: 16 Nov 2023

  • 08:45 – 9:30 Registration
  • 09:30 – 10:00 Welcome speeches
    • Dr. Christoph Rauhut, Berlin Monument Authority, State Conservator
    • Hanna Radziejowska, Director of the Pilecki-Institute Berlin
    • Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin, Head of Exercising Modernity Program
    • Robert K. Huber & Ben Buschfeld, ETOM – European Triennial of Modernism, TDM-Berlin

Contested architectural heritage 
across Central and Eastern Europe

  • 10:00 – 12:00 Session I –
    Contested architectural heritage across Central and Eastern Europe
    Moderator: Ingrid Ruudi, Ph.D., Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn
    • Dr. Christoph Rauhut, Berlin Monument Authority, State Conservator: Karl-Marx-Allee and Interbau 1957. Architecture and Urbanism in Postwar Modernism (working title)
    • Marii Laanemets, Ph.D., Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn: The intertwined history of the Linnahall. Reflections on modernity and society
    • Prof. Andrzej Leśniak, Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences: The Parade Square between modernisation and globalization: the controversies and entangled histories on the site of the future Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
    • Iryna Matsevko, Ph.D., Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Kharkiv School of Architecture: Is the Soviet Built Heritage Ukrainian? Challenges and Perspectives of the Legacy of Modernism in Shaping Postwar Ukrainian Identity
    • Aleksandra Sumorok, Ph.D., Academy of Fine Arts W. Strzemiński in Łodź: Socialist Realist Monuments in Poland. A „difficult” heritage?
  • 12:00 – 13:30 Lunch break

Iron curtain(s) of the 20th century. 
Modernism beyond the binary of East and West

  • 13:30 – 15:30 Session II –
    Iron curtain(s) of the 20th century. Modernism beyond the binary of East and West
    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Jörg Haspel, ICOMOS, former State Conservator of Berlin
    • Błażej Ciarkowski, Ph.D., University of Łódź: Looking through “a nylon curtain”. How do architects describe their international experiences in the times of socialism
    • Dr. des. Helena Huber-Doudová, National Gallery Prague: The Typology of Architecture Practice between the East and the West in the 20th century
    • Vaidas Petrulis, Ph.D., Institute of Architecture and Constructon. Kaunas University of Technology: National Narrative without Borders: Architecture of the Lithuanian Diaspora in the USA after World War II
    • Denada Veizaj, Ph.D. / Georgij Islami, Ph.D., Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Department of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Tirana: Modernity without modernism. The particular path of architecture in Albania from 1975 to 1990
    • Miłosz Gortyński, Łódź University of Technology: Open Form and Open Society in the Architecture
    • Ana Ivanovska, Continuo, Faculty of Architecture, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje: Building the City of Solidarity, the case of Skopje
  • 15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

Built narratives. 
Multilayered identities of modern architecture

  • 16:00 – 18:00 Session III –
    Built narratives. Multilayered identities of modern architecture
    Moderator: Aleksandra Janus, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin, Exercising Modernity Program Curator
    • Marija Drėmaitė, Ph.D., Faculty of History, Vilnius University: Is there East Central European Modernism? The multifaceted case of Kaunas Modernism (1919-1939)
    • Prof. Dr. Jasna Galjer, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb: Lost or found? Utopia and reality of modernism in the croatian architecture of the socialist and post-socialist period
    • Prof. Almantas Samalavičius, Department of Architectural Fundamentals, Theory and Art, Vilnius Giediminas Tech-nical University: Behind the Curtain – Reception and Integration of Modernism(s) in Lithuanian Architectural Discourse During the Later Soviet Era (1970-1990)
    • Prof. Dr. Svitlana Smolenska, Department of Construction, Architecture and Design, Kherson State Agrarian and Economic University, visiting researcher at TH OWL: International competition 1930 in Kharkiv, Ukraine – Modernism beyond the binary of East and West
    • Katarzyna Solińska, Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Krosno: Tracing papers. Lost archives and forgotten narratives – hidden and silenced microhistory of the “Deaf German” architect, his Trans-Olza opponent and Modernism beyond Subcarpathian Region
  • 18:00 – 18:30 Coffee break

  • 18:30 – 20:30 Keynote lecture 1 – with talk and Q&A
    Moderator: Robert K. Huber, BHROX bauhaus reuse / zukunftsgeraeusche GbR, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
    Prof. em. Dr. Ákos Moravánszky, Theorist and Historian, ETH Zurich, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture: Shifting Grounds – Re-Mapping the Historiography of Architectural Modernism in Europe
  • 20:30 – 22:30 Get together

DAY II: 17 Nov 2023

Shared heritage. 
Points of contact and best practices

  • 09:30 – 10:00 Registration
  • 10:30 – 12:30 Session IV –
    Shared heritage. Points of contact and best practices
    Moderation: Prof. Dr. Uta Pottgiesser, Docomomo International, TH-OWL, TU Delft Heritage & Technology
    • Alex Bykov, Architect and activist, Kyiv: SAVEKYIVACTIVISM
    • Prof. Marcin Lachowski, Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw: The history and utopia of modernism in the narratives of contemporary Polish artists
    • Louis Volkmann and Ben Kaden: Isn’t the new post office beautiful? Picture postcards as visual and textual testimonies of Eastern Modernism
    • Julia Bojaryn, Stiftung Haus Schminke, Löbau: TOPOMOMO – Experiments of modernism.
    • Daniel Kovács, Hungarian Museum of Architecture and Monuments Protection Documentation Center / The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (KÉK), Budapest: Promoting Modernism, with Women’s Stories
  • 12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break

New Communities, New Buildings, New People: 
the notion of the “new” in Central and Eastern European modern architecture

  • 14:00 – 16:00 Session V – New Communities, New Buildings, New People: the notion of the “new” in Central and Eastern European modern architecture
    Moderator: Ben Buschfeld,, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
    • Nadiia Antonenko, Ph.D., Department of Information Technologies in Architecture, Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture: Large-scale housing estates in Ukrainian cities of the 1960s-1980s – A new look at value in the context of the war
    • Małgorzata Burkot, Independent researcher: 100 schools in the Vilnius region
    • Kateryna Didenko, Ph.D., Department of Architecture, Vilnius Technical University: Laboratory for the information of a new soviet man. The case study early-modern architecture of residential complexes in the metropolitan Kharkiv
    • Piotr Woliński, Łódź University of Technology:
      Transfer of modernism and planning of post-war Warsaw and Singapore. Relationships and circumstances of building „new“ states, cities, societies.
    • Michal Wisniewski, Ph.D., Institut of Architecture Foundation (FAI) and International Culture Center Krakow: Wehen the new is becoming old – the case of postwar housing in Poland
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Coffee break

  • 17:00 – 18:30 Keynote lecture 2 – with talk and Q&A
    Moderator: Robert K. Huber, BHROX bauhaus reuse / zukunftsgeraeusche GbR, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Henrieta Moravčíková, STU Bratislava, Slovak Academy of Science, Docomomo Slovakia: Tests of perspective – architectural histories of a vague country
  • 18:30 – 19:00 Coffee break
  • 18:30 – 20:30 Lessons learned – Panel discussion
    Moderators: Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, Ph.D., Pilecki-Institute Berlin,
    Ben Buschfeld and/or Robert K. Huber, ETOM, TDM-Berlin
  • Special-Input I: Dr. Tino Mager, Ph.D., ICOMOS Germany, History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Groningen: Contentious Spaces – Uncovering the Hidden Narratives of Socialist Built Heritage
  • Special Input II: Prof. Edward Denison, The Bartlett School of Architecture: Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene and the need for the Cape Town Document on Modern Heritage
    • Maja Babić, Ph.D., Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Groningen
    • Prof. Dr. Franziska Bollerey, TU-Delft, Institute of History of Art, Architecture and Urbanism, Delft-Berlin
    • Kacper Kepinski, National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning, Warsaw



Die internationale englischsprachige Konferenz in Berlin betrachtet, reflektiert und diskutiert die Geschichte der Architektur der Moderne und nimmt dabei speziell die Lage in Mittel- und Osteuropa in den Fokus. Bisher übliche, vereinfachende und überholte Kategorien wie Ost und West werden kritisch hinterfragt. Stattdessen wird die Entwicklung der modernen Architektur und Stadtplanung aus einer breiteren und nicht-hierarchischen Perspektive betrachtet, in der welcher sie die Rolle von „Seismographen“ einer visionären und zugleich ambivalenten Erfahrung der Moderne einnehmen. Diese Sichtweise hebt auch auf den – in vielen Ländern parallel und ähnlich gefochtenen – Kampf für eine bessere Zukunft und zur Durchsetzung neuer Modelle gesellschaftlichen Zusammenlebens ab – Aspekte, die zum Fundment europäischer Werte zählen und deren Bedeutung uns bis heute beschäftigt. 

Die von zwei Einführungsvorträgen begleitete Konferenz bringt in fünf Gesprächsrunden unterschiedliche Perspektiven und Fachgebiete zusammen, die von Forschenden, Gestaltenden, Historiker*innen sowie städtischen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteur*innen aus verschiedenen Nationen vertreten werden. Ziel ist es, das Erbe der Moderne und die damit verbundenen Veränderungen in Mittel- und Osteuropa im Kontext von internationalen Beziehungen, von Macht, Einfluss und Abhängigkeiten neu und kritisch zu überdenken.

Die Konferenz wurde vom Pilecki-Institut in Kooperation mit der Initiative für eine „European Triennial of Modernism (ETOM)“ organisiert. Weitere Partnerinnen sind die Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit sowie die Botschaft der Republik Litauen in Deutschland.


Associated Exhibition
Exhibition venue: BHROX bauhaus reuse, Ernst-Reuter-Platz (Mittelinsel)
Exhibition dates: 25 October – 25 November 2023
• Sat, 18.11.2023, 11:30 – 12:30 h:
• Sat, 24.11.2023, 18:30 – 19:30 h:
Tours with the artists / curators though the exhibition „Soft Ground“
(additional venue at BHROX bauhaus reuse – details see below)

• Sa, 18.11.2023, 12:30 – 13:30 h:
Exhibition by Prof. Svitlana Smolenska:
Hans Poelzig’s Project for Ukraine.
The International Competition 1930 for the State Ukrainian Theatre in Kharkiv

venue: TU Berlin | more info

• Sa, 18.11.2023, ca. 13:00 – 20:00 h:
Additional event (and venue) by the Hermann-Henselmann-Foundation (in GERMAN language):
Kolloquium — Bruno Flierl – Planen und Streiten für die Berliner Mitte
venue: Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation | more info

• Sa, 18.11.2023, 14:00 – 16:15 h:
Optional Side Event (in ENGLISH language, only for participants of the conference):
Architectural tour by Ben Buschfeld through the UNESCO-listed „Hufeisensiedlung“ in Neukölln-Britz,
including a visit of the rentable 1920s museum Tautes Heim
Venue: meeting at 14:00 at BHROX bauhaus reuse
Alternative meeting where the tour starts:
14:45 at subway U7 station „Blaschkoallee“, exit „Fritz-Reuter-Allee“)
more info (via Facebook)

Participations based on the Open Call: