[act-ma] 10/26 "A Future for Havana? Challenges and Opportunities", 5pm*
cwelch at tecschange.org
Wed Oct 19 08:30:49 PDT 2011
"A Future for Havana? Challenges and Opportunities"
Cuban Visiting Scholar
DRCLAS, Harvard University
Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners
*Date:* Wednesday, October 26, 5pm*
*Location:* DRCLAS, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St, Room S-30
/About the Lecture:/
When the Modern masters left Cuba after the 1959 revolution, young
architects were able to maintain good quality architecture, though only
for some time. Since then, architects have worked for a salary from the
government – not enough to make a living, but safely tenured.
Experimentation and creativeness were severely handicapped in the 1970s
and 1980s by a strong centralization resulting in repetitive projects
with heavy prefabrication. In addition, the recent new investments –
bland in design – are meant to capture hard currency. New good
contemporary designs are needed to demonstrate that profit is not
opposed to architectural quality. A recent official statement estimated
that 1.3 million state workers are not needed –around one-fifth of the
country’s labor force. This calls for an opening for self-employment and
small businesses, which in turn may increase private construction and
create real jobs for thousands of architects. In this lecture, Professor
Coyula addresses the challenges and opportunities for the future of
architecture in Cuba.
/Special Video Screening:/
For those planning to attend Professor Coyula’s lecture, you are
cordially invited to join us at *4:30pm* for a special screening of the
short documentary video, /Hablemos de la Habana Vieja/ (/Let's Talk
About Old Havana/). The video, commissioned by the Office of the City
Historian of Havana and made by an international team of film-makers and
urban planners, explores the aspirations of the citizens and the experts
of Old Havana for the future of their city - including how to address
its housing crisis and realize its incredible economic and cultural assets.
/About the Speaker:/
Mario Coyula Cowley is a Cuban architect, urban designer and critic. He
is an authority on the history and preservation of Havana, and he
received the National Prize of Architecture in 2001. He is former
director of the CUJAE’s School of Architecture and of the Architecture
and Urban Planning Department of Havana, as well as of the Group for the
Integral Development in Havana. He is also co-author of the book
/Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis/ (London and Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina, 2002) with Roberto Segre and Joseph L.
Scarpaci, Jr., and most recently, the fiction book, /Catalina/ (Sevilla:
Editorial Renacimiento, 2011). Dr. Coyula returns to Harvard after
having served as a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor from 2002-2003
at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
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American Studies, Harvard University, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA
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