[act-ma] 10/26 "A Future for Havana? Challenges and Opportunities", 5pm*

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Wed Oct 19 08:30:49 PDT 2011



    "A Future for Havana? Challenges and Opportunities"

*Mario Coyula*
Cuban Visiting Scholar
DRCLAS, Harvard University

Moderator:
Lee Cott
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.

For more information on upcoming events, visit: 
http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/cuba/events 
<http://go.madmimi.com/redirects/acb5e62d9c77e656ac792ea4fe8f1545?pa=5803199104>.

To sign up for the Cuban Studies Program listserv, visit: 
https://lists.fas.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/drclas-cuba-list 
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©2011 Cuban Studies Program | David Rockefeller Center for Latin 
American Studies, Harvard University, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 
02138



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