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Architecture in the Age of Pandemics

Gropius Bau

From Tuberculosis to COVID-19

Architecture is an ever-changing entity. Beatriz Colomina’s digital lecture explores how architecture and medicine have always been connected. The discovery of bacterial diseases, particularly tuberculosis, gave birth to modern architecture, to white buildings detached from the “humid ground where disease breeds”, as the architect Le Corbusier put it. In the postwar years, attention shifted from physical to psychological problems; the 21st Century has seen the rise of neurological disorders including depression, and yet pandemics too have returned. COVID-19 has reshaped architecture and urbanism and once again disease is exposing the structural inequities of race, class and gender. Will architectural discourse and practice likewise reshape itself? The lecture is followed by a digital conversation between Beatriz Colomina and Edna Bonhomme.

Beatriz Colomina is the Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture and the Founding Director of the Media and Modernity Program at Princeton University. She writes and curates on questions of design, art, sexuality and media. Her latest book X-Ray Architecture was published in 2019 by Lars Müller Publishers.

Edna Bonhomme is a historian of science, interdisciplinary artist and writer. They earned a PhD in the history of science from Princeton University; their dissertation was entitled Plagued Bodies and Spaces. Bonhomme has written for Aljazeera, Esquire, The Guardian and more.


This is an in-person event. If you would like to attend, please find all information on how to participate on the website of the Gropius Bau.

About the Venue
Gropius Bau
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
Berlin, Berlin 10963 Germany
+49 30 254 86-0

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