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The Irreducible Urban
During her stay at the IFK, Eve Blau will work on The Irreducible Urban, an exhibition and research project that takes as its starting point the proposition in its title: that the irreducible complexity of the contemporary urban makes communication and collaboration across many fields essential. Each discipline produces its own forms of knowledge and has its own blind spots, ‘residues’ (as Henri Lefebvre called them) that evade its grasp and can only be approached through other disciplinary frameworks. Those residues constitute a field of urban praxis that is the focus of the research. The study also engages directly with media technologies, and the relationship between the tools and objects of urban research; exploring the ways in which the digitized information and media we use to visualize and understand contemporary urban environments not only condition what we see, but also shape the kinds of knowledge that our research produces, and the ways in which we conceptualize the urban itself.
Eve Blau is Adjunct Professor of the History of Urban Form at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She has written extensively on modern architecture and urbanism, and has curated numerous exhibitions. Baku: Oil and Urbanism will be published in 2017. She is co-director of the Harvard Mellon Initiative on Urbanism and the Humanities. In 2015 she was awarded the Victor-Adler-Staatspreis für Geschichte sozialer Bewegungen by the Republic of Austria. She has been a fellow at the IFK, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and Radcliffe Bunting Institute. Before Harvard, she was Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and Editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.
Rotes Wien: Architektur 1919–1934. Stadt-Raum-Politik. Vienna 2014 / The Architecture of Red Vienna, 1919–1934, Cambridge 1999; Urbanism’s Core: Harvard Design Magazine 37, March 2014; with Ivan Rupnik Project Zagreb: Transition as Condition, Strategy, Practice, Barcelona and New York 2007; mit Monika Platzer, Mythos Großstadt. Architektur und Stadtbaukunst in Zentraleuropa 1890–1937 / with Monika Platzer, Shaping the Great City: Modern Architecture in Central Europe, 1890–1937, Munich, London 2000.
Eve Blau, Adjunct Professor of the History of Urban Form und Co-Principal Investigator der Harvard Mellon Initiative on Urbanism and the Humanities an der Harvard University Graduate School of Design, ehemaliger IFK_Fellow sowie langjähriges Mitglied des International Advisory Boards (IAB) des IFK, erhält den Viktor Adler-Staatspreis für Geschichte sozialer Bewegungen 2015 für ihr Buch „Rotes Wien: Architektur 1919–1934. Stadt – Raum – Politik“ (Wien: Ambra 2014).
Since Baku’s first oil boom in the late 19th century—when the Russian branch of the Nobel family modernized the oil industry and local oil barons channeled their profits into institution building, representation, and the public life of citizens—oil and urbanism have been inextricably linked in the political, cultural, and physical fabric of Baku. What can we learn from the long, conjoined history of oil and urbanism in Baku about global urbanization processes?