This event has now closed.

The New Dwelling: Social Activism and Architectural Innovation

Talk by Caroline Ford

The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning is pleased to invite you to a lecture by Professor Caroline Ford of UCLA. Professor Ford is in Sydney in conjunction with a combined meeting of the Europan Architectural History Network and the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand—Distance Looks Back, July 10-13, 2019.

This lecture focuses on two women architects who were professionally trained prior to the First World War–Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Juliette Tréant-Mathé– whose work, in contrast to most of their female counterparts, focused on social housing in central Europe, the Soviet Union and France, and who made significant contributions to the development of modern architecture in the interwar period. It explores how and why their careers converged, while diverging so markedly from other women architects of the period (Lilly Reich, Eileen Gray, and Charlotte Perriand, who never received formal architectural training). It also considers the relationship between their architectural designs and their social activism–a phenomenon that has been more effectively explored with respect to male architects in interwar Europe (for example, Bruno Taut). A central issue is the experience of exile, which explores the theme of “distance looks back,” especially in the case of Schütte-Lihotzky, who was forced to leave Germany with the rise of Nazism, sending her first to Russia with the Ernst May brigade, then to Paris, and later to Istanbul, at the invitation of Bruno Taut. The lecture is broadly framed in terms of the relationship between new hygienic as well as environmental concerns associated with the so-called “new dwelling (neue wohnung)” and architectural modernism in the 1920s and 1930s.

Caroline Ford is Professor of History and Peter H. Reill Chair in European History at the University of California, Los Angeles.



New Law Building, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia


Friday 12 July 2019 from 6pm to 9pm

Refreshments served from 6pm, and post-lecture reception from 1930 in New Law foyer


Event tags


Like this event? See more:

The latest events direct to you

Error 404

Oops, no events here!

Try searching for an event, or return to the home page.