The directions taken by architecture and its teaching from the mid-1960s are multiple and intersections sometimes dangerous. The first major disturbances broke out at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts around 1966. They were accompanied by a demand for the most advanced students of architecture for the “capital” theory and for, at the end, a status of intellectuals , based on the decisive contribution of the human sciences in the training of architects.
“Mai 68. L’architecture aussi!”
16 May – 17 September, 2018
Citè de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris
The commitment is political – on the left that goes without saying – but also intellectual, indissociably strained towards the theoretical renewal: it is the hour of the speculative structuralism with its “effect-logy” which borrows as much from the mathematical logic as from linguistics.
Conscious of an inevitable change, the public authorities had tried to accompany this movement for some time. They had come up with a plan for educational reform – which May 1968 mow. From the beginning of the next academic year, architecture and its teaching reinvent themselves outside the Cenacle of the Beaux-Arts, in new autonomous “pedagogical units of architecture” (UPA). The generation that forms there, even if it federates first on the rejection of the inheritance, creates of the ideal and tries to transmit some references and shared representations.
“Rotating years”, the years 1968 extend until the vote, in 1977, of a Law on the Architecture which relays in part the pioneering agitation. Its general content notably moves the architecture towards the pole of quality whereas it was since the Quantity dominated Reconstruction.
The exhibition “Mai 68. L’architecture aussi!” invites to revisit this field of possibilities, this fifteen years (1962-1984) which saw the renewal of the teaching to accompany that of the architecture, the urbanism and the professions which are attached to them. The virulent rejection of the heritage or at least its evolution, the commitment of those who made 1968 a moment of change, the reinvention of forms and pedagogical content that followed and finally the assumptions that were then formulated for society and architecture, are the main themes that allow to analyze this aspiration to make architecture differently.