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Vladimir Paperny on Hot and Cold War Architecture - the architecture of international exhibitions at a time of war - 1937-1959

Paperny is the author of the seminal work: Architecture in the age of Stalin. Culture Two, one of the first books in 20th Century Russia that critiqued Soviet architecture through a political lens. He continues this theme in this latest book, of which he is co-editor.  

Architecture and War (creation and destruction) are closely related: both transform physical and social reality. Architecture in the service of war could be seen in the confrontation between Iofan’s and Speer’s pavilions at the 1937 Paris EXPO (above). After WWII, international exhibitions were to present technology as a force “dedicated not to death but consecrated to life” (Eisenhower, 1953). Still, the Soviet-American architectural confrontation was visible in both the 1958 Brussels EXPO and in the Soviet-American national exhibition exchange of 1959.


Vladimir Paperny received his MA in design from the Stroganov Art Academy in Moscow, and his PhD in Cultural Studies from the Russian State University for the Humanities. His PhD thesis Architecture in the age of Stalin. Culture Two was published in Russian (Moscow, 1996, 2006), in English (Cambridge University Press, 2003, 2011) and in Czech (Arbor Vitae, 2014). Since moving to the US in 1981, Dr. Paperny was visiting professor at USC, UCLA, Woodrow Wilson Center, and Bristol University, UK. He worked as Marketing Manager (US Gypsum, Lavi Industries) and as Art Director (Orange Coast Magazine, The Workbook). He continues working at his design studio in Los Angeles. His articles, essays and columns (in both English and Russian) appear in such publications as Snob, Architectural Digest, Project Russia, Speech and many others. His collections of essays include Mos Angleles, Mos Angeles-2 (NLO, 2004, 2009) and Fuck Context? (TATLIN, 2011).

Followed by drinks.