Digital Talk and Conversation

Architecture in the Age of Pandemics. From Tuberculosis to COVID-19

With Beatriz Colomina and Edna Bonhomme

Drawing upon the history of architecture from modernism to today, this digital talk and conversation explores how pandemics shape the ways in which we live and build.

Ámà: 4 Days on Caring, Repairing and Healing
  • In English; Speech-to-text

Past Dates

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 will join the event digitally.

Beatriz Colomina is the Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture and the Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity 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 Plagued Bodies and Spaces examined the commercial and geopolitical trajectory of epidemics in North Africa. Bonhomme has written for Al Jazeera, Esquire, The Guardian and more.

The event is part of Berlin Science Week.