Collegium Helveticum
Book launch

Architecture and Broadcasting in Cold War Berlin


Venue & accessibility info: Meridian Hall, Collegium Helveticum

This is a public event. Participation is free of charge and registration is not required.

In 1945, having occupied German territory, Soviet troops made two strategic moves: they dismantled the Deutschlandsender III radio transmission tower, the single tallest structure at the time in Europe, and they seized the Haus des Rundfunks in West Berlin, a monumental building designed by Hans Poelzig. These moves were crucial both symbolically and technically, as together they sparked what would become a veritable radio war between the Eastern and Western blocs during the Cold War.

In dialogue with Laila Seewang and Michael Osman, Alfredo Thiermann will present Radio-Activities (MIT Press, 2024), a book project in which he investigates this spatial conflict by interrogating the political, technological, and environmental dimensions of architecture at a time when buildings began to interact with the remote transmission of information. In doing so, the book interrogates the status and agency of buildings during a period—not unlike today’s—of increasingly hyperconnected, ubiquitous, and apparently invisible modes of coexistence.

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