Architecture & Optimism | The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass), London Metropolitan University | Saturday, 01. June 2019

Come to the talk on Architecture & Optimism!This event at the CASS brings together architecture historians, sociologists and psychologists. What relationship does mental attitude have with city branding and architectural expansion strategies? Participants: Prof. Marija Drėmaitė, Vilnius University, architecture historian and curator of the exhibition Architecture of OptimismDouglas Murphy, Royal College of ArtAdam Philips, writer Dr Eglė Rindzevičiūtė, Associate Professor of Criminology and Sociology at King-ston UniversityThe exhibition 'Architecture of Optimism' on the architecture of interwar Kaunas, curated by Marija Drėmaitė, Giedrė Jankevičiūtė and Vaidas Petrulis is about the active growth of the modernist city, proudly carrying the name of the Lithuanian capital. The main idea of this exhibition is the notion of optimism that unfolds in parallel with the Kaunas architectural boom between the wars when young architects were studying abroad and coming back to work in Lithuania. Optimism is portrayed through the scope and sheer number of new buildings built in the interwar , in this event we not only shed light on Kaunas interwar architecture, but also aim to challenge the word ‘optimism’ in this context. While buildings are simply a representation of wider problems and social economical constructs, it is worth considering the wider cultural implication of ‘optimism’ as an emotional ‘imperative’. The optimist's so-called ‘sunny’ personal disposition is (or could be) an in-built emotional drive to believe in a brighter future, of bettering oneself and the environment. But isn't it precisely optimism that is destroying the chance of harmonious possibilities, because it naively overlooks certain implications of its own mechanisms?Participant BIOS:Marija Drėmaitė is a Professor in the Department of History at Vilnius University. She holds a PhD in History of Architecture (2006). Her research is focused on twentieth-century architecture, modernism, and industrial heritage. Her publications include Baltic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Lithuania (*** pub-lishers, 2017) and the edited Architecture of Optimism: The Kaunas Phenomenon, 1918–1940 (Lapas, 2018) which accompanies an eponymous exhibition. She is currently leading a research project on residential architecture in Socialist Lithuania (1945-1990).Douglas Murphy is an architect and author. He is the author of the books Nincompoopolis: The Follies of Boris Johnson, and Last Futures. He teaches in the archi-tecture departments at the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins. He writes for a wide variety of publications on architecture, art, politics and culture, and lectures widely throughout Rindzevičiutė is an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology at Kingston University London, UK. She received her Ph.D. in Culture Studies in 2008 from Linköping University, Sweden, and has published articles on cultural policy and political history of science and technology in the Soviet Union and East-West circulation of scientific knowledge in such journals as Modern Intel-lectual History, Slavic Review, The International Journal of Cultural Policy and Cur-rent Anthropology. Recent books include The Power of Systems: How Policy Sci-ences Opened Up the Cold War World (Cornell University Press, 2016) and The Struggle for the Long-Term in Transnational Science and Politics: Forging the Fu-ture (Routledge, 2015), co-edited with Prof Jenny Andersson. Dr Rindzeviciute is the Principal Investigator on the research networking project “Nuclear Cultural Her-itage: From Knowledge to Practice” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, 2018-2020).Adam Phillips is a British child psychotherapist, literary critic and essayist. He is known for his books dealing with topics related to psychoanalysis, including On Kissing, Being Bored and Going Sane. His book of essays, Side Effects, explores the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis. In 2016 he has published a biography of Sigmund Freud. He has recently participated in various events includ-ing ’On Enthusiasm” organised by Frieze : Justė Kostikovaitė, Lithuanian Culture Attache in the UKPartners: Lithuanian Culture Institute, London Festival of Architecture, Kaunas IN, The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University (The Cass), British-Lithuanian Society