Archinect - News 2017-09-24T22:48:41-04:00 On the legacy of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies Places Journal 2014-01-13T16:59:00-05:00 >2016-04-26T18:16:18-04:00 <img srcset=" 1x, 2x, 3x" src="" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>I wish that it still existed. &mdash; Frank Gehry It would be the world's biggest nightmare if the Institute were still alive. &mdash; Mark Wigley It was the moment for something to happen. &mdash; Diana Agrest //</p></em><br /><br /><p> In 1967 Peter Eisenman founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, and until it closed in 1985 the Institute &mdash; a heady mix of think tank, exhibit space, journal publisher and cocktail party &mdash; was one of the centers of American architecture culture. Belmont Freeman describes the new documentary by Diana Agrest, <em>The Making of an Avant-Garde</em>, as a remarkable contribution to the record, and a fascinating glimpse at the early years of many of today's stars: "There is something almost (almost) touching about listening to today&rsquo;s titans of corporate and haute institutional architecture remind us that once upon a time they were young, idealistic, radical thinkers."</p> What Is It About Cuba's National Art Schools? Places Journal 2012-02-28T04:28:00-05:00 >2012-02-28T11:01:07-05:00 <img srcset=" 1x, 2x, 3x" src="" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>After I mentioned attending a screening of the new documentary film, Unfinished Spaces, about the National Art Schools in Havana, [my dinner companion] burst out: &ldquo;What is it about the Art Schools? Why do foreigners love them so much? There&rsquo;s nothing Cuban about those buildings. They&rsquo;re ridiculous architecture for Havana and I always hated them.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, architect Belmont Freeman reconsiders the National Art Schools in Havana&nbsp;&mdash; the subject of John Loomis's groundbreaking book <em>Revolution of Forms</em>, as well as a new documentary film and an opera, and a cult favorite among architecture buffs. Does the North American obsession with the art schools carry a whiff of latent colonialism, or even racism? Freeman argues that the dramatic saga of the art schools has obscured the larger narrative of post-revolutionary Cuban architecture.</p>