Renegade Architectural Group "Team 10" Honored at Yale

Team 10, the influential architectural group that defied Modernist dogma, is the subject of the first exhibition at the Yale School of Architecture for the academic year 2006–07.

Taking place in the gallery of Yale’s landmark Art & Architecture Building, 180 York Street, “Team 10: A Utopia of the Present” runs from September 5 to October 20. This multi-media show pays homage to a coterie of Pan-European architects who, challenging the orthodoxies of Modernism in post-War Europe, raised issues of urban design that continue to reverberate in architectural discourse today.

In 1956, several young architects from England, France, the Netherlands and Italy were charged with organizing the 10th meeting of the influential International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM), a formal gathering of proponents of Modernism.

Questioning some of the fundamental tenets of Modernist doctrine—among them, a strict adherence to functionalism, a preference for high-rise buildings and ideals of a socially and structurally stratified city— the organizers of the 10th CIAM created a new forum to explore ways to restore a human scale to urban design and to reexamine the role of the architect within society. Adopting the name “Team 10,” the renegade group agreed to meet regularly, each time at a different location. In their open-ended discussions, in advance of Jane Jacobs’s historic “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” Team 10 championed the unique complexity and diversity of the city landscape, heralding a new age in urban design and planning.

Deliberately informal in tone and organization, the meetings took place in a variety of European cities and towns, from the first in 1960 in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France, to the last in 1981 in Lisbon. Drawing on a range of resources and media that includes correspondence, transcripts, tape recordings, photographs, drawings and film, “Team 10: A Utopia of the Present,” brings alive the intellectually charged gatherings of this pioneering group.

The first major show about Team 10, this traveling exhibition originated at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam. It will remain at the Yale School of Architecture, its only North American venue, until October 20.

In connection with this exhibition, the distinguished writer and critic Kenneth Frampton will deliver a lecture, “Structure, Identity and Existence in the Work of Team 10,” on September 18, 6:30 p.m. The Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, Frampton is the author of “Modern Architecture: A Critical History,”  “Studies in Tectonic Culture” and “Labour, Work and Architecture: Collected Essays on Architecture and Design,” among many acclaimed works. A reception before the talk will take place at 5 p.m. in the gallery.

A short symposium titled “Team 10 Today” will take place on September 21, at 6:30 p.m. The symposium examines the legacy of Team 10 as it intersects with contemporary architectural thought and production.  Long marginalized, the work of Team 10 and its core protagonists Aldo van Eyck, Alison and Peter Smithson, Giancarlo de Carlo and Shadrach Woods is the subject of renewed historical and theoretical interest as architectural discourse turns once again to the intersections of architecture, urbanism, infrastructure, landscape and society. Participants include Tom Avermaete, Peter de Bretteville, Keith Krumwiede, Ana Miljacki and Alan Plattus.

All events will take place at the Yale School of Architecture. The hours for the Yale School of Architecture gallery are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, contact the Yale School of Architecture, 203-432-2288, or visit their web site at www.architecture.yale.edu.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345