Ithaca, New York (USA) 1971-72
Team 10 at Cornell
In the winter and spring of the academic year 1971-72, Oswald Mathias Ungers organized a very extensive Team 10 seminar at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, where he held a professorship. He invited twelve of the Team 10 members to assist with the fourth-year and fifth-year student programmes on a kind of relay-race basis. Bakema attended for no less than six weeks, Polónyi for four and Pietilä for three, and the others spent one or two weeks at Cornell. The scheme was organized so that there were always at least two Team 10 members in residence.
In general, ideology formed one of the main topics of the seminar at Ungers’ specific request. The lectures delivered in the seminar therefore touched on major social issues of the time such as the Vietnam War, the Cold War and environmental pollution. The Team 10 visitors also gave several presentations on the tradition of modern architecture in relation to their own design practice. The main emphasis was however on interaction with the students in the design studio.
Candilis, a student and Jullian de la Fuente at Cornell. Photograph from the Ungers archive.
Peter Smithson gave a lecture titled: ‘Architecture as townbuilding — the slow growth of another sensibility’, addressing issues of historical continuity and renewal and the way technology transforms cities and their communities, and hence the premises for city planning. Shadrach Woods discussed the influence of the Team 10 meetings on the work of his office, and the way Team 10 looked at the interrelations between architecture and city planning, stating: ‘Team X has always been more oriented to the urbanistic component of architecture than towards the architectural component of urbanism.’ Most of his lecture, however, was dedicated to
socio-political issues and the manifold ambiguities surrounding system-building, technology and the social sciences in relation to the practices of architecture and city planning. Bakema gave an exhaustive lectures series of no less than 14 talks. The topics he discussed ranged from his ideas on ‘Architecturbanism’, the event of the Otterlo congress, to an excursion on Russian Constructivism that he had gone on with Delft students just the year before. Key-terms in his lecture scheme read: ‘›exploitation of‹ existence replaced by ›care for‹ existence’, ‘methodology in design’, and ‘modulation + zoning; opening up the decision-process’.
Dirk van den Heuvel
Team 10 members present