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A history of references

The attitudes to history evident in the work of specific architects, historical and contemporary, form our focus here. We want to look back, but with a mind to the present and future, to understand how history has been used today and in history. Referencing, quoting, copying, stealing, rejecting—these are all ways of dealing with what came before us, and we’re interested in how architects take a position in relation to the past in order to produce work that’s relevant for their time.

Article 12 of 13

We interrupt this broadcast

Annotations by Charlotte Lydia Riley, Owen Hatherley, and Jonathan Bignell

Between 1975 and 1982, The Open University broadcast a series of televised courses on the genealogy of the modern movement: A305, History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939. We have asked Charlotte Lydia Riley, Owen Hatherley, and Jonathan Bignell to watch the course television programmes with us. They interrupted them to add context for a contemporary audience, from the perspective of history, architecture, and media studies. Their live annotations invite a reflection on the timeliness of authoring new histories and what it means to disseminate these histories in an always-particular moment in time.

Live Annotation: Charlotte Lydia Riley
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Live Annotation: Owen Hatherley
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Live Annotation: Jonathan Bignell
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You can watch all twenty-four televisions broadcasts of the course A305 on our YouTube channel.

We examined the course A305 in the context of our exhibition The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture and its accompanying publication, to offer a close reading of how The Open University mobilized new media environments for mass education in the 1970s.

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