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Helena Mattsson - Architecture and Retrenchment

Event Label
Organisational Units
Education in the Arts
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)
Anatomy Hall

In this lecture, Helena Mattssoon, presents her research for Architecture and Retrenchment. This book explores the ‘neoliberal turn’ in architecture, through the rise and fall of the Swedish welfare state.

There are few better case studies of architecture’s role in the retrenchment and dismantling of the welfare state than Sweden, the birthplace of the world-famous “Swedish Model” and now home to Europe's fastest-growing inequality.  Through eight in-depth architectural case studies, Helena Mattsson analyses how neoliberalism has created conditions for a new built environment which was once closely integral to the welfare system, examining how new architectural strategies and techniques were developed in order to protect the agency of architecture in a newly reorganised society, and revealing the role of architecture in creating new types of segregation, discrimination, and social stratification.
With close feminist analysis running throughout – and drawing from oral histories, witness seminars, and participatory workshops – Architecture and Retrenchment provides an original interpretation of how architecture, space, aesthetics, and politics converged at the end of the twentieth century.

Helena Mattsson is Professor of Theory and History at KTH School of Architecture. Her research focuses on recent history and the interdependency between politics, economy, and spatial organizations. She is the co-editor of Swedish Modernism (Black Dog, 2010); the themed issue “Architecture and Capitalism: Solids and Flows” (Architecture and Culture, 2017); Neoliberalism on the Ground (Pittsburgh University Press, 2021), and the author of the monograph Architecture & Retrenchment: Neoliberalization of the Swedish Model across Aesthetics and Space, 1968-1994 (Bloomsbury, 2023). She is on the editorial board of Journal of Architecture.