Fredy Massad analyses the impact of populism on media strategies in architecture while in New York

Fredy Massad, a lecturer of Architectural Theory in the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, participated in the Mundaneum XII 2019: Pan Americas conference on 5 April. It was held in the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College in New York. Massad gave a talk entitled: “The Populist Effect: Post-Truth Architecture”, in which he analysed the impact of neo-populism at a global scale on media strategies in architecture from a critical point of view, as well as the consequences it has in terms of thought.

During his talk, Fredy Massad also underlined the need to reinforce the professional role of the architectural critic, an idea which he presented in his essay entitled Crítica de choque, recently published in Spain by Qut Ediciones. “The essential message of my talk is to defend the need to establish individual and rigorous criteria for reflection on architecture. Based on this criterion it is possible to achieve a critical and responsible position that strongly challenges ‘like’ and ‘influencer’ culture and neo-populist narratives” said the lecturer, who is working on a new essay on this subject that will be published soon.

Mundaneum Pan Americas is an Ibero-American conference set up by Álvaro Rojas and Guillermo Holme and organised this year by the Spitzer School of Architecture in New York in conjunction with the Costa Rican Foundation for Design, Art and Architecture. Architects, designers and activists came together to present their projects and thus demonstrate the complex interactions and turning points in the multiple types of architecture and environments in Latin America. “What is interesting about this conference is that the participants attending were seriously and energetically committed to sharing their points of view on subjects which initially seemed to only concern a highly specific local area in Ibero-America but in fact were shown to have a global scope”, he concluded.

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