A contemporary of the Bauhaus, Higher Art and Technical Studios, known as Vkhutemas, translated radical ideas of the avant-garde into a systematized body of knowledge. The lecture will focus on Vkhutemas, as the first school to venture into teaching modern architecture on a mass scale, starting in 1920. The question, of course, was how to teach something that was in its nascent state, something still largely unknown. As such, Vkhutemas was not simply a school but a laboratory—an educational condenser—where social and technological breakthroughs were forged as new spatial forms. The lecture will follow a historical trajectory of this groundbreaking pedagogy, from foundational exercises to architectural projects and scientific experiments.
Anna Bokov is an architect, historian, and educator. She is a faculty member at the Cooper Union and the City College of New York. She has taught at Parsons, Cornell University, Yale School of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Moscow Architectural Institute. Anna is a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich and is a former member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She is a recipient of multiple awards, including the Mellon Fellowship, the Beinecke Research Grant, and the Graham Foundation Grant. Anna worked as an architect and urban designer at OMA, NBBJ, Ennead (Polshek Partnership), Gluckman Mayner Architects, and the City of Somerville. She served as an editor for Project Russia and Project International magazines. Her scholarly work has been published by The Journal of Architecture, Perspecta, Walker Art Center Primer, MoMA Post, Venice Biennale, Palimpsest, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. She holds a PhD from Yale University, a Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. Her book Avant-Garde as Method: Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920–1930 (Zurich: Park Books, 2020) is dedicated to the Russian counterpart of the Bauhaus. She is currently working on the exhibition on Vkhutemas at the Cooper Union, scheduled to open in the Spring of 2022.