Léa-Catherine Szacka


Léa-Catherine Szacka is an Associate Professor in Architectural History and Theory at the Institute of Form, Theory and History, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Szacka completed the PhD programme in History and Theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Her thesis “Exhibiting the Postmodern: Three Narratives for a History of the 1980 Venice Architecture Biennale” (1980 Venice Architecture Biennale – Exhibiting the Postmodern, forthcoming, Ashgate, 2015) looks at the presentation and representation of architecture in exhibitions, the post-1968 institutionalisation of architecture, as well as the postmodern debate in Europe and America.

Szacka has published widely on postmodern architecture (Arch+ 216 The Klotz Tapes: The Making of Postmodernism, V&A’s 2011 Style and Subversion exhibition catalogue, the AD special issue on radical postmodernism) and edited, with Charles Jencks and Eva Branscome, the 2011 re-edition of The Post-Modern Reader. In addition to her research on postmodernism, she focuses on the history of exhibitions of architecture and the continuous question of ‘how to exhibit architecture.’ She has contributed to two journal’s special issues on the subject (Log20, 2010 and OASE88, 2013), a book (Exhibiting Architecture, Lars Müller, 2014) and has organized a major symposium at the Centre Georges Pompidou in early 2014 (as a result, she has co-edited a special issue of the Cahiers du Musée national dart moderne, fall 2014). More recently, Szacka presented Effimero: Or the Postmodern Italian Condition, a contribution to Monditalia exhibition at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

At OCCAS, Léa-Catherine is researching the history of ephemeral architectures in the 19th and 20th centuries, questioning their relation to the exhibition of the city and its architecture, their departure on the notion of fiction and spectacle, as well as the political ideologies behind these temporary structures.

Selected Work:


1980 Venice Architecture Biennale – Exhibiting the Postmodern, Ashgate (forthcoming, 2015)

Edited Journals:

w/ Stéphanie Dadour, Exposer l’Architecture, numéro spécial des Cahiers du Musée national dart moderne, n.129, Paris (fall 2014)

Edited Books:

w/ Charles Jencks and Eva Branscome, The Post-Modern Reader, 2nd edition (London: Wiley, 2011).

Book chapters:

“Debate on Display at the 1976 Venice Biennale”, in Exhibiting Architecture: Place and Displacement (Zurich: Lars Müller, 2014), pp.97-112.

“Roma Interrotta: Postmodern Rome as the Source of Fragmented Narratives”, in Dom Holdaway et Filippo Trentin (Eds.), Rome, Postmodern Narratives of a Cityscape (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013).

“The Presence of the Past – First International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale”, in Jane Pavitt and Glenn Adamson (Eds.) Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970 to 1990, (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011).

“Showing Architecture Through Exhibitions: A Taxonomical Analysis applied to the case of the first Architecture Biennale (1980)”, in Grace-Lees Maffei (Ed.) Design Writing: Words and Objects, (Oxford: Berg Publisher, 2011).

“The Architect as Performer? On the Interdisciplinary nature of the Venice Biennale”, in Clarissa Ricci (Ed.), Starting From Venice, (Milan: Et al. Edition, 2011).


“Pink Floyd and Venice’s Imago Urbis”, in AA Files 69, 2014.

“La Strada Novissima: Des façades aux constructions, ou la fin d’une première phase du postmodernisme ?”, in Matières n.11 – Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes, 2014.

w/ Eva Branscome, “Architectural Postmodernism and its Midwives. In Conversation with Charles Jencks and Paolo Portoghesi”, in ARCH+ 216, The Klotz Tapes: The Making of Postmodernism, May 2014.

“La Biennale de Venise 1976, Le Mouvement moderne en discussion”,  in Marnes: documents darchitecture, Volume 3, 2014.

“This is Not a Model: The Case of the Strada Novissima”, in Proceeding of the Second International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network, (Brussels: EAHN, 2012).

“Self-Portrait at the 1980 Venice Architecture Biennale: A Representational Turn in Architecture?”, in OASE  #88 (Staging Architecture: The exhibition as Site of Production), November 2012.

w/ Thomas Weaver, “Massimo Scolari in conversation with Léa-Catherine Szacka and Thomas Weaver”,  in AA Files 65, 2012.

“Historicism versus Communication: The Big Debate at the 1980 Biennale”,  in Architectural Design, Special issue on Radical Post-modernism, September 2011.

“A Conversation with Vittorio Gregotti”, in Log 20: Curating Architecture, Fall 2010.

‘The Architectural Public Sphere”, in Multi: The journal of Diversity  and Plurality in Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, Vol.2, no. 1, 2008.



Originally posted Jan 13, 2013. Latest revision Dec 14, 2015.

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