Architectural historian Alla Vronskaya will detail the argument in her recently published book Architecture of Life: Soviet Modernism and the Human Sciences (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). Situating Soviet interwar architectural theory in its transdisciplinary and transnational context, it will unpack it as a discourse about society and the human. It will identify this discourse as monism, an intellectual framework centering on 'life,' a synthetic notion developed at the intersection of architecture, psychology, and social engineering.
Alla Vronskaya is Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Kassel, Germany. Her research focuses on modern architecture and architectural theory, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Her book Architecture of Life: Soviet Modernism and the Human Sciences (University of Minnesota Press, 2022) explores the intersections between architecture, labor management, and human sciences in interwar Russia. Vronskaya is also a regional editor for the former Soviet Union in Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture and the head editor and administrator of the website womenbuildingsocialism.org. She received her Ph.D. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art from MIT in 2014. Her research was supported by residential fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Getty Research Institute and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, as well as MIT Presidential Fellowship and the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, among other awards. Prior to joining Kassel University, she was an assistant professor at the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and a visiting lecturer at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich.