Thesis topic proposal
Kornélia Kissfazekas


Institute: Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Pál Csonka Doctoral School of Architecture

Thesis supervisor: Kornélia Kissfazekas
Location of studies (in Hungarian): Department of Urban Plannincs and Design
Abbreviation of location of studies: BME

Description of the research topic:

The state socialism after World War 2, can be divided into marked sub-periods of which the ’50s is perhaps the most controversial period.
Maybe this decade saw the biggest contrast between the common belief in the need for social changes and the political will disguised by dictatorial demagoguery.
In this context, the role of the architects/ urban architects was interpreted more broadly by contemporary political leaders. They were convinced that the designers could influence social mentality, by creating the shapes and ’life-frame’ of the new society.
In 1952, G.M. Orlov, a Stalin-award-winning Soviet architect, visited Budapest to help Hungarian architects formulate the new urban planning and architecture according to the social-political order versus "cosmopolitan modernist ideology."
The instructions - published in the Review of Hungarian Architecture - were as a summary of the political expectations of the period, which included guidelines such as the transition to collective work, the widespread use of standardized designs, mass housing construction, the awareness of social and urban significance of new public buildings, the roles of the new urban spaces and streets, the importance of the silhouette effects in the urban design; professional tasks related to the introduction of socialist realism.
Presumably in every country of the Eastern Bloc was a “Comrade Orlov” who mediated Soviet directives amicably and oversaw its implementation. However, the transposition of centrally formulated ideas into local practice can show differences.
The main topic is to formulate the contradictions of the 1950s, among others:
- soviet directives versus local tendencies;
- professional commitment to individual architecture versus the politically expected direction;
- among noble ideas, such as equal chance and opportunities, housing as a
fundamental right for the wider strata, and consequently the relationship between mass housing and quality;
- the need to deny modernism and to formulate new stylistic features in contrast to the formal features of socialist realism;
The aim of the research is to objectively evaluate the urban planning and design, the architectural events of the decade, to analyze the relationship between the idea and reality, paying attention to their current context as well.

Deadline for application: 2022-03-31

All rights reserved © 2007, Hungarian Doctoral Council. Doctoral Council registration number at commissioner for data protection: 02003/0001. Program version: 2.2358 ( 2017. X. 31. )