Blow-Up: The Powers of Scale


  • Ákos Moravánszky ETH Zürich (Emeritus)



During the decades following World War II, efforts were made to connect the rhetoric of the human scale with that of a superhuman, geographic or territorial scale. Aerial photography has opened up an all-encompassing view of the universe, presented in scalar sequences as the visual foundation for a new humanity. In the US, the large-scale regional project of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Attempts at integrating ecological, engineering, landscaping, architectural, and aesthetic concerns to realize a socio-economical vision were followed with enormous interest in Europe – before and after the war, in both West and East – and applauded by different political systems. Images popularizing the success of five-year plans and the heroism of nature transformation in the Soviet Union were also omnipresent themes in Western Europe. Ideas of transnational planning emerged in Europe shortly before the postwar continent was divided between the world powers. After the political partitioning of Europe into blocs, however, such plans had to be buried.


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Author Biography

Ákos Moravánszky, ETH Zürich (Emeritus)

Ákos Moravánszky is Professor Emeritus of Theory of Architecture at the gta Institut of ETH Zurich where he taught since 1996. Currently he is Visiting Professor of the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona. Born in Hungary, he studied architecture at the TU Budapest. He received his doctor-grade from the TU Vienna in 1980. After working as Research Fellow at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich (1986-1988), and Research Associate at the Getty Center in Santa Monica (1989-1991), he was appointed Visiting Professor at the MIT in Cambridge, Mass. (1991-1996). He is honorary doctor (Dr. h.c.) of the Budapest Technical University.