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The Architecture of Apocalypse
SAH/SCC Lecture, Culver City
Friday, August 16, 2019

SAH/SCC welcomes author Stuart W. Leslie, PhD, who will give a free talk on “The Architecture of Apocalypse: Thinking About the Unthinkable in Style,” based on his contribution to Laboratory Lifestyles: The Construction of Scientific Fictions (edited by    MIT Press, 2019), a new book on how advancements in lab design affect the work of scientists. His essay on the aerospace and think tank architecture of the Cold War explores the architectural legacy of local institutions, such as the Rand Corporation and Hughes Research Lab. At this event, Leslie will compare the architecture of three U.S. think tanks with three Soviet think tanks of the same era.

And what better location than The Wende Museum of the Cold War? The Wende’s collection of Cold War art, culture, and history from Soviet Bloc countries inspires a broad understanding of the period and explores its enduring legacy. The museum’s new location is the once-abandoned 1949 National Guard Armory, which was renovated by PARAVANT Architects in 2017 as the Culver City home of the museum.

Leslie, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the author of The Cold War and American Science: The Military-Industrial-Academic Complex at MIT and Stanford (Columbia University Press, 1993), is a dynamic speaker who makes the history of modern science, as told through architecture, accessible to everyone. His work is richly illustrated with archival photographs.

In February 2018, Leslie dazzled SAH/SCC with his presentation “The Romance of Water and Power: Architecture as Advertisement,” an exploration of the commercial and industrial buildings of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power—from neo-Grecian temples to luminescent Art Deco showrooms—and their role in the community. Reserve a spot for his next riveting lecture preceded by a reception with light refreshments and an opportunity to visit the exhibition gallery.

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