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Hanoi Ad Hoc, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the Goethe-Institut would like to invite you to participate in the workshop "Repurposing the Architectural language of the Cold War" from September 5th to September 9th, 2023 in Hanoi.

The narrative of socialist housing as an artifact of the Cold War often mirrors the narrative of socialism’s rise and fall, a utopian dream overtaken by the realities of social failures, decay, and obsolescence. Yet across the “brother countries”, this architecture faces an apparent contradiction between its symbolism through the image of heroic, monolithic form, and its afterlife as inhabited and transformed by people over the past decades.


This workshop explores how adaptation and complexity become visible and manifest differently on an international, national and individual level, depending on the point of view. Invited speakers will offer public lectures about relevant subjects of research and artistic production. In parallel, participants will learn techniques of observation, drawing, and storytelling to uncover and document narratives of change sited today within socialist-era mass housing.


Workshop "Repurposing the Architectural language of the Cold War" is organized by Hanoi Ad Hoc and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in cooperation with Goethe Institut under the framework of Echos der Bruderländer * and Hanoi Ad Hoc 2.0: Dwelling in Flux.

* Echos der Bruderländer: What is the price of memory and what is the cost of amnesia? Or visions and illusions of anti-imperialist solidarities is a multidisciplinary project that critically maps the German Democratic Republic’s complex history and relations with its so-called ‘brother countries.’ The project elaborates on the ways in which the Bruderländer policy and amnesia surrounding it continue to shape Germany and its former 'fraternal countries’' demography, culture, economy, and politics and more particularly the lives of those who migrated through the conditions of the Eastern alliances. It consists of an exhibition, performances, film screenings, educational program, podcast, sonic practices, and digital and print publications as well as workshops in Berlin and in partner institutions in Vietnam, Angola, Algeria, Ghana, Cuba, and Chile. 


Funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany).

Funded by the TURN2 Fund of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).



1. Summer workshop program:


Day 1: “Built space”

  • Morning: Morning: Workshop introduction by Hanoi Ad Hoc, HKW, & Goethe Institut.
    Historical background & evolution of built form with Emmanuel Cerise.

  • Afternoon: Group walking tour.


Day 2: “Social, lived space”

  • Morning (on site): Anthropological methods with Christina Schwenkel.

  • Afternoon: Guided fieldwork session.


Day 3: “Affective space”

  • Morning (on site): "Nới và tựa" on role-playing with Nguyen Vu Hai. 

  • Afternoon: Fieldwork review.


Day 4:

  • Group work.

  • Evening – virtual talk by Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran on the artistic process.


Day 5:

  • Morning: group work.

  • Afternoon: group presentations with guest critics.

2. Short film screening:
Closing event presenting the results of the workshop at the Goethe-Institut Hanoi.


*Note: The final schedule may be modified. Keep following for the latest updates.


1. Date:

  • 05/09/2023 - 09/09/2023. 9am - 5pm.

2. Location:

  • Goethe-Institut Hanoi.

  • Fieldwork at selected sites of socialist housing.


3. Participants: It is open for

  • All candidates, regardless of students or employed people, who are committed to participating in the full series.

  • All disciplines including architecture, design, painting, social science, history, literature, anthropology, music, art, film, photography, etc.

4. Benefits for participants:

  • Learning and exchanging with prestigious international scholars and artists.

  • Receiving training sessions in research methodology and artistic production.

  • Contributing to a multidisciplinary film project and future exhibition.

  • Being provided with workspace, materials, meals, and transportation for field trips during the time of the workshop.


*Note: For the participant who does not live in Hanoi, we will not support accommodation and transportation expenses, support only within the scope of the workshop's activities.

5. How to register:


See more about Echos der Bruderländer at:

For any inquiries, please email:



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