Today, Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897-2000) is widely recognized as one of the pioneering female figures in modern design, who worked internationally in the 1920s and 1930s in Vienna, Frankfurt, the Soviet Union and Turkey. Yet, these decades of professional work were marked by a drastic break between 1940 and 1945, when Schütte-Lihotzky was interned for her participation in communist resistance against the Nazi regime. Her recollections from the years of internment became the subject of her 1984 German-language book Erinnerungen aus dem Widerstand (Memories of the Resistance). In the lecture, Memories of the Resistance, Sophie Hochhäusl reflects on the importance of Schütte-Lihotzky’s book as a critical historical document that contributes to still much needed spatial histories of resistance in the 1940s. She elucidates that the book provides a glimpse into dissidence as lived practiced. She also comments on why Schütte-Lihotzky’s activism led to the ostracization of the important modernist in the postwar era whose work, including the struggle for spaces of collective memory in Austria, remains largely forgotten.
Hochhäusl is an assistant professor for architectural history and theory at the University of Pennsylvania.