Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GARDENCITYIDEA (Idea, Ideal, Idyll: Garden Cities in Central Europe 1890s-1930s)
Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-08-31
GARDENCITYIDEA identified new transnational and national networks of intellectual and social exchange between the UK, Germany, Austria and the Czech lands (Czechoslovakia from 1918). Based on many new examples and case studies, the newly achieved scholarship contributes to a fundamental revision of Czech national identity, history and art history. The innovative approach to the past sheds new light not only on modern architecture and town planning but comprises also of significant insights to the issues of nationalism in the 1890s-1930s.
The garden city movement was parallel to the women rights movement and its ultimate goal of a fundamental social transformation. Analysing historical sources relating to links between urbanist thought and wider social questions, especially, gender identities provides significant disparities in time and place. If garden city movement involved some women issues in the UK and Germany, in the Czech lands it was only into a very limited extend.
GARDENCITYIDEA resulted in four research papers that are the first systematic and comparative studies that explore the field of garden city movement in the Czech lands applying transnational and comparative approach. The studies prove that the garden city movement was selected as an appropriate platform to indicate the rich cultural transfer between Britain and central Europe. Following the English and German models, the Czech garden cities pioneers were in close touch with British ideas in the course of several decades and the cultural transfer flourished in both directions.
The results of GARDENCITYIDEA have been presented in several national and international conferences and have been well received by the scientific community. In May 2020, the fellow has convened an international conference ´Packed, Unpacked, and Adopted. Garden Cities Reconsidered´ at the University of Birmingham that had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the lockdown, the fellow was able to deliver several talks on the project to general public in both, the UK and the Czech Republic in the first 18 months of the project. These activities also continue once the project is over.
To disseminate the results of the project, the fellow participated in the following conferences and research meetings: BASEES in Cambridge (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies Annual Conference), CRAACE in Brno (Conference, In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire? Art and Architecture in Interwar Central Europe), ASEEES in San Francisco (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Annual Conference).
As a consequence of these meetings the fellow has been invited to give talks and guest lectures in Germany, the UK, Croatia, Austria and the Czech Republic. To disseminate the results of GARDENCITYIDEA among general public the fellow has presented her knowledge to communities both in the UK and the Czech Republic (their eventual number was limited by the Covid-19 pandemic). Moreover, the results of GARDENCITYIDEA have also been communicated through other non-academic channels, including the fellow´s twitter account @HnidkovaVendula or in journal Vesmír that promotes science among general public.