Digital Archive

Revisiting Postmodernism

An archive of talks held at The Architectural League by leading theorists and practitioners of 1980s postmodernism.

Throughout the 1980s, the League was one of the most important venues in the United States for the presentation of work and ideas by leading figures in historical postmodernism. Revisiting Postmodernism is a series of audio recordings of these lectures. It was published in 2008 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Michael Graves’ Portland Building, the first public building designed in a postmodernist idiom.

Among the recordings below are Graves’ first presentation of the project at the League in 1983 and a revisitation of the the project 25 years later in a special evening co-organized by the League and Princeton University School of Architecture.

Charles Jencks: Postmodern classicism

Charles Jencks' first Architectural League lecture on postmodernism makes a strong and witty argument for what he calls "the consensus of postmodern classicism."

November 17, 1980

Charles Moore

A recording of a Charles Moore lecture held on the day Ronald Reagan was elected president.

November 4, 1980

Michael Graves: The Portland Building

Michael Graves discussed the Portland Building, one of the icons of postmodernism, in this lecture presented shortly after the building’s completion.

November 30, 1982


Vacant Lots

Commentary and selections from the League's 1987 design study considering the potential of small-scale infill housing.