by Tamera Kemp

Former faculty member Daniel Huppatz visited Pratt in March to deliver a lecture entitled Jean  Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale: The Poetics of the Colonial Object.  Students and faculty joined Mr.  Huppatz in Main 230 to enjoy his talk as well as lunch provided by HADSA (History of Art and Design  Student Association).  Mr. Huppatz spoke about the prefabricated work, the Maison Tropicale, and its  recent sale here in New York for almost $5 million.

“The story of Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale also embodies the intimate relationship between European  modernism and colonialism, a relationship worth exploring not only for our understanding of design  history, but also for our understanding of contemporary design in an era of globalization.”

Mr. Huppatz took questions after the lecture, and the students and faculty engaged him in a lively  discussion about the ways in which art in a colonial context are viewed today.  HADSA is grateful to  Mr. Huppatz for visiting the campus before his flight back to Australia and the Swinburne University  of Technology in Melbourne.  Many thanks as well to the students and faculty who attended and made  this a successful event!

He touched on the status of the building as a colonial object, designed and used in Africa in the  1950s and then rescued in the 1990s to be put on display in New York, London, and Paris.  Mr. Huppatz  provided context for the Maison Tropicale in the larger sphere of art and design history.

“The story of Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale also embodies the intimate relationship between European  modernism and colonialism, a relationship worth exploring not only for our understanding of design  history, but also for our understanding of contemporary design in an era of globalization.”

Mr. Huppatz took questions after the lecture, and the students and faculty engaged him in a lively  discussion about the ways in which art in a colonial context are viewed today.  HADSA is grateful to  Mr. Huppatz for visiting the campus before his flight back to Australia and the Swinburne University  of Technology in Melbourne.  Many thanks as well to the students and faculty who attended and made  this a successful event!