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Exhibition architecture

Research in contemporary architectural history is supervised by Rika Devos

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Architecture of Great Exhibitions 1937-1959                                 


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Ongoing doctoral research




Rika Devos 

Research fields and Keywords

Architectural history, Construction history, Innovation and Technology, National Identity, Representation and dissemination, Regulations

Research collaborations

Prof. dr. Fredie Floré,

Prof. dr. Alexander Ortenberg (California Polytechnic Pomona, Dept. of Architecture),

Prof. dr. José Javier Alayón González (Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas), visiting professor in Autumn 2016

Dr. Maria Diamandieva, visiting researcher since 2015

Exhibition architecture

At the basis of this research line lays a year-long fascination for the architecture of the pavilions and settings of world's fairs. A major topic of expertise is the 1958 Brussels world's fair, the first post WWII international and universal exhibition, which was expected to demonstrate the state of affairs in post-war modern architecture. With her doctoral dissertation Modern at Expo 58. Discussions on post-war architectural representation (UGent, 2008), Rika Devos illustrated how diverse strands of modern architecture, as well as engineering prowess, were mobilized by different actors (designers and commissioners of architecture) to demonstrate their post-war situations, and how the built pavilions and their exhibits, images of architecture and text interacted in transferring these messages to both informed specialists and the public at large.

Rika Devos was co-editor of two books (2006 and 2015) on exhibition architecture, co-curator of the exhibition Modern architecture at Expo 58 (Mechlin, 2008) and advisor to research projects on Belgian world's fairs: Expo 58 (National Archives and CRB-KBF) and Ghent 1913 (UGent and Ghent City Archives). She is invited regularly as author and speaker for original contributions on the architecture of (Belgian) world's fairs.


* Floré Fredie and Rika Devos, "Model interiors and model homes at Expo 58. Modelinterieurs and modelwoningen op Expo 58," DASH (theme issue: Interiors on display) 11 (2014): 32-47. ISSN 1877 7007.

* Devos Rika, "Over perspectief en referenties. Architectuur en representatie," dans Wouter Van Acker et Christophe Verbruggen, réds., Gent 1913. Op het breukvlak van de moderniteit (Heule: Snoeck, 2013, pp. 30-45.

* Devos Rika, "Een interieur van popcultuur als propaganda en kritiek. Bernard Rudofsky en het Amerikaanse paviljoen op Expo 58," Interior History. Gentse Bijdragen tot de Interieurgeschiedenis 37 (2013): 191-209.

* Devos Rika, "Power, control and national representation: modern architecture and exhibition design at Expo 58," in Quek R. and Deane D., eds., Nationalism and Architecture (Surrey: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 81-94.

* Devos Rika, A chanson des vieux amants? Belgium and the world's fairs," dans Belgium beyond expectations. The Belgian EU Pavilion at World Expo Shangai 2010 (Bruxelles: Academic & Scientific Publishers, 2010), 11-27.

* Devos Rika, "A cold War Sketch. The visual antagonism of USA vs USSR at Expo 58," Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis - Revue belge de Phiolologie et d'Histoire 87 (2009): 723-742. ISSN/ 0035-0818.

* Devos Rika and Mil De Kooning, eds., L'Architecture moderne à l'Expo 58. 'Pour un monde plus humain.' (Brussels: Fonds Mercator/Dexia, 2006), 352 pages. ISBN 90 6153 642 1.

* Devos Rika and Mil De Kooning, "Architectuur en vormgeving op Expo 58," dans Erik Martens, réd., Expo 58 (Bruxelles: Koninklijk Filmarchief, 2006), 44-55 et 88-91.