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U.E.R.E. - UP6 - Vincennes
Une histoire d’invention
et d’expérimentation
dans le sillage de mai 68

Mai 2014

Vernissage le Jeudi 15 Mai à partir de 18 heures
Exposition du 16 au 31 Mai

Après la fermeture de l’école des Beaux-arts en 1968, naissent les Unités Pédagogiques d’Architecture. Sous leurs différentes appellations : U.E.R.E., Institut d’urbanisme, UP6, elles remettent en cause les anciennes méthodes d’enseignement et inventent un nouveau modèle pédagogique alternatif dans l’esprit de Mai 68.
Jean Paul Jungmann ,engagé dans cette aventure, s’ interroge alors :
“Qu’est ce qu’on pouvait enseigner ? Nous n’avions pas forcément envie d’enseigner l’architecture, alors nous nous sommes plutôt occupés d’éditions.”
Sur ces bases, il inclut dans le programme d’enseignement l’organisation d’événements, utilisant pour leur promotion tous les outils de la communication médiatique.
En collaboration avec Max Peteau, directeur du journal Le Pop, Henri-Jean Enu qui édite Parapluie et Petrov, créateur de Piranhar , il produit, entre autre, les Journées Free Press aux Halles, 8 jours de Free et les Nuits underground de la filmmakers cooperative organisées par IMEDIA, un groupe fondé dans le cadre de l’U.E.R.E.
Après la fermeture de l’U.E.R.E, en 1972, Jean Paul Jungmann et quelques étudiants rejoignent l’Unité pédagogique No.6 [Ecole d’architecture] à l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Il y installe un atelier de photogravure et une imprimerie où seront imprimées les revues ZZZ et Dehors-Dehors ainsi que les 11 planches en couleurs reproduisant en réduction près de 300 affiches de Mai-juin 68.

Parallèlement, Jean Aubert, collègue de Jean Paul Jungmann à l’U.E.R.E., lui aussi intéressé par l’édition, propose à VIncennes la création de la revue expérimentale Rufus en 1971. Il organise en 1972-73 dans le cadre de l’Institut d’Urbanisme un séminaire consacré à l’autoconstruction. Les travaux de recherche effectués par ses étudiants donneront lieu à la publication d’un livre : ICOSA la tortue qui cause de construction... à découper soi-même . Le titre fait référence à l’icosahedron représenté par une tortue dont la carapace forme un dôme.Une fois assemblées les contributions octogonales de chaque étudiant forment une tortue. Ce travail fait en partie référence aux travaux de Buckminster Fuller de 1954 ,sur les dômes en carton .

Ces recherches furent un concentré du bouillonnement d’ idées, de la créativité et des expérimentations des années 70.
Cette exposition et ce catalogue souhaitent en restituer l’esprit .

Adapté/inspiré du texte de Caroline Maniaque.
Didier lecointre


Caroline Maniaque-Benton
A pedagogical Model
The progressive transformation of the Ecole des Beaux-arts [after its closing in 1968] into a number of Unités Pédagogiques d’Architecture went through a number of stages and multiples reforms. One of these stages was a pedagogical effort to manipulate the tools of communication through publishing.
Jean-Paul Jungmann recalled the various institutions in Paris to which he contributed: the Unité d'enseignement et de recherche de l'environnement [U.E.R.E.], established in 1970, rue Viarmes, in a Baltard Pavillon at les Halles; the Institut d'urbanisme [IU] at Vincennes [1971]; and, finally, the Unité Pédagogique No. 6. He benefited from his teaching position in these institutions to contribute to the organization of events through communication and media, like the Journées de la Free Press at Les Halles in June 24 and 25, 1971. The aim of this event [organized by Max Peteau from the underground magazine Pop, Henri-Jean Enu from Parapluie and Petrov in charge of Piranhar] was to gather together the maximum number of people of the Free Press network in Europe .
For Jungmann, it was a question of sharing an understanding of the techniques of communication characteristic of the time: “What could we teach ? We were not particularly keen to teach architecture, so we devoted ourselves to publication”. Everything was organized on this principle. He acknowledged that his publishing activities were decidedly influ.enced by, in part, the American counterculture: “Here is a poster printed at the U.ER.E. : A Black Power poster with the raised fist. The influence of American culture is right there !” He added :
All these magazines were characterized by a fairly poor quality of printing, but it was direct. Some were even printed on the spot. Instant expression counted more than professionalism and graphic quality. The texts were written in different coloured inks: blue, green and red. The legibility was not perfect, but the psychedelic effect was guaranteed. 
One must recalls as well the continuing lessons of the Atelier populaire de l’Ecole des Beaux-arts and its production of posters in May and June 1968.
Jean Aubert –who was a fellow member of the group Utopie and a colleague of Jean-Paul Jungmann during the brief existence of the Unité d'enseignement et de recherche de l'environnement [U.E.R.E.]– was also very interested in the world of publishing and dedicated a seminar in 1972–1973, at the Institut d’urbanisme at the University of Vincennes, to the notion of self-build. The preparation of this seminar consisted of gathering together all available sources of information, most of which were English-language documents: academic or semi-professional publications, specialized architectural journals and some pamphlets documenting self-build experiments. After this preliminary work on the sources, Aubert’s second-semester students produced a book entitled Icosa, la tortue qui cause de construction [Icosa, the tortoise who chats about construction]. Icosa, named after the icosahedron, was represented as a tortoise, whose shell becomes a dome. This work included an album made up of a number of pieces like a jigsaw puzzle which, once assembled, created the tortoise. As Aubert explained : “The task for each participant was to contribute to one or more of the octagonal pieces of which Icosa was composed. Their contribution consisted of their investigations of self-build during the first semester, while expressing themselves freely and using whatever means seemed most interesting in relation to the subject”. 
An interesting feature of this exercise was that it constituted a kind of apprenticeship to do-it-yourself. The student’s individuality left his or her mark on each of the octagons of the icosahedron. As is clear from the title, the publication is casual in tone, rather than academic. The book contains recurring drawings and caricatures of Buckminster Fuller. His books are mentioned and his works on cardboard domes from 1954 are depicted.
Jungmann approached themes of do-it-yourself, recycled materials, and renewable energy resources more from the point of view of imagination than in terms of construction. He noted, “Over there [in the United States] all this was built but, for us, it was not an experience that we could transfer over here. We were not as pragmatic as they were. They built polyhedrons. We made designs, but we didn’t build them”.
Caroline Maniaque-Benton

Caroline Maniaque-Benton, French Encounters with the American Counterculture, 1960-1980, Farnham, Ashgate, 2011; Go West: les architectes et la contre-culture, Marseille, Parenthèses, 2014.

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