Architecture is for all, it exists in the past, the present and the future Culture, Democracy and Hope
After hosting the Olympic Games, Torino is about to play a central role at international level once again. Indeed, following a period dedicated to physical competition, it’s now time for an intellectual, scientific and cultural event. Between June 29th and July 3rd 2008 the XXIII edition of the World Congress of Architecture, promoted by the UIA (International Union of Architects), will be taking place here. The event, which dates back to 1948 and represents both the state of the art and the debate on the future of world Architecture in the 21st century, within an increasingly complex and global society, will be taking place in Italian city for the first time. Indeed, following Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin and Istanbul, Torino, a city that is constantly undergoing change and transformation, will be hosting the world event that every three years brings together thousands of architects and students to discuss subjects concerning architecture’s perspectives in relation to great social and cultural issues of the moment.
The topic chosen for the 2008 congress is particularly ambitious and stimulating: Transmitting Architecture, in other words the strength and ability architecture has of expressing and communicating values, feelings and diverse cultures through time. It’s a title enclosing two meanings: architecture communicates its social and design action, but at the same time, gathers the positive energy and emerging phenomena expressed by society. It’s important for the values transmitted to be given recognition, not just appreciation for what it produces.
Many internationally renowned personalities will be meeting in Turin to discuss the future of architecture. Among them Mario Bellini, Gary Chang, Michele De Lucchi, Peter Eisenman, Massimiliano Fuksas, Thomas Herzog, Knafo and Klimor, Kengo Kuma, Dominique Perrault, Hani Rashid, John Rykwert, Paolo Soleri and Muhammad Yunus.
“The congress title, Transmitting Architecture, indicates the desire and will to bring architecture out of a sort of isolation in which buildings and even gorgeous solutions are designed without any real connection to surrounding reality – explains architect Leopoldo Freyrie, General Speaker of the Torino 2008 UIA congress – For architects transmitting values means becoming directly involved and interacting with all the actors protagonists of the territory’s transformation: administrators, entrepreneurs, social actors, associations, individual citizens. It is from this assumption that the concept of urban democracy – one of the congress’s key concepts - arises. It implies transparency in both communication and decision making, – concludes Leopoldo Freyrie – opening up to confrontation to receive society’s requests with the goal of suggesting those transformations that can face and resolve the important and urgent issues for the humankind today: sustainable consumption of natural resources and environment protection, fair wealth distribution, concrete answer to the need of a decent life for millions of human beings at the mercy of phenomena that they cannot control but can just suffer”.
Thousands of architects and students from all over the world will participate in the Turin congress. It will be a congress dealing with issues that go beyond the mere professional areas and language in order to face the real problems of today’s humankind.
There will be three main topics during the debates of the congress: Culture, Democracy and Hope. These are three values that in the light of the facts of the last years – and in particular in the coming future - will characterize the civil and collective life of our time. In brief: a congress aiming at approaching architecture to a wide public that is the actual and final user of architecture. Architecture is the discipline that transforms things surrounding us with time and establishes a dialogue with everybody: It has to face the great issues of this century, the reduction of natural resources, sustainable development, urbanization processes, integration, cohabitation and security.
The meeting in Turin represents a vital and unique opportunity for contributing, first of all, to the relaunching of both architecture and architects in our country. - Raffaele Sirica, President CNA -Exactly ten years ago, in Assisi, the Architects Associations quoted François Mitterand who, at the beginning of his extraordinary time as statesman, pronounced the password: “let’s transform the suburbs into cities”. This is how the “banlieue '89” operation began, with all the enormous transformations it has led to throughout France. Today, still from France, we receive Nicolas Sarkozy’s appeal: “architects, its your job to rebuild the world”. The Italian Associations have accepted this challenge and in Turin, together with the entire world community of architects, will relaunch the appeal within our Country too: “With Urban Democracy we’ll transform the suburbs into Cities”
The event takes place at the Congress Centre Lingotto in Turin and at the Palavela. Beside the work sessions, all along the congress days there will be competition awarding ceremonies and the UIA Gold Medal assignment. The programs include events and workshops on the most important aspects of this subject, over 20 thousand square meters dedicated to exhibits of architecture and other related disciplines, shows and events. From June 30th to July 3rd an international fair on products of architecture, construction and environment compatibility will take place at the Oval in parallel with the congress: ARCHITEKNONIKA, open to all participants and the public. In the Oval there will be also cultural spaces with A Book, the international book shop for architecture, city planning and landscape. During the congress days A Book organizes Archileggere, a series of meetings and events with international authors on the great topic of architecture and the world surrounding it.
“The participation in the World Congress of Architecture means also participation in history, culture and life of the hosting city. – declares Riccardo Bedrone, President of the 2008 UIA Congress and President of the Turin Fraternity of Architects – Turin will hold the flag of architecture for five days. Events, exhibits, presentations will bring life to the whole city”.
The Turin Fraternity of Architects is directly committed in the organization and promotion of the OFF CONGRESS OFFICIAL EVENTS and in the coordination of the events related to architecture that will be included into an OFF CONGRESS CALENDAR: an activity aiming at guaranteeing a sustained congress effect for the architecture culture in Turin.
You can register in the XXII Congress of Architecture in Torino 2008 on the web site www.uia2008torino.org according the different participation modalities (categories). The registrations are open with a low cost: 100 Euros for professionals and 50 Euros for students and escorts.