Architectural events like biennales, urban festivals or the World Expo provide a framework for research and experimentation, allowing architects to showcase their visions on an international stage, with the aim of advancing the practice and driving innovation. World Expos, in particular, allow for these lines of inquiry to unfold at an architectural scale rather than that of an installation. Within these platforms for discourse and knowledge exchange, temporary architecture becomes a medium for communicating ideas about architecture and the city, its challenges and possible lines of development.
It is believed that copper was the first metal to be found by men and used in the manufacture of tools and weapons. This occurred in the last period of prehistory, more than 10,000 years ago, in the so-called Metal Age, when groups, until then nomadic, started to become sedentary, developing agriculture and starting the first urban settlements. Copper has since been used in diverse ways. Used for decorative objects, jewelry, automotive parts, electrical systems, and even for dental amalgams, the material has had huge demand. In architecture, copper coatings are greatly appreciated for their aesthetics and durability. But a factor worth mentioning is that copper can be recycled infinitely, practically without losing its properties.
As architecture has evolved to include advanced building envelopes, innovative structural systems, and hybrid programs, new boundaries have been drawn. Sustainable practices and passive strategies have led architects to re-imagine building skins and the relationship between interior and exterior. While different typologies are designed with varied levels of permeability, libraries demand rigorous attention to performative facades and protected programs. This holds especially true when libraries are placed within radically changing landscapes.
According to architect and academic Frank Locker, in architectural education, we keep repeating the same formula from the 20th-century: teachers transmitting a rigid and basic knowledge that gives students, no matter their motivation, interests, or abilities, little to no direction. In this way, says Locker, we are replicating, literally, prisons, with no room for an integral, flexible, and versatile education.
"What do you think of when you're in a space with closed doors and a hallway where you can't enter without permission or a bell that tells you when you can enter and leave?" asks Locker.
Follow along during the twelfth edition of the World Architecture Festival through ArchDaily's Live Stream. As the world’s biggest architectural awards program, WAF brings together more than 2,000 architects and designers to Amsterdam for three days of conference programs, awards, and exhibition events from December 4-6. Tune in to our Facebook live streams for a selection of lectures.