Last September, the EU launched the New European Bauhaus, an initiative designed to transform the built environment into a more sustainable one with higher social value. The project, shaped through an unprecedented co-design process, is now calling for architects, students, specialists, and citizens to share ideas, examples and challenges to help define the movement's concrete steps.
European Union: The Latest Architecture and News
The Architects Registration Board, which is responsible for the licensing and registration of architects in the United Kingdom, has announced that UK architects no longer have an automatic recognition of their qualifications in EU countries following the country’s exit from the Union. This decision signifies that architects who wish to pursue their career in the Union’s 27 countries, are obliged to present compliance certificates and specific documentation to relevant authorities in each country.
Next week, the annual Creative Exchange Conference organized by Future Architecture Platform will take place at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in Ljubljana, bringing together the 25 selected emerging creatives and a selected group of architects and architectural institutions to showcase ideas and trends for the future development of architecture and the profession.
With the 4th Call for Ideas the Future Architecture platform invites multi-disciplinary emerging creatives who work on transformative projects and ideas for the future of architecture to apply for participation in the European Architecture Program in 2019. After three editions, the Future Architecture Platform has become a great opportunity for young creatives to materialize their ideas and kickstart their careers, collaborating with prestigious architectural institutions in Europe.
OMA founder Rem Koolhaas has joined his colleague Stephan Petermann and artist Wolfgang Tillmans in calling for ideas on re-branding the European Union, at a time when the EU is experiencing increased pressure from the rising tide of far-right nationalism. Working with a group of artists, creatives, and communications experts from across Europe, the “Eurolab” team will present the outcomes of their initiative at the Forum on European Culture on June 3rd, 2018.
Eurolab argues that, although the EU is a project aimed at peace, cooperation, and solidarity, it has failed to present itself as a progressive, positive organization to European citizens. As support for nationalism and the far-right grows across Europe, Eurolab will embark on a 4-day fact-finding mission to investigate why the voices of European unity are been drowned out by the voices of European division. Going beyond the identification of issues surrounding disdain for the EU, Eurolab seeks to help re-brand the organization, asking “how can cooperation and solidarity be communicated to a large audience in a fresh and compelling way?”
Publishing is a cultural project, first collecting and condensing ideas and then diffusing them. In the architectural sphere, it is a pursuit which has often struggled to tackle an inherent paradox: is a book, for instance, speaking to an audience entirely “in the know” or one completely fresh to the concepts, ideas, and figures which tend to envelop the discourse – often resonating like records on repeat.
Unplugging architectural publishing from its conventional realm while, at the same time, seeking to challenge existing tropes in discourse, has been made at once easier and more challenging by the dawn—and subsequent acceleration—of online publishing. Yet the book, as opposed to the magazine—printed, bound, and representing a cohesive and finite exploration of thoughts—is beginning to benefit from more innovative models of circulation, responding to the territory presently occupied by it’s ubiquitous counterpart. Archifutures, an initiative of the Future Architecture Platform, has emerged as one of the more ambitious of these projects.
The European Commission and Europa Nostra have unveiled the winners of the 2017 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, which honor achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness. Out of 202 applications from 39 countries, 29 winners have been selected.
One of the key challenges faced by the European currency union, the Euro, was that of their design. In 2002, when the banknotes entered circulation across large parts of the European Union, the imagery that they possessed had to represent a continent of cultures. The answer: to create fictitious illustrations or, as the European Central Bank states, "stylised illustrations [of windows, doorways and bridges], not images of, or from, actual constructions." In a recent exhibition architect Anna Pang, in collaboration with Johan Holkers and Rolf Stålberg, have attemped to present the "fictive architecture" of the Euro as sugar sculpture.
Martha Thorne, the Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize and dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, has warned of the dangers that the United Kingdom's decision to withdraw from the EU will pose to the architecture profession both in the UK and the EU. As reported by BDOnline, Thorne highlighted the mutual recognition of professional qualifications that has been established by the EU, enabling architects qualified in any EU country to practice in another EU country without being required to requalify.
At the recently concluded Moscow Urban Forum, Renier de Graaf shared his opinion on a range of topics, from UK’s Brexit and the EU identity to OMA’s work in Russia, particularly in shaping the recent growth of Moscow. De Graaf is a partner at OMA and as director of the firm’s Think Tank, AMO, he produced The Image of Europe, an exhibition hoping to portray a “bold, explicit and popular” European Union. Thus, it comes as no surprise that De Graaf, along with Rem Koolhaas, is particularly outspoken about the recent events within the European Union.
Update: On June 24, 2016, 52% of eligible voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This article was published prior to the referendum announcement.
In 2003 George Steiner—a Paris-born, American, UK-based literary critic, philosopher and essayist—gave a lecture in Tilburg, a small Dutch city on the Belgian border. His talk, which he titled “The Idea of Europe,” made some waves in certain circles but, ultimately, wasn't widely discussed. Years later I found a copy of the transcript in Amsterdam’s Athenaeum, who had tucked it in the corner of a sunken room on a shelf devoted to "Brexit." I read it the following day while on a train to Brussels.
As I trundled across the Flemish hinterland Steiner’s words, delivered with judicious insight and a reassuring cautionary edge, served as a reminder of one irrevocable fact: that Europe is a continent “of linguistic, cultural, [and] social diversity;” a “mosaic” of communities that have never been united with the same scale and ambition as that of the European Union. But before the contemporary Euro-project, came European café culture.
"There is Much More at Stake Than Simply Being In or Out" – Rem Koolhaas Speaks Out Over a Potential EU 'Brexit'
In a recent interview with the BBC, Rem Koolhaas (OMA) has spoken out against the campaign seeking to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union, upon which the British people will vote in a referendum next week. Reflecting on his time spent at London's Architectural Association (AA) in the 1960s and '70s, Koolhaas fears that advocates for withdrawal may be looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.
If you look at the arguments to leave you can see this is a movement of people who want to fundamentally change England back into the way it supposedly was before.
In April, the world's "third smallest sovereign state" was established: Liberland. Established on a small patch of unclaimed land created by the border dispute between Croatia and Serbia, the new country founded on the principles of libertarianism is currently battling for international recognition - although as reported by The New York Times Magazine in August, this remains a steep uphill struggle. In spite of these challenges, the European micronation is seeking ideas through a global design competition on how to masterplan its seven-square-kilometer territory. Zaha Hadid Architects' Patrik Schumacher is one of the many experts that have been summoned to judge the proposals, of which aim to establish a "multi-stage" plan that will reflect Liberland's Libertarian and Anarcho-Capitalist values.
"Rather than purely fantastical or artistic schemes, Liberland seeks radically creative, yet mature proposals for a fertile, high-density city-nation of the 21st century, responsive to its advanced contemporary network society," says the competition brief.
The European parliament will vote today on an amendment to the EU’s copyright rules, which if passed would restrict Freedom of Panorama throughout the EU. This could result in thousands of building images being deleted from Wikipedia, and put restrictions on which photos people can upload and share online.
Freedom of Panorama is an exception to copyright rules, allowing photographs of public spaces and buildings to be used without restriction, while protecting the rights of the architect or artist. Currently some countries in the EU have full Freedom of Panorama, while other countries have it in place only for buildings or only for non-commercial uses -- or not in place at all.