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Why Are Architects Needed? 8 Speakers Give Their Answers During Rising Architecture Week 2017

With the objective of developing new solutions to the societal challenges of tomorrow, the RISING Architecture Week 2017—held in Aarhus, Denmark, between the 11th and 15th of September—consisted of a series of events, exhibitions, and the RISING Exchange Conference, focuses on how architecture and construction can help to rethink existing paradigms.

We had the opportunity to visit the city and to talk with Jan Gehl, Pauline Marchetti, Ruth Baumeister, Daan Roosegaarde, John Thackara, Jacques Ferrier, Stephan Petermann, and Shajay Bhooshan, some of the speakers who contributed their visions on these issues. Thinking about a future in which different actors will be relevant in the process of addressing such challenges, we took the opportunity to make them question themselves: Are architects really needed?

Every time you put any brick down anywhere, you manipulate the quality of life of people. (...) If you just make form, it's sculpture. But it becomes architecture if the interaction between form and life is successful.
– Jan Gehl.

Check all their answers in the video above, and see some pictures of their lectures in the Official Facebook of the event.

RISING Exchange Conference: How Architecture Can Help Solve Societal Challenges

RISING Exchange Conference is bringing the architecture industry and its stakeholders together to highlight the potential of architecture to help solve future societal challenges.

Through keynotes and workshops within the topics of urbanization, inclusion and designing for life and future skills, the conference aims to inspire the participants by actively involving them in the development of solutions for some of society's most pressing challenges.

Does it Pay to Invest in Good Architecture? The Case of 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark

It is often said that architecture only makes projects more expensive. That architects only add a series of arbitrary and capricious complexities that could be avoided in order to lower their costs, and that the project could still work exactly the same without them. Is this true in all cases?

Although they are more profitable economically, human beings don't seem to be happy inhabiting cold concrete boxes without receiving sunlight or a breeze everynow and then, or in an unsafe neighborhood where there's no possibility to meet your friends and family outdoors. Quality in architecture is a value that sooner or later will deliver something in return. 

Balance is key, and a good design will never be complete if it's not economically efficient. How do we achieve this ideal? We reviewed the design process for 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark. A project that managed to convince the authorities and investors when proposing a high-impact and tight-budget design, which in its form seeks to respond to the objective of guaranteeing the quality of life of its users and their neighbors.

The Iceberg, Model. Image © José Tomás FrancoMikkel Frost, Founding Partner of CEBRA, explaining us 'The Iceberg' during the Press Tour of The Architecture Project. Image © José Tomás FrancoThe Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás FrancoThe Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco+ 15

Kazuyo Sejima Explains the Influence of Light and the Color White in SANAA's Work

Thanks to the invitation we received from the team at The Architecture Project, we had the opportunity to travel to the city of Aarhus, Denmark, and meet with Kazuyo Sejima during the Aarhus School of Architecture conference in August 2016.

Winner of the 2010 Pritzker Prize and founder of SANAA (Sejima + Nishizawa and Associates), Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima talks to us about the importance of white in their designs, with the intention of bringing and diffusing natural light to all the spaces. Sejima also describes how their buildings are able to integrate and bring people together through open spaces that connect, in an almost extreme way, the interiors and exteriors.

How Danish Architects Connect with Users to Provide Them With the Best Architecture Possible

The Architecture Project recently invited us to visit the city of Aarhus, Denmark as part of a press tour related to health and architecture (Better Health Press Tour 2015), with the aim of seeing the latest "healing" projects that are arising in the city.

Overshadowed for years by Copenhagen, Aarhus is a port city that seeks to reinvent itself and shine once again -- and it is succeeding. The pleasant surprise is that it is the architects who have driven this change. Architecture has invaded all of the city's spaces, from the forgotten industrial port to the downtown areas full of historical buildings.

This visit has taught us some important lessons: "healing architecture" isn't only about hospital projects, but rather about encouraging people, about creating friendly spaces to live and coexist, and about getting as connected as possible with users to give them what they really need. 

Check out some of the strategies used to achieve these goals after the break. 

Create with Aarhus, Schulbau Fair in Hamburg. Image Courtesy of The Architecture ProjectCreate with Aarhus, Schulbau Fair in Hamburg. Image Courtesy of The Architecture ProjectCreate with Aarhus, in Aarhus. Opening of the exposition in Dokk1. Image Courtesy of The Architecture ProjectCreate with Aarhus, in Hamburg. Image Courtesy of The Architecture Project+ 40