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About Me:I am a Year 13 student which aspires to be an architect. I am interested in anything I don't yet know, and I mostly write about art, politics , Italian culture and inspirational people, although I will try to write for as many categories possible, just to test myself and get to know more things.
Modern architecture has been challenging the engineering capabilities of buildings and have been revolutionising design and aesthetics. It may seem that architects in the last century have tried to top each other developing new and innovative buildings with better and more modern design and the use of better materials. This makes architecture a race to achieve aesthetic beauty, but shouldn’t architects focus on the issues of the people and provide solutions?
According to this year’s Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena, there is no obligation for architects to use their creativity for good, and there should not even be any. However, he has also said that any decent professional would work to test their skills in difficult conditions and environments.
Aravena, who is directing and managing this year “Biennale di Venezia” has dedicated his talent to challenging social issues, where the architect holds a great deal of responsibility for the making of structures in socially problematic areas. The tackling of issues such as social housing requires great professionals and not charity, therefore only a few architects can dedicate themselves to provide solutions.
His firm Elemental is an example of how a team of architects can dedicate to the resolution of social housing problems with the deigning of unprecedented “Incremental housing” schemes, which I have discussed in one of my articles.
“We don’t think we are particularly good people,” he said. “We are just average architects – but we do think we have design skills and we would like to use them on issues that are relevant.” He was speaking at a press conference unveiling the details of his biennale, whose theme is Reporting from the Front.
His vision, and the example that Elemental has given, has made over 88 architecture firms participate to the exhibition. They include Assemble, Goldsmiths-based Forensic Architecture, Rogers Stirk Harbour and David Chipperfield in the UK; Ireland’s Grafton; Switzerland’s Peter Zumthor and Christ & Gantenbein; Japan’s Atelier Bow-Wow and Tadao Ando; Holland’s 51N4E and OMA; and Mexico’s Tatiana Bilbao.
In general, Aravena has expressed his preference for talent and creativity more than ethical approach for the “Biennale” and that the youthfulness of many could potentially be risky. His aim was to find professionals so that their own experiences could merge and their knowledge mix in order to establish a list of challenges that people across the world such as pollution, poverty and migration and develop solutions.
Aravena said he hoped his approach to architecture would be a “means through which to improve the quality of life”. His willingness to produce “social” architecture comes from desire to learn how to turn “today’s slums into tomorrow’s Manhattan”. “If architecture is about giving form to the places where we live, consequently architecture has to take care of life in all the ranges it covers, from basic physical needs to the most intangible dimensions of the human condition,” he said in talk at TED Talks.
As an aspiring architect, I am fascinated be Aravena’s passion to tackle social issues with architecture. In my opinion, architects are servants of the needs of people, let the need belong to a rich businessperson or a poor community, the architect has to serve people and use his creativity to create solutions. Architects should not be instructed to be “social” and “moral”, as it comes within the profession; architects are responsible for the making of our built environments and as such they have to dedicate their profession to create buildings for everyone, and accommodate to the needs of different people.
Image credits: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/sites/default/files/domus-15-biennale-architettura_copy.jpg