UIC Barcelona brings Foros 2019 to a close during Architecture Week
The conclusions of the series were discussed as part of round table held at the Mies van der Rohe Foundation
On 13 May, the Mies van der Rohe Foundation hosted the round table “Architecture and Identities: Conclusion Foros 2019”, organised by the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture as part of the official line-up of Architecture Week events. Participants included the School’s director, Josep Lluís i Ginovart; the directors of the lecture series, Guillem Carabí and Fredy Massad, and professor and architect Jelena Prokopljević. The director of the Foundation, Anna Ramos, was charged with giving the opening address, during which she expressed her gratitude for the event. “We thought it was appropriate to capitalise on the biggest week for architecture in Barcelona to reflect on the latest edition of Foros”, she explained.
This year’s edition of Foros revolved around the title “Identities”. Between February and May, two monthly lectures helped spur reflection on the concept of identity in contemporary architecture, strongly marked by the present trends in globalisation. “The need to break with the past and create a new identity for architecture, one linked to a new form of modernity, emerged as early as the late 19th century”, stressed Josep Lluís i Ginovart in his speech.
For his part, Guillem Carabí, drew on the work of video-artists Bêka&Lemoine -who took part in the series at the beginning of April- to underline the different prisms architecture can offer, depending on the relationship one has with architecture. “Only the absence of interaction in the radical filming of Bêka&Lemoine’s videos can explain, from an anthropological point of view, what best defines public space, that which does not depend on organisation or planning, but solely and exclusively on its use. A place is not defined by identities but relationships”.
During his speech, Fredy Massad introduced another focal point for discussion related to the way in which the new strategies for disseminating architecture have affected the formation of identities. “We thought it was interesting to approach identity as architects due to everything that is going on in Europe and due to the power social media now has as an agent for creating identity ghettos”, he pointed out.
Afterwards, Jelena Prokopljević, spoke about the volatility of collective identities, taking as a reference the Soviet Revolution in the former USSR, in which the totalitarian powers came to define the ideal Soviet man. “That reality influenced everything, including urban surroundings, architecture and art in general”.
Josep Lluís i Ginovart wrapped up the debate by stating that identity, in and of itself, is a concept brimming with passion and contradictions. “To identify can, at times, be dangerous”, he concluded.