The UIC Barcelona School of Architecture launches a new edition of the Foros lecture series, a benchmark in today’s architectural scene

11/01/17
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This new edition of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture’s Foros lecture series hinges on the title “The Agency of Architecture”, a concept which encourages reflection on architects’ ability to enrich, alter or even call into question their own environment.

Coinciding with the celebration of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture’s 20th anniversary, the new edition of Foros, considered a benchmark in today’s architectural scene, has a new director and has sought to highlight the public, open nature of the event.

On Monday 6 February, the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture is due to launch Foros, a series of lectures that are open to the general public and in which renowned national and international architects will visit the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture and, through their work, share their views on architecture and the profession. This edition, which coincides with the celebration of the School of Architecture’s 20th anniversary, has incorporated new features through which the event aims to enrich and bring renewed insight to the local architectural scene.

The 2017 Foros series will be directed by architect, critic and curator Ethel Baraona, co-founder of the research practice and independent publishing house dpr-barcelona. Under the title “The Agency of Architecture”, the event seeks to give voice to practices that constantly strive to enrich, alter or call into question that which we believe the agency of architecture should be, understanding agency in the philosophical and sociological sense of the word, whereby it is defined as an organisation’s ability to act within a specific environment. According to the new director of the lecture series, “the agency of architecture can be understood as a catalyst for creating alternatives for the built environment, and there are as many ways of doing so as there are ways of practicing architecture: from research to urban interventions, exhibitions and building”.

The underlying objective of the School of Architecture’s Foros, to enable students to create their own architectural universe based on the experience of nationally and internationally renowned architects, goes beyond the classroom. By opening up the event to the general public, the series has become an established benchmark in today’s architectural scene, as well as a meeting point for professionals in Barcelona. For this new edition, held in partnership with Mediolanum Bank, and in efforts to underscore the series’ public, open nature, one of the conferences will take place at Palacete Abadal, a noucentista building located on the corner of Carrer Capità Arenas and Avinguda Diagonal.

The 2017 Foros series will feature talks by renowned architects from a host of different backgrounds, who together will provide a broader overview of architecture. The series is due to start on 6 February with a talk by Ines Weizman, a professor of Architectural Theory and director of the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture and Planning at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. On 20 February, the School of Architecture will welcome Ippolito Pestellini, a partner in one of the most renowned contemporary architecture studios, OMA, and its research studio, AMO. There will also be talks by: members of GOIG, a young Catalan architecture studio run by Pol Esteve and Miquel Mariné (6 March); Markus Bader, co-founder of Raumlabor and director of Urban School Ruhr (20 March); Rafi Segal, architect and professor at MIT (3 April); and María Langarita, founder of Langarita-Navarro, a Madrid-based architecture studio that received special mention at the 2013 Mies van der Rohe awards (24 April). This edition will be crowned by provocative German architect Arno Brandlhuber, creator of the "Antivilla" weekend home project and place of exile for artists from Berlin (8 May).