INDESEM 2019 – Beyond The Echo Chamber
Architects build a vocabulary by harvesting information in a multidisciplinary context. In recent days the amount of available knowledge becomes sheer endless. How to take a position here and how to share all different frames of reference with one another? By whom or what are your influenced as an architect? This defines your echo chamber and to what extent it is perforated or segregated.
Define your scope
Over the past decades, our way of living has changed dramatically and is still continuing to do so. We travel around the globe in less than 24 hours, we communicate when and with whomever we want, and consume more information than ever before. We have outgrown our confined communities into a broadly connected society, where everything is within reach through telephone, laptop or tablet; everyone can go anywhere virtually at any time of the day. Architecture can be experienced without physically being present and can have an impact that goes beyond the immediate vicinity: the scope is no longer tied to the location; architects can respond to this. Would you choose global impact or local contribution?
Define your subject
Society also desires novelty and experiences nowadays. The current (social) media landscape calls for stars, strong personalities with a clear point of view. This has led to, among other things, the emergence of iconic buildings. Some might say these are empty shells, independent of their context, leading to a paradox: interchangeable cities are distinguished by interchangeable icons. Nevertheless, they are definitely a product of our current society and therefore just as much a part of our culture. A response is visible, though: the search for local authenticity, participation and historical continuity. This involves a reinvigorated interest in bottom-up approaches and co-design. Here, the conviction prevails that the architect benefits from input from the outside. It is the focus that differs in these approaches. The question that arises is with and for whom are you designing?
Define your source
Architects from the re-emerging ‘weaving generation’ are an example of architects that use site specific conditions in their design to enrich the existing local fabric. They try to create a broader perspective for architecture by respecting context, art and history. However, a duality in how to deal with existing architecture is noticeable. We are being asked to preserve what is already there, but at the same time we have to build for the future. Has society changed so much that new sources, methods and strategies are required to meet the needs of the future? Or does it need to be elaborated on the existing fabric?
Define your statement
The social developments mentioned lead to a dichotomy in the expressive quality of architecture. On the one hand extravagant (virtual) architecture is strongly visible, while a more modest architecture, on the other hand, is also on the rise. This division is equally noticeable in architectural representation, where artful collages are increasingly popular – replacing the trend of hyper realistic renders. Should one opt for exuberant expression or a more modest one?
INDESEM 2019 offers a platform where a new generation of designers will consider the position of the architect in a rapidly changing, (digitally) connected society. The event forms a critical stage to confront students with the echo chamber, their positioning within it, and to (re)define it, based on critical discussions.
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Bart Vos – Koen Meijman – Milou Klein – Maurane Gabriël – Renske de Meijer – Alex da Costa Gomez – Guusje Enneking – David van der Blonk