Architecture Institutions and The City

The establishment of TAB is a good occasion for a critical reflection on its role: What can, must and should a civic architecture institution like a biennial do?

As the image of the almighty planner has vanished in favour of a new urban governance model, spatial planning is no longer exclusively a governmental task. Instead, it is practiced by a complex interplay of practitioners of science, economy, politics and civic society. Civic expertise has proved to be crucial in problem solving, especially when adequate state planning strategies are absent. In this context, architectural institutions have gained both power and responsibility.

Architecture events gather academic expertise, public and media attention, as well as financial power around a certain topic for a limited period of time. Such events can therefore become hubs of innovation and drivers of new impulses. Fellow researchers can exchange knowledge and objectives in order to stimulate architectural discourses on a global level. On the other hand, by intervening in specific local contexts, new ideas can be generated to inspire future planning strategies. But as an architecture event is only temporary, it is a major challenge for it to engender permanent and sustainable effects. So how can architecture institutions become change-makers towards a better urban future?

This question were discussed by Tinatin Gurgenidze (Tbilisi Architecture Biennial), Ljubo Georgiev (Vision Sofia 2050, Bulgaria), Martin Braathen (Oslo Triennale, Norway) and Milan Dinevski (Future Architecture Platform, Slovenia).