Barcelona is preparing to host its first major architecture congress in twenty years. If organized in 1996 by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Official Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) had approximately 14,000 participants, which will run from June to November this year expects about 8,000. But his goal is not less: it is to redefine the priorities of architecture in the twenty-first century.
In these two decades the professional landscape has been transformed. In 1996, at the dawn of starsystem a Peter Eisenman wearing Barcelona shirt gave to the art museum was a massive conference as an image for the memory of the meeting. Now, after the crisis fell by more than 90% of professional activity, called Congrés d’Architecture 2016 things otherwise it arises. Because while the COAC has managed to restructure its economy and also there has been a slight upturn in the building -a 26%, although this percentage is misleading, because it includes recovery work paralyzed by the crisis, the situation continues remains precarious. And forces professionals to set other modes and other targets in their daily work.
The congress will take place in a double frame-in network and classroom-and give priority to a number of architectural concerns of increasing force: sustainability, rehabilitation of built heritage, participatory processes, the right to decent housing or the right to fair city.
The conference will be open to professional architects and other industry-related groups. Most participants will be local, but there will be also invited outsiders, although, according to the dean of COAC accurate, “they may not be media stars”. The events will take place in venues of professional colleges, schools of architecture, museums and other Barcelona institutions. And it also raises the possibility of organizing events in other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Paris or Venice.
Although “illuminate the future of architecture and architects” is the main reason for this congress, it has not yet decided whether it will continue. Its organizers like, however, to frame a tradition that starts the nineteenth century and has led to the conclusion of a dozen events of similar magnitude throughout the twentieth century.