The Agency of Architecture

Foros 2017 UIC Barcelona School of Architecture

The Foros 2017 lecture series hinged on the Agency of Architecture; a concept that invites reflection on the ability of architects to enrich, alter or even challenge the professional environment.

Ines Weizman, a professor of Architectural Theory and director of the History and Theory of Architecture and Planning Institute at Bauhaus, University of Weimar, charged with opening the series with a talk entitled “Turning in the Voice: Architects that Talk”, gave this year’s edition its theoretical framework and explained how directing the agency of architecture can transform our traditional concept of architectural practice.

Likewise, the members of the young Catalan studio GOIG provided an overview of the themes and concepts on which their work is based and discussed not just the products but the processes that define their practice, characterised by distance, YouTube and realism. Markus Bader, co-founder of Raumlabor and director of Urban School Ruhr, reflected on how all of us together, through our private and collective actions, generate space, and how the synchronisation of these activities condensed into one single space creates a city.

Israeli architect and urban planner Rafi Segal, a lecturer at MIT, presented some of his most recent projects and analysed the cultural and socio-political aspects of urban architecture. During her intervention, María Langarita, founder of the reputed Madrid-based studio Langarita-Navarro, gave a talk about how to categorise architecture on the basis of material consistency.

The series culminated with a lecture by provocative German architect Arno Brandlhuber, creator of the “Antivilla” weekend home project and refuge for artists from Berlin. His talk revolved around the film Legislating Architecture, which Brandlhuber himself directed alongside Christopher Roth and presented at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, to illustrate some of his current lines of research. The Berlin-based architect explored the way architecture is moulded by regulatory systems and the laws of society and outlined his hypothesis on the possibilities that legislation holds for architects as a proactive instrument for design.

Foros is a subject that promotes debate on the reality of architecture, as well as a lecture series that is open to the general public, which, through a host of different perspectives, helps students piece together their own architectural universe. The 2017 series was directed by architect, critic and co-founding curator of the independent research studio and publisher drp-barcelona, Ethel Baraona.