Breakthrough Design for Living

Architecture and living environment

1. Verena Huber (Switzerland) presented the
project, patronated by ECP, “Open doors – How you live, how others live?” – 30
case studies of living conditions in six European countries (Switzerland,
Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Latvia, Belorussia). Traveling exhibition of photos,
descriptions, interviews and drawings started to be on show in each country,
starting from Poland, where it was presented last month at a big event of the
organization MitOst. 


The project documents demonstrate wide range of differences as
well as similarities in daily life culture and living environment in different
European cities. The project provoked very interesting and fruitful discussion
concerning urban environment and housing development in Europe. The section
members expresses extremely positive opinion on the project and regrets that it
was not presented in plenary session. 
We recommend to visit the
project web site www.turenauf.ch


2. Eugene Asse (Russia) presented the
concept of European designers contest, which could be managed under the ECP
patronage. The section members have discussed the preliminary ideas in advance
by e-mail correspondence. There were presented rather different views on the
competition theme and format. This meeting was planned to conclude the
discussion.

The project’s final version is as follows:
The project is
in two stages - 


stage one – EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL
COMPETITION

- Patron: European Cultural
Parliament
- Status: open, international,
over-European
- Participants: students, architects and designers under
30
- Theme: Breakthrough design for living (optional)
- Program:
any architectural and design proposals providing improvements in daily living
environment in Europe (cities, countryside, landscapes, roads, housing, public
spaces, transportation systems, etc.)
- Registration: no registration,
free of charge
- Jury-selection committee: architects – members of
ECP
- Announcement: via internet, publications, schools,
institutions
- Presentation: via internet four A4 pages in JPEG or PDF
format sent by e-mail
- Internet support:
www.evropaconcorsi.com
- Result: selection of 10-15 students for
the workshop
- Awards: 10-15 stipends for participation in the
workshop
- Presentation: exhibition of the best projects during the ECP
session, catalogue


stage two – WORKSHOP EUROPE
- Patron:
European Cultural Parliament
- Place: host-city of ECP next
session
- Participants: the selected students
- Theme: project
connected to the local problems of the host-city
- Moderator: the
foremost local architect
- Term: one week before the ECP session
opening
- Presentation: exhibition and report during the ECP session,
catalogue
- Budget: from the city


The project:
- Involves many young
designers in discussion of European problems
- Connects them to ECP
activity
- Gives a chance for creative solutions for the host-city


Lisbon Declaration (part on urbanism and citizenship).


Addition:
The recent events that took place in
the suburbs of Paris and other major cities of France can be viewed from many
different social and cultural angles, but urbanism is certainly one of them. We
realize that in general, the uncontrolled growth of the post-industrial European
city of has created a split between the privileged city centers and poor
suburbs.


The peripheries of our large cities have built ghettoes of cheap
housing to accommodate foreign workers and migrants from the dismantling of our
rural economy. While the city centers are organized, infra-structured,
beautified and clean, the suburbs are increasingly chaotic in there lack of
urbanity and public space. For most people, to live and grow in social housing
has become a stigma, when it should be the opposite; we should be able to
produce housing and urbanization that can blend and reduce the gap between rich
and poor. For that we need to rethink the new urbanism; we need to have clearer
and better defined public spaces, we need the create “neighborhoods” instead of
“zones”, we need to avoid mega-scale operations, we need pedestrian rather than
car-oriented systems, and we need an architecture that does not further the
stigma by spelling the words “social housing” on the façades.


On the whole, and if we want a better future for all, we need to
able to express the idea of community and citizenship not only through our
beautiful and classical cities, but through our suburbs as well.


 

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