Trans(ap)pa-renncies 2013

East Centric Architecture Triennale 2013, with the Trans(ap)parencies theme was the first edition of the East Centric Architecture Triennale, the event dedicated to East and Central European Architecture and critique. The central components of the

East Centric Architecture Triennale 2013, with the Trans(ap)parencies theme was the first edition of the East Centric Architecture Triennale, the event dedicated to East and Central European Architecture and critique. The central components of the Triennale were in 2013 the 3 modules: Trans(ap)parencies (critical demarche), the essay contest (critical discourses) and East Centric Arhitext Awards (practic architectural demarche and discourse). The Triennale became a place to meet, debate and reflect for practitioners, critics, students and the large public. It became the place where alternative and interdisciplinary architectural practice are explored, where everyone can participate and build that sustainable, common and coherent future that the Triennale envisages.

1st module of East Centric Architecture Triennale 2013

Trans(ap)parencies was the main Architecture Exhibition of the 2013 East Centric Architecture Triennale and you can read bellow the curatorial statement.

Bogdan Ghiu, curator of the exhibiton Trans(ap)pa-renncies 2013

Trans(ap)parencies is not a concept, but an instrument of political and epistemic vizualization of architecture and by architecture: a epure, the description of a situation. Such as a mobile camera, it offers, precisely by its instability, the possibility of multiple views on the architectural processes from the Eastern, South-Eastern and Central Europe, articulating (trans-architecturally, in a de-opacifying manner) architecture as an implicit expression of political drives, from which the increasingly higher trans-aesthetic and meta-technical responsibilities of architects also derive. Trans(ap)parencies. More than twenty years ago, the countries from Eastern, South-Eastern and Central Europe were reintegrated into the world-system, of which the symmetrical promises of communism had been previously substracted, by democratic promises of the capital. Since then, and especially with the current systemic crisis – the expression of which was constituted, let us not forget, precisely the inflation of architecture in tandem with the scarcity of democracy –, the promise that transparency will replace the symmetry and equality, that political architecture is available at least visual and epistemic to everyone, that decisions are taken, with the participation at least spectacular in front of everyone, proves more than just a purpose built facade.

Trans–apparencies. How does architecture from Eastern, South-Eastern and Central Europe express, help or fight these trends? Are political and architectural promises of transparency only a deceiving appearance? How does architecture help or fight democracy in this area? How does it block anti-democratic impulses? What political illusions does it maintain? How does it form the young citizen of the young democracy, implicitly, by spatial training situations in which it transposes him (public, private, common, surveilled, abandoned, intermediate, multiple, mixed, contaminated and dead, ghost-spaces, inter- and intra-spaces, realised micro-utopias etc.)?

Trans(ap)parencies. Meta-architectural, through this operator term, the situation may become reversible. If (primordial political concept, fundament of democracy) often is only a built, maintained illusion, a facade that not only masks the lack of transparency, but it builds more and more consistent and efficient political opacities, also through this appearance of transparency it can be passed, breached, exposed at meta-architectural level.

Because the problem of trans(ap)parencies – that is, of transparency appearances that have to be passed as such – is imposed inclusively (and maybe firstly) at self-meta-architectural discourses level, of the self image which the architecture builds for itself, which seems to reflect, that is, to reject anti-trans-apparently the political lights, the outside glances, preferring the appearances to an autonomy, that is, more and more, of an impossible, not allowed techno-aesthetic amorality.

Trans(ap)parencies Selected Projects

In order to make the thematic exhibition possible, we launched an open call, following which we received over 200 projects from 20 of the countries from East and Central Europe.

Following the open call for projects to be present in the Exhibition, the curatorial board selected the projects that best met the criteria of the open call and divided them in 3 sections: Transparencies, Trans-apparencies and Trans(ap)parencies.

There was chosen a total number of 98 projects, 36 for the first category, 43 in the second and 19 in the third.

The first category featured projects within which one can identify / are transparent certain conspicuous and (pre)dominant references / approaches from the following fields:

  • stylistical – regarding modern or contemporary stylistical approaches
  • functional – the concordance between the architectural expression and the program / function, through the use of established / recognizable scheme
  • aesthetical – special attention to the formal / aesthetical processing
  • material – the appeal to contemporary technology and materials

The second category featured projects within which one can identify certain attempts to augment function, expression and tectonics through: apertures, dilutions, detachments, dislocations, insertions, filtering.

The third category featured projects within which one can identify new ways of conceptual, social-political and material approach through: redefining, relocation, retrieval / recovery, recontextualization. The selected projects were also included in the exhibition catalog, conceived as an independent project. The catalog featured the projects selected for the exhibition, along with several theoretical and critical articles that tackle a range of issues pertaining to current architecture in Central and Eastern European countries. The selected projects were also be integrated in the regional architectural portal, which is a reflection of the significant regional practice.

You can see the list of selected projects here.

2nd module of East Centric Architecture Triennale 2013

The 2nd module of East Centric Architecture Triennale, Critical Discourses, was based on the first edition of the critical essay contest organized in order to promote and encourage the critical discourse on architecture in Central and Eastern Europe.

The contest gave participants the opportunity to approach critically the contemporary architectural phenomenon in this region. In the first stage of the contest there were 88 registrations in the contest, from 17 countries from all over the world. In the second stage, there were 30 eligible essays received, from 12 countries (England, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary). The international jury evaluated the essays and decided the nominees, who presented at the Triennale their essays to the jury and the public in order have the chance to receive the winner’s award.

Nominees of the 2013 critical essay contest

The jury of the essay contest has finished evaluating the essays, in a first stage, and by summing up their votes we came up with eight nominees.

  • Tomislav Pavelić – Towards Architecture’s New Spirituality (Learning from Sacred Cows)
  • Luigi Pintacuda – Bucharest, Waiting City
  • Armina Pilav – Imaging Sarajevo – Recomposing the City and Territory
  • Alina Hughes – Conservation versus “modernisation” in Romania, through the lens of Transylvania’s “Saxon” villages
  • Hans Ibelings – Similarities and simultaneities
  • Katalin Tánczos – The Production of Ethnic Hungarian Social Space in the Post-Socialist City of Cluj (Romania) – Case Study of the Bulgakov Café
  • Dániel Vass – Critical discourse on architecture or society?
  • Andreea Movila – The Architecture at Skyline. Play in one scene
  • Ramona Novicov – At the Castle
Winner of the 2013 critical essay contest:Luigi Pintacuda – Bucharest, Waiting City

3rd module of East Centric Architecture Triennale 2013

East Centric Arhitext Awards, the 3rd module of East Centric Architecture Triennale was dedicated to exhibiting, debating and awarding the most valuable architecture and urban planning projects realized between 2008–2013, in countries from Central and Eastern Europe.

This module was based mainly on the contest bearing the same name: East Centric Arhitext Awards competition (ECAA), which brings together the best projects in the field of architecture and urban planning achieved in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in the last years. The ECAA 2013 contest relied on the previous experience gained by the Arhitext team in organizing 11 editions of the Arhitext design Awards national contest.

There are 5 sections of the contest in ECAA competition and in the 2013 edition we had 14 projects in Regeneration section, 16 in Residential Buildings section, 24 in Public Buildings section, 18 in Exterior Design section and 15 in Interior Design. There was a total number of 87 projects participating in the contest, from 24 of the East Central European countries**.

Lost in Trans(ap)parencies photo-video contest 2013

Lost in Trans(ap)parencies photo-video contest was a collateral event of the 2013 East Centric Architecture Triennale.The competition was opened to all citizens (minimum 18 years of age) of the Central and Eastern European countries and has 2 sections: Photography and Video. The theme of the photo-video contest is Trans(ap)parencies. The aim of the competition was to promote artistic interpretations of architectural spaces and objects, whether they are inside the urban space or not, but it does not aim to promote a simple depiction of architecture in photographic or video images. Our desire is to encourage creative representations, which create new meanings (using the two instruments – the photographic and the video image). The entries should had described a dialogue between:

a. one / multiple buildings or interior / exterior architectural spaces and

b. photographic art or video art.

The goal was to bring value to both the architectural and the artistic creation.

The regulations of the photo-video contest can be found here.

Review overview


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