2nd Congress of Croatian Architects in Opatija
October 18th – 20th, 2007
The disappearance of great ideologies and the creation of new social systems has also opened the question of the architect’s role. The contemporary view of architecture, based on the tradition of Modernism, the heritage of 1968, and the socialist political system sees social responsibility of architects as the dominant characteristics of this profession. However, in the period when the void following great rhetoric discourses is filled by consumerism, we must ask ourselves how to be truly critical and socially responsible?
In the case of Croatia, where the political system is obviously socially irresponsible, the citizens are losing their faith in institutions and re-directing their expectations to architects. The paradox of this situation is that at the point when architects have no public influence, which has been clearly demonstrated by actual large city projects, the public notion of this profession has entirely changed and now it sees them as influential and responsible individuals. Can architects accept this responsibility? What is the answer of the architectural profession to the new circumstances?
At the Congress, Juan Alvaro Alayo Azcarate (Bilbao Ria 2000, ES), Sasa Begovic (Studio 3LHD, CRO), Stefano Boeri (Boeri studio, Milano, IT), Eve Blau (Harvard University GSD, USA), Kees Christianse (ETH Zürich, CH), Rob Docter (Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, NL ), Luis Falcón (LOAD Office architecture, Barcelona, ES), Ivica Fanjek (Zagreb, CRO), Manuel Gausa Navarro (Actar, Barcelona, ES), Juan Herreros Guerra (Abalos&Herreros, Madrid, ES), Francine Houben (Mecanoo, NL), Hans Ibelings (A10, Amsterdam, NL), Bjarke Ingels (BIG, Copenhagen, DK), Tomaz Kancler (UIA, SLO ), Janez Kozelj (Ljubljana, SLO), Luciano Lazzari (ACE, IT ), Hrvoje Njiric (njiric+ arhitekti, CRO), Don Murphy (VMX Architects, NL), Maurice Nio (NIO architecten, NL), Vasa Perovic (Bevk-Perovic architects, Ljubljana, SLO), Sasa Randic (randic-turato, CRO), Hrvoje Hrabak (Zagreb, CRO) and others will speak about responsibility, architectural policies, urban strategies and their personal answers to contemporary questions.
The organisers of the Congress are Croatian Architects’ Association and Architectural Section of the Croatian Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers.
By imposing too great responsibility on yourself, you crush yourself.
In an age of apathy, architects have a responsibility to engage the political.
Duty is what one expects from others.
The sole responsibility of the avant-guarde architect is to innovate. His or her work transcends the immediate task of the building at hand.
Zaha Hadid & Patric Schumacher
Architecture can't be about perverse forms of self-realization. Architects are not the builder-gods that the genius-obsessed want them to be. They must serve their society and their clients.
Denise Scott Brown
An architect's prime responsibility is to invent and communicate ideas.
In an age in which people communicate through various media in non-physical spaces, it is architect's responsibility to make actual space for physical and direct communication between people.