Open Call for Essays – Critical Discourses 2016

The competition is open for students, critics, teachers, philosophers, theorists, sociologists, architects, urban planners, designers, able to draft a critical essay on the architecture in Central and Eastern Europe. There are no restrictions of age, professional training or nationality.

The Triennale team launches the Critical Discourses essay contest within the 2016 East Centric Architecture Triennale, with the theme Drifting.

The essay contest tries to stimulate and promote the critical discourse on architecture as a fundamental necessity, of quality architecture, as well as of communication and dialogue with the general public. These also represent the structuring elements of the entire Triennale. This contest aims to discover ideas and opinion makers, to outline original and challenging concepts, and also to promote examples of quality architecture.

The contest gives the participants the opportunity to approach critically the contemporary architectural phenomenon in Central and Eastern Europe. By means of essays, the persons concerned are able to set out, detail and argue their own vision on the architecture of one country, of more countries or of the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe and/or to make a critical presentation of significant projects built in the 21st century.

The nominated essays will be presented by their authors at the Triennale, thus enabling them to expose and uphold their ideas at the first architecture Triennale in Central and Eastern Europe and to interact with culture professionals, architects, architecture critics etc. who have come to attend the event.

The participants can be students, architecture or art critics, teachers, philosophers, theorists, sociologists or architects, urban planners, designers with a propensity for theory etc., who are able to draft a critical essay on the architecture of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe* (one country, more countries or the entire region). There are no restrictions related to age, professional training or nationality. The participants must be available to attend the East Centric Architecture Triennale on 1st and 2nd October 2016 to be able to present their essays, in case they are nominated.

Statement by the president of the jury, Alberto Pérez-Gómez

"Architecture operates in a world driven by technical instrumentality, one that has increased exponentially its possibilities of formal expression. While the media may celebrate perpetual novelty, an architecture of complex top-down geometries generally disregards the necessary relationship of buildings to cultural places and values. Without reflecting such values, architecture appears solipsistic and self-referential: a form of virtuosity only interesting to the initiated. The discursive word, in the form of critical thinking and writing, asking the question why rather than merely how is therefore crucial in our times for a significant architectural praxis. This is not simply a theory as methodology, in the old sense, but a true philosophy of architecture in the tradition of Aristotle’s practical philosophy, one that acknowledges the importance of history, emerging from the issues, values and habits that configure the social world."

Statement by the previous edition winner and jury member, Luigi Pintacuda

"Research is a process in continuous movement. The need to constantly prove yourself is closely connected to the need of new exchange process in order to accomplish the main purpose of research: sharing. Critical Discourses Essay Contest is one of the most interesting places for sharing your research with other people working on issues of the same geographic area. East phenomena are very complex and issues are very different one to each other. For this reason this Contest is an excellent opportunity to share different ideas, visions and knowledge."

See more information about the Open Call for Essays here.