Mission

East Centric Architecture Triennale is the necessary cultural event meant to enable a tight collaboration between architects, theorists, architecture critics and historians from East and Central Europe and from all over the world, with the aim of representing and presenting them both to the specialized and general audience. It is organized every three years in Bucharest, Romania, and each edition has a central theme as a way of addressing, both in a theoretical and practical way, the contemporary architecture context.

Context

East Centric Architecture Triennale supports and promotes critical discourse both among practitioners and architecture theorists, critics and historians. The varied format of activities within the Triennale (exhibitions, conferences, debates, competitions) offers an overall image of the multiple discourses from the East and Central European space – particular discourses which however share common elements that need to be acknowledged in order to support a qualitative growth of architecture in the region.

East Centric Architecture Triennale has a trans-national and multidisciplinary orientation, addressing the cultural field too, within which it debates the role of architectural and urban culture especially through its connection and interference with other areas, such as arts, philosophy, sociology etc. We envision the Triennale as an open and dynamic platform that brings together persons and institutions from as many professional and cultural fields, in order to open a dialogue and collaboration meant to bring a significant contribution both for the general and specialized public.

In 2016, the theme of the East Centric Architecture Triennale is Drifting, and it comes after the themes Trans(ap)parencies in 2013 and Fluencies in 2011. The theme was chosen after several discussions and consultations between the curator of the central exhibition, the poet, essayist and philosopher Bogdan Ghiu, the curatorial board and the team of consultants, made up of prominent figures from the field of architecture as well as Romanian and international cultural life.

The curator’s statement

"Drift, drifting: slow, gradual movement / travel, straying movement; to let oneself be carried along, to fl oat aimlessly; to wander / to stray (to walk nonchalantly); to slide / to slip; temporary deposit / sediment; smooth tendency or transition from slow to fast; to take advantage of flows and landscapes, to work with the environment, to insert oneself in the natural cultural environment, monitoring its currents, trends and tendencies; choreography and acrobatics, performance and performativity, the flow-form Eleatic-Heraclitean paradox, to express, to incite, to release, to unify etc.

A strange word, onomatopoeic hissing of contemporary history itself, immediate expression of its changing gears, thus contributing to a headlong materialization of the surface and deep currents of contemporaneity, and thereby to the expression of the incontrollable processes in which we are engaged, drift or drifting is literally one of the landmark terms of our time. A crosscut term, it expresses us ironically and indisputably. With its help, the largest part of contemporary architecture becomes (again) a symbol and a key to "reading" our contemporaneity. Drifting architecture as an expression of drifting history expresses the paradox of the floating movement controlled from within, much like the seeming passiveness of the surfer who, while identifying with the wave (the trend, the current, the zeal, the process etc.) manages to transform himself, to lend a body to acceleration and energy. Architecture becomes thus an imprint, an apparently informal, chaotic alluvium of the flows and vortices of history. In other words, how to build what is happening."

"The exhibition sets out to monitor the declining of all these significances in the recent architecture of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, looking at how the built environment can adjust both temporally, to history, and spatially, in the natural, as well as the cultural environment, in order to express and regulate, by crystallizing them, the feelings and transitions of an era, softening, where necessary and feasible, its too sudden shocks and turns."

The central components of the Triennale are the thematic exhibition (critical demarche), the essay contest (critical discourse) and East Centric Arhitext Awards (practic architectural demarche and discourse). The Triennale is the place to meet, debate and reflect for the practitioners, critics, students and the large public. It is the place where alternative and interdisciplinary architectural practice is explored, where everyone can participate and build that sustainable, common and coherent future that the Triennale envisages.