Internatinal Conference



Internatinal Conference

20th October 2017- Estrel Berlin


 

2A Magazine is pleased to report a conference and discussion panel which have taken place on October 20th 2017, in Berlin. The Conference was a professional platform to share and discuss innovative Architecture

in Asia and Europe continents. This gathering was a room to talk about new directions and order in both continents. It has also been a unique opportunity to both academics academics and practitioners to share their vision, information, ideas and experiences relating to contemporary architecture in Asia and Europe.


Nader Ardalan:

Preface:

 The theme of the 2A Architectural Awards for 2017 is:

“Uniting Through Architecture”.

Since this conference is being held in Berlin, I was delighted to find that we are also “United Through Poetic Visions” when my research found the reference to the Goethe-Hafez Memorial built in Weimar in 2000,inspired by the “West-Oestlicher Divan” originally written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1819 (Figures 1 & 2).Goethe’s generation struggled against the encroaching limitations of the Cartesian mechanistic world view. Today, Iran and the world face the crises caused by the same dilemma. Traditional German “Wanderlust” and Iranian spiritual quest both cry out for a “return to nature”, and a balanced, passionate desire for spiritually inspired creativity and order in life and our built environments, as envisioned in the tradition of Goethe’s Naturphilosophie. Goethe’s romantic vision found a liberating home in the lyrical, worldly, metaphysical poetry of the 14th c. Hafez of Shiraz, whose perennial message, valid today as ever,speaks of the inseparability of the transcendent unity at the core of humanity, East and West. Thus, Goethe wrote2A Magazine is pleased to report a conference and discussion panel which have taken place on October 20th 2017, in Berlin. The Conference was a professional platform to share and discuss innovative Architecture in Asia and Europe continents. This gathering was a room to talk about new directions and order in both continents. It has also been a unique opportunity to both academics academics and practitioners to share their vision, information, ideas and experiences relating to contemporary architecture in Asia and Europe.

Nader Ardalan:

Preface:

 The theme of the 2A Architectural Awards for 2017 is: “Uniting Through Architecture”. Since this conference is being held in Berlin, I was delighted to find that we are also “United Through Poetic Visions” when my research found the reference to the Goethe-Hafez Memorial built in Weimar in 2000,inspired by the “West-Oestlicher Divan” originally written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1819 (Figures 1 & 2). Goethe’s generation struggled against the encroaching limitations of the Cartesian mechanistic world view.Today, Iran and the world face the crises caused by the same dilemma. Traditional German “Wanderlust” and Iranian spiritual quest both cry out for a “return to nature”,and a balanced, passionate desire for spiritually inspired creativity and order in life and our built environments, as envisioned in the tradition of Goethe’s Naturphilosophie. Goethe’s romantic vision found a liberating home in the lyrical, worldly, metaphysical poetry of the 14th c. Hafez of Shiraz, whose perennial message, valid today as ever,speaks of the inseparability of the transcendent unity at the core of humanity, East and West. Thus, Goethe wroteachieved by 2030 (see Figure 3). We support the value and benefits of SDG, but observe that these objectives were based only upon a triad of Social, Economic and Environmental dimensions and omitted the critical role of Culture as the fourth dimension in the definition of Sustainability. Culture and its associated considerations of transcendent design, beauty and cultural identity need to be integrated into the SDG to enable spiritually inspired, holistically sustainable built environments of the future to be realized. Definition: “Culture”: The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, behavior, and aesthetic expressions that depend upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations by consideration of UNESCO Conventions on the Tangible and Intangible aspects of society’s accrued heritage, such as oral traditions, performing arts and crafts, social practices, rituals & festivals, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, a civilization’s Worldview (“Weltanschauung”).

Role of Transcendent Consciousness in Architecture  & Planning:

Definition: Transcendent here refers to the cultivation of a profound respect, reverence and relationship with

all people, places and things in the physical, mental, emotional and most subtle realms. Transcendence attends to a heightened state of mind in which one perceives, with unbound wonder and reverence, the presence of an insight beyond limited self- consciousness; an attempt to be in harmony with an unseen order of the Universe and its connections to everyday life. This tradition continued to 19th century Romantics, Emerson, Thoreau and Goethe’s generation who perceived and struggled against the coming dominance

of Cartesian, mechanistic, materialistic world views. They had a ‘Wanderlust’, a passionate, creative and balanced relationship with nature and earth. The concept of transcendent beauty is perennial and timeless.

It has and continues to inspire outstanding designs that integrate culture and sustainability.

Ref l ections Upon the Design Awards:

As a member of the International Jury for the Asia Continental Design Competition, with Waro Kishi of Japan and Shirish Beri of India, I wish to observe that an internationally high standard for the jury process was observed. The Phase I online, wed-based design review and assessment process by the 2A Organizers of nearly 500 entries was exceedingly well organized and facile to use. Furthermore, the Berlin judgement process at the Technical University of the nearly 150 shortlisted projects in seven categories resulted in a consensus based selection of a wide variety of worthy projects.

I have been seriously thinking about the deeper lessons that can be learned through the 2A Architectural Awards process. Having considered my own deliberations on this subject over the past five decades of active practice and research and paraphrasing Juhani Pallasmaa, the following key questions can be asked on the topic of the achievement of meaningful design and finding a spirit worthy of the architectural heritage of the great regional cultures of the world:

 

1.Can we decipher and define, the timeless identity and

‘spirit’ of the architectural and planning heritage of each of the unique regional cultures?

2. If deciphered, are they a closed pre-coded and prescribed  system of  conventions  or are  they  open,

experiential qualities arising from contemporary situational, individual and unique artistic visions?

3. Or are they a creative combination of timeless, perennial principles and spontaneous,

situational conditions that unite to allow ever contemporary, new design realizations?

I can decipher two significant themes in the majority of projects awarded and thereby suggest some answers to the deeper questions that have been posited:

“The future lies in the past”

The majority of project awarded were small, modest, human scaled and followed in the ‘footsteps of their grandfathers’. They strived to reinforce existing spatial traditions, such as courtyards, and the use of local building solutions, such as earthen and wood construction. Thus, they were following timeless sustainable and socially relevant design principles that still allowed contemporary, affordable and innovative designs.

“Low-tech is the future high-tech”

In addition to the worldwide growing awareness for healthy living, natural building materials and methodologies result in  low  energy needs  and  usage, cost  efficiency and recyclability. Most low-energy buildings do not require mechanical ventilation while providing comfortable indoor climatic conditions. As High energy buildings, due to cost and lack of energy availability are phased out, low energy buildings will become the future.

In conclusion, I look forward to the publication of the

2A 2017 Awards and encourage continuance of such significant endeavors in 2018, with even more definition, rigor and explorations of the value and timeless lessons of the different Regional and Cultural Architectural identities that have historically existed and may continue to shape the natural transcendent ‘spirit’ of future sustainable built environments of World Continents.

Waro Kishi: When I was a student, I could not understand why Japan is in the “Far East”.

But after I began practicing as an architect, I have come to learn that there are two type of maps of the world, or the globe.

One is our familiar one for the Pacific rim countries, which has the Pacific Ocean in the center of the map, and the other is the one with the Atlantic Ocean in the center which is more often used in the Western world.

When I found out that there are two versions of the world map, I could understand our country, Japan, belongs to “Far East”, found in the far-right edge of the map.

Due to the cultural and historical situations of Japan, we were under the Western-style map, in which Japan had been on the right edge, in the “Far East”.

All our cultural influences came from the West, specifically from China, India, ”Middle East” and even from European continent from around 6 or 7th century.

We, in Japan, have had so many cultural imports from the West including Buddhism, tea, flower arrangement and, of course, architecture style.

Our national archive in Todai-ji Shosou-in, which was established in 8th century, includes imports from China, India, Assyria and many from the West.

As  for  our architecture,  we  have Shitenno-ji,  built  in

7th  century(593AD)  follows the  strict  China style,  the symmetry plan. But Horyu-ji, which was built around the same time (601AD), also follows the China style. But there is a difference. Horyu-ji plan is not in a symmetry one but is asymmetrical, which you may say is the origin of “Japanization” in architecture. Since then, we have been accepting the cultural influences from the West and,  moreover, we have been adding some   “contemporariness”  to the  imported   historical culture. You can find the same kind of phenomena not only in our architecture style but also in our city planning, tea ceremony, flower arrangement and interpretation of Buddhism.

As a Kyoto-based architect, I have come to understand our cultural characteristics as I have described, and decided to follow my understandings.

For example, “Hu-tong House” is my contemporary interpretation  of  the historical  urban  space in  Beijing. Also, with “House in Wakayama”, I gave a contemporary alternative based on my personal impression of the water garden of a Hindu temple in Bali, which I encountered almost 20 years prior to that project.

Even “Modernism” is already a part of historical archive for me.

With “House in Fukaya”, I was offered to follow the style of Pierre Koening, who is one of the architects of Case Study Houses in Los Angeles in early 1960s. I wrote a book on Case Study Houses and my client told me to follow the style. And I completely enjoyed doing that, just like the architect of Horyu-ji in 7th century, who was offered to follow the style from China.

This co-exsistance of history and contemporariness is important for me, as a Kyoto-based architect of 21st century.

Shirish Beri:

I always look at these events as small opportunities for fostering greater brotherhood, compassion and goodness between people of different nations. Thus, I was happy to accept Mr. Ahmad Zohadi’s invitation to act as a jury member for this international design competition. Thank you Mr. Ahmad and your team for inviting me to this august gathering.

It  was  a stupendous  task  to review  the  457 design entries, each in a different context and with a different

conceptual priority.

The entries were judged on the basis of their rootedness to their context of place, culture, society, climate and also on their merit to transcend these towards the universal value of a holistic goodness in architecture. Use of appropriate materials and technology to achieve the above was also reviewed. These winning entries also had to display qualities of holistic, benevolent and sustainable architecture.

What can constitute this architecture of goodness ? How can goodness be translated in the architectural language?

This has been an important criteria for me while designing as well as while judging the entries. Thus, I always ask…. would striking a  rapport of empathy with nature bring in goodness into our architecture and then, into our lives ? wouldn’t an architecture that brings us closer to other people also bring about goodness in our lives?

can unified, holistic architectural   spaces create that ambience and goodness of bonding  with the surrounds as well as with one’s own self ?

wouldn’t a caring, compassionate and simple sustainable design evoke and spread a sense of well being and goodness in the environment ?

Can my work help in shifting of our emphasis from the measurable saleability to the immeasurable sanctity and from glossy wrappings to inner content.

when we experience ourselves as this fascinating universal energy,

we drown in its intrinsic goodness … and then …

- sound becomes music

- colours become a painting

- words become poetry

- movement becomes dance

- the formless becomes a form

- mind becomes meditation and life becomes a celebration.

 

A brief of the speech in the conference Lots of people think that virtual reality is something new, especially in building industry, but the principal of 3D was actually invented in

1838, where they took photos from a scene in different angles and by making it switch very quickly and putting it together you have a first impression of 3D. And the principal that we use today is actually still the same but of course we have been through some kind of evolution. Nowadays there are virtual reality rooms, which are called caves. You can step inside them and walk in a building that is not yet built and this is exactly what we have built in our headquarters in Belgium at the Reynaers aluminum and our caves are called Avalon. And for us using this tool in a business context is really important because it’s a tool where you can have a conversation and a bound with the stakeholders. And next to that the resolution that we can achieve is way higher than be achieved with the mobile devices, so the details can be watched closely. The benefits

of virtual reality are that a lot of time and money can be saved and also many mistakes can be avoided. It can be used in architecture, collision detection, real estate, training, simulation, etc. On a daily basis we have building teams over to our premises to visit Avalon with a project or they just send it to us, sometimes it's the architect that brings the investor of his design, sometimes architects bring the  general  contractors or  clients  of the  design to discuss a technical detail and so on. For example a hospital that used beam structure in Belgium first tested their project structure in Avalon and the cutting mistakes has been reduced to 2 percent, a percentage that used to be 50 percent before using Avalon.

 

 

 


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