Paradigma Ariadné I N T E R N A L I Z I N G
T H E
R EJ E C T E D
S e n s i t i z a t i o n Tra i n i n g t o Em b ra c e t h e H u n g a r i a n C u b e MARCH 2020
500.000 Hungarian cubes are out there inhabiting the
isolated projects aimed to understand the meaning, the
Hungarian landscape. While the quantity is massive,
representation and the aesthetic qualities of the cube
the impact of the 500.000 pieces totally avoided
house on a theoretical level. The exhibition dives into
the Hungarian architectural culture. Thinking and
this banal piece of Hungarian architecture and reframes,
discussing the cube house is still not a thing. Rejection
rescales and recontextualizes it. We aim to pull it out
and ridicule surrounded this piece, and only few
of its social, and political circumstances where most of the debates evaluate and interpret it. This will be a sensitization training
pure geometry, ornamentation and diagram of the Hungarian cube.
Paradigma Ariadné is a Budapest based
unrestricted either by means or dimension, the founders of which, when working and thinking about architecture, employ a wide range of instruments offered by their professional praxis and address the built environment in the context of the market. This is why the clients of
individuals, institutions, companies, and local governments as well, allowing us to assist and to provide ideas and understandings wherever processes either taking place in or creating a built environment require
knowledge. Hence, the knowledge produced at Paradigma Ariadné can take a variety of forms. Our activity comprises architectural and urban design as much as strategic guidance and cultural management regarding space-related issues. The work we do may result in a building, a furniture, an event, or even a book.
© Paradigma Ariadné
Paradigma (Attila Szabolcs
Dávid Smiló) In the first days of March 2020, members of the curatorial team of Magazin sat down with Attila Róbert Csóka, Szabolcs Molnár and Dávid Smiló (Paradigma Ariadné) to have a conversation about their exhibiton in Vienna and their architectural practice in general.
“Greek legend insists that Daedalus was the first architect,
but this is hardly the case: although he built the Cretan
Paradigma Ariadné is based in Budapest. What does it
labyrinth, he never understood its structure. He could
mean to start an architectural practice in Hungary?
only escape, in fact, by flying out of its vortex. Instead it may be argued that Ariadne achieved the first work of
architecture, since it was she who gave Theseus the ball
What has become more and more clear to us is that we
of thread by means of which he found his way out of the
are facing some kind of problem in the post socialist
labyrinth after having killed the Minotaur”
region. It is rooted in the contradiction that this region is not completely hidden, but it is also not really visible. It
Beatriz Colomina, Architectureproduction, In: This is not architecture:
is a kind of in between situation. This issue is not really
Media constructions, Edited by Kester Rattenbury 2002. Routlegde
coming from the problem of production of knowledge
London; New York
related to architecture, but more from the lack of means of distribution of this knowledge. Many things are
Paradigma Ariadné is led by Attila Róbert Csóka, Szabolcs
happening here, many ideas come to life, but very few
Molnár and Dávid Smiló.
hit international recognition, since there are no proper hubs with international impact in terms of architecture – maybe the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in Ljubljana and Strelka Institute in Moscow, but that’s it. Two international hubs in seventeen countries. This is something that we have to deal with day by day. I don’t know what is happening in Vienna actually, but Austria is part of the whole architectural and cultural market that exists since the Second World War, as I see it. Maybe you have different experiences, as you are part of this network, but my impression is that Austria is part of the discussions and representations of what we call European architecture or European and Transatlantic architecture. In opposition Hungary or the whole Central European 3
Photo: Balázs Danyi
Region are not part of this network. The connections
on and probably for the last time it was internationally
here are not that deep and diversified. That is why we
crucial in the 1960s and early 1970s with the Viennese
started to realize that the success of our studio is also a
avantgarde in architecture. But that has been a long
professional as well as a political question or a question
time ago, which means that Viennese architecture has
of the politics of the profession of architecture.
had a peripheral role for a long time.
I think that we would agree that Hungary is out of this
Or Northern Italy is also some kind of hub, with Milano
network. This obviously has historical reasons stemming
and Genova and so on.
from the Cold War. So, what happens as a consequence of this non-representation or non-distribution of
knowledge, which at the end means a missing reception
Yes, there are a few! Also, Zurich, I would suggest. And
of ideas from the outside, seems to be an increasing
then in order to have a prolific architectural scene a
pressure to import concepts in the hope to somewhen
combination of things seems crucial on different levels,
enter the sphere of representation at least through
which obviously have to go beyond the ambitions of
that. But in return that makes the conditions for the
single offices, but are interrelations between universities...
production of knowledge even more difficult. In a way it is a vicious circle…
Jerome ... exhibition institutions and so on.
Dávid That is true for Central and Eastern Europe.
Dávid On this we totally agree, I think. What I have described
above does not affect our everyday business. It is only
The other thing is that also in the European and
some kind of background that we cannot avoid to
Transatlantic architecture scene, as you call it, the
consider, which is also a drive for us. Let’s make an
production of knowledge is very unevenly distributed,
example: When we were invited to an exhibition space
because it mainly has its centers. London, for example,
for architecture called MAGAZIN in Vienna and we
where you have so much attention by just being based
had to decide what kind of exhibition we were going
there… You have the opportunity of being able to teach
to present there, we had this kind of debate: We can
your own agenda at a very young age, you have a media
present what we think of architecture today in a wider
apparatus that is internationally central, you have
international term or we can choose a topic from our
several exhibition formats that show the work of young
cultural background to distribute, about which we think
practices and so on. These are all aspects that are also
that it could be interesting internationally or that can
structurally missing in Vienna at the moment. Vienna
be presented in a way, that is interesting. I am very
has obviously been a historical centre during Viennese
happy that our exhibition “Internalizing the Rejected.
Modernism, for the achievements of Red Vienna and so
Sensitization Training to Embrace the Hungarian Cube” was an experiment for this, but I see it as a first try to show something from here, which could have consequences abroad. But I doubt about the success of this attempt. This is my reflection of our exhibition at MAGAZIN. Matthias What you did is an attempt to open a discourse on the cube house, which is currently missing. Conceptually that is a very interesting decision.
Dávid That cannot be a mission – maybe that is too big of a word –, but a task for an architecture firm. But in the end, this remains an institutional problem for sure, that we as a firm cannot solve. The problem that there is no international scene in Budapest today. Not even in the closest capitals, Ljubljana or Bratislava… 5
And we do not want to hide our frustration about
You mentioned that the way you think about your
this. The feeling that we don’t have the institutional
exhibition at MAGAZIN changed a lot in the past months,
background in Budapest can be transformed into a
also in relation to your Venice Biennale exhibition
feeling of being responsible for creating it. This feeling
“Othernity – Reconditioning Our Modern Heritage” for
of responsibility is often misinterpreted as an eager of
the Hungarian pavilion. How would you describe this
being visible though. Nevertheless, the truth is that we
just would like to join that ecosystem, that network or stream, in which we want to find ourselves and be able
to add our knowledge to.
One thing that is very identical for both exhibitions is the process in which they were idealized and realized.
It is quite the same for us in case of every project.
If there is no hub around you, then be one.
Our office is like a special machine in which you can drop regular, rejected or boring things and something
creative and theoretical will come out of it. From this
This very much explains your broad spectrum of
point of view the exhibition at MAGAZIN introduced
agendas. Paradigma Ariadné is not a conventional
this process. The cube house, to be honest, is a boring
architectural office. You have organized conferences, you
thing and we tried to fill its boredom with meaning.
have done publications, you have done radio shows, you
Compared to this production method the creation of
are curating exhibitions… Out of this context of being a
the exhibition in Vienna was very Paradigma Ariadné.
bit stuck in Budapest and not having these established
Because we decided: Ok, let’s have the cube house,
platforms of discourse that are a few hundred kilometers
on which we started to think previously as we had a
away, like for example here in Vienna.
commission for the transformation of a cube house, which was not realized. And we said, let’s turn back to
that, because when we had those discussions about that
exact design process, we had so many thoughts on how many different outcomes could be generated out of the design process. Discussions about how many different 7
Photo: Balázs Danyi
format. I see missed opportunities here. Everything was there, but as a visitor you had a hard time to pick up all the different threads and stories, because every object introduced some different content. I am not sure that we would do the same exhibition today. Jerome The way you managed to connect real projects and commissions with the topic of the cube house is really interesting.
neither retrospective nor thematic, but people were able to get to know Paradigma Ariadné and different aspects of your approach towards architecture in general. Dávid Yes,
question for me is whether anyone really had that feeling or experience you just mentioned, when they visited the exhibition. This is the thing on which I am not sure. I do hope that it was the case. Szabolcs representations we can see in the same plan. This was
I am not sure if this is the role of an exhibition on the
the content that we have tried to transform into an
spot. I mean, for me an exhibition just gives something…
exhibition at MAGAZIN. In the end, I feel it was more
Some inspirations, some references, some ideas, but I
our practice that was represented in the exhibition, not
wouldn’t go deeply into the topic right there, because it
only a single topic. But if I would like to be honest, this
is not the place for that. However, I can leave the place
was our first attempt to do anything with this format:
with a tremendous new input. That’s why on the surface,
an exhibition in a space for architecture in a European
I guess, the exhibition did look quite interesting – it could
capital. And in this term, it was a learning process for us
have been better of course –, but the fragmentation and
as well: how big can an installation be? And so on. We
saturation of the content did not help the reception.
have learned all of this by now. Attila Róbert Csóka Szabolcs
I am not afraid to say that in a way we are superficial in
I want to say it somehow differently, but in a way that I
our topics. I mean, we know many things about the cube
think we all would agree on: contentwise it was a great
houses, but we are not experts or researchers. We know
exhibition. We really agree on that. So, the theoretical
a lot about them, but only if we compare our knowledge
content was quite interesting, vivid and I would say
to anyone who knows nothing and to anyone who does
exotic, but the quality of the exhibition wasn’t matched
not care about them. That’s why we seem like experts…
to the content. And that is just one side of the problem
Also the other topics that we address in the studio, those
and the other one is that we always do much more then
which are related to the postwar heritage for instance, are
is needed. So, for example, maybe not every wall of every
coming from this lack of books, magazines, institutions
room needs some kind of different medium or different
and everything else. There would be many interesting
content or has to represent a different part of our theory.
topics in Hungary, but they are completely missing the
I don’t want to say the commonplace that “less is more”
academic or professional care; so many valuable things
– because we don’t agree on that in our practice –, but
that are under the radar. I am not saying that this
somehow we should have matched the content to the
interest of ours is fueled by some inner frustration, but 9
Photo: Balázs Danyi
I experience the problem of untold and hidden stories
discipline. Many different architectural roles exist in the
day by day.
European scene that architects or students can follow. But in Budapest the academy hasn’t got the ability to
introduce its students to the different paths that could
But you are not historians of architecture, you are
be followed by an architect… For us, our practice is a
architects interested in the history and the discourse
kind of searching for these possibilities. Exactly the
of architecture. So, in order to do discoursive openings
things we discussed: where is the line between being
related to the history of architecture you don’t have to
an art historian and being an architect? And if we are
be historians of architecture.
architects, how far do we have to go with one specific topic like the cube house? Do we have to do research?
And if we do research on the cube house, how should
That is right.
we represent it? What is the right format to represent it as an architect? That’s why European architects from the
1960s and 70s, like Hans Hollein for instance, are super
But somehow in our context in Budapest we are really
inspirational for us. They are showing us some kind of a
black sheep by entering into the field of architectural
way of how to represent research simply in one drawing,
historians as architects. I would not say that we don’t
in one collage or in other media. And that is what we
enjoy this role, but again this voluntarism regularly
tried in our exhibition about the cube house.
ends up in being bad-mouthed. Attila Dávid
It is exactly what you have said Matthias, the opening
Yes. What you have described Matthias about the role
of a discourse. This is still a topic. It is still not finished.
of architects in relation to the role of architectural
Someday one of my friends came and asked me, if there
historians is the way the wider European discourse is
is any kind of typology on how to renovate the cube
approaching this question. They do separate things
houses. And the answer is no. It is still not done, yet.
represented by different media, but somehow the topics
Maybe we have to do it, because nobody else in Hungary
can overlap. This seems to be really clear abroad, but
will do it. Inevitably we will have to do it.
not in Hungary: that the architect can relate to history without being a historian – even in a pseudoscientific way. Szabolcs ... pseudo-scientific or speculative. Even the vocabulary of the Hungarian language
is missing some important words. This is something we experience, when we try to understand and express what is really happening, for instance, with a lot of the rebuilding and
The politician can talk about the representation and the means of the building, the journalist can write about the prices and the new program, the historian discusses the related historical materials and the accuracy of them, while we as architects are not able to express complex architectural interpretations. Dávid Yes,
rooted in the pluralism of positions within
Map of projects ; © Paradigma Ariadné
The fact that we are talking about these topics and
Yeah, for sure! So, we have the topic of the cube house
issues really shows Eastern European symptoms. I
and we moved the ideas and discussions, which we
mean, the problems of our society, our education, our
had for the commissioned transformation of a cube
architectural discourse are deeply connected even in
house into our “House with a Hundred Rooms”. That
this short discussion. It definitely is an important and
is completely different visually and has no similar
difficult subject. These questions are rarely topics of
spatial qualities, but the discussions that we had during
discussions, which is quite funny and demoralizing at
the design process of “House with a Hundred Rooms”
the same time.
– which was inspired by the Hungarian peasant house – also involved ideas about the cube house. Like what is
the difference between the peasant house and the cube
Anyhow the context is complex. Not something that
house? And these conversations moved forward into
a visitor could understand while walking around our
the “Internalizing the Rejected” exhibition and probably
exhibition at MAGAZIN in Vienna. Probably a proper
will move further in the future. This is very typical for
research would have been better. But, one thing that was
us: when we have one idea that we try to express in
mentioned by Attila is important: our relation to the
something that is a building, it can move forward to an
cube houses is continuous as a project in the studio. This
exhibition and maybe forward into a research after 10 years. Attila I also wanted to mention the “House with a Hundred Rooms”, because it is quite easy to understand. And what we brought to MAGAZIN was not easy to understand. This is the main difference, as I see it. The “House with a Hundred Rooms” is easy to understand, because every thought that we had about that plan is represented in the one simple plan of the house. So, maybe if we would have summed up our thoughts in this case and brought only plans developed by us of a cube house, it would have been much clearer. Szabolcs Or it could have many layers of understanding. For example, our exhibition “Face, Pool, Two Towers and Ruin” that was realized in Veszprém was a great success, because of its multiple meanings. It has something on the surface that everybody can enjoy and understand; everybody can relate to these strange objects in the middle of the Haszkovó housing estate. They are crazy furniture that you can sit on. But on a higher level, it was also an exhibition with a reflection on socialist housing estates and their problems and qualities, while it has some impact on the social relations within these built environments as well. With this project we succeeded
diagram that I am showing to you now is something
in providing complex reflections in combination with
that we did after our exhibition.
a format that is easier to digest. Of course, I think the
format here helped us a lot, because with an installation
Wow, it is even framed!
everybody tries to make a connection. “It is there, because they put it there intentionally”, people think. With a
building it is another story. I think that with a building
Yes, we told you that we are searching for formats.
you have to penetrate a very thick wall of indifference at first, while your tools are often quite limited and passive.
Jerome Hahaha, amazing!
Dávid For instance, the fake yellow ruin, which was our 13
Face, Pool, Two Towers and Ruin; Photo: Balázs Danyi
Two Towers and Ruin” exhibition previously was also an idea for MAGAZIN. It was on the table when we had our meetings of what to present at your exhibition space. The topic of ruins and the topic of “bringing the past into the present” are relating to what we are experiencing today here in Budapest. Under Viktor Orbán many old buildings are being rebuilt, as
call them old architecture, fake old architecture or Disneyland even, but the term of the ruin maybe can help us to understand what is happening, when we rebuild a building that once existed in the past and was demolished. Is it fake or is it real? Does it have new qualities? This kind of discussions were represented in that object. And finally, we introduced them at another exhibition, which was organized by ourselves. Attila This topic is very much about the general existence of an
MAGAZIN was the idea of establishing a similar kind of
architectural piece or building. Through the concept of
gallery in Budapest. But very soon we realised that the
the ruin we can imagine a different kind of architecture
problem would not be to find a proper space, but the fact
of the past or for the future.
that there is no international audience in Budapest. We think that it would be much more difficult to initiate a vivid discourse in Budapest compared to Vienna.
Matthias I really hope that we can talk about this again after your exhibition “Internalizing the Rejected” has been shown
And on the other hand, we see that there are more and more young and interesting architects in Budapest. So,
there is still the question of how to contribute to the
There was the idea of showing it also here in Budapest,
local architectural scene in a way that would be able to
but due to the preparations for the “Othernity” exhibition
energize the existing community.
at the Hungarian pavilion at the Biennale in Venice, which we are curating together with Daniel Kovács,
there was no time to do it yet.
We are going to be five years old next year.
After your discoursive opening in Vienna it seems really
Ok, so there will be a big party?
important to also show it in Budapest and to see the Dávid
reception of it. It hopefully has some follow up…
A big party, yes. And I would be happy if we would soon Dávid
be able to consider new perspectives for Paradigma
We would also be very curious about the reactions. That’s
Ariadné, as for the moment, the situation of our studio is
one thing that we are probably going to do as soon as
still very problematic. Especially if we compare ourselves
we have the time for it. I think that we will manage
to other young European offices, which are successfully
to find a space for this exhibition in Budapest. And
working on their specific architectural agendas in a very
another thing that we discussed after our exhibition at
confident way. 15
House with a Hundred Rooms; © P a r a d i g m a A r i a d n é
But I think you are.
It is true that since about 15 years it is also quite common in Hungary that you spend one or two years of your
studies abroad. But in the end, there was something
Yes, in a way we are. But there are still many issues we
else that was crucial for us. We had the luck to join
would like to talk about. And if we do an exhibition
the “Advanced Architecture College” here in Budapest,
at a gallery for instance, we don’t want to address this
which is part of a specific Eastern European system of
“missing the international network problem”, because
“Advanced Colleges”. These colleges are realized in a
this is not our contribution to architecture. We need to
self-governmental system that is led by students. This
find other ways of communicating those things, that
is where we have worked and learned a lot beside the
we would like to change. It could be a kind of hidden
university. We actually established ourselves there and
project behind those many cool projects that we are
tried to compensate everything that was missing at the
already able to do and which are represented on our
university. There were opportunities to organise lectures,
online platforms in a confident way and contribute to
tours and exhibitions. This enabling structure of the
the contemporary discourse.
college has been a starting point for us to establish our own studio in Budapest. And as you can see, we exported
a lot of activities and attitudes into our practice. What
What we also wanted to discuss with you is the fact that
we did as students in an NGO we now do within the
all three of you studied in Budapest. In comparison with
framework of the free market. It needs a lot of planning
other young offices from Eastern European countries
and working to find the place and time for these
– for example those studios that you invited for the
activities, but – as we define architecture – it is definitely
“Othernity” exhibition –, it is quite unusual that none
a very integral and needed part of our practice on the
of you studied at least for one or two semesters at a
long run as well as on an everyday scale.
university abroad. I think this is a very interesting fact, also in relation to the very different educational system
that you have in Hungary.
What about your fellow students? Where did they end up? Dávid There are a few of them, who share taste and ideas with us. And there are some other really good studios that have international qualities like Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, GUBAHÁMORI or Tamás Bene. But – and what I am going to say is not really kind – no one else seems to realise the difficulties that our generation is facing regarding the problem of the lack of international reputation in the Central European Region region. That’s maybe the real difference between us and other young architects in Budapest. Not necessarily the quality of design. And again, it is a very grandiose statement from me, but we have been the only ones who started to work on changing this “networkless” situation with all the resources we have at Paradigma Ariadné. This is a dedicated project in our studio. We had some discussions with the other architects of our generation and they seemed to accept the situation as it is and maybe they wait for someone else to represent their work internationally. But we think that we cannot wait 20 years or more until someone does this job. This is something we share with all those emerging studios from other Central and Eastern European countries, whom we invited to the “Othernity” exhibition of the Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. We understood that we are all together in a similar situation. So, we realised that it is not only us at Paradigma Ariadné, who are 17
Photo: Balázs Danyi
suffering from this isolation. Hence the workshop we
between 10 % and 15 % are working as freelancers and only
had together with those studios soon turned out as a
a very small number of architects are able to establish
kind of Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where you had
an office on their own. And even there we could make
the chance to realize that you are not alone with your
a difference between collectives, loose cooperations or
problem and that there is hope. That’s the reason why
strictly speaking offices or Ltd’s. In our opinion it is
we see ourselves region-wise instead of country-wise.
crucial to be a Ltd. if you would like to take yourself seriously on the market. But as we see internationally
there are a lot of constellations in which an architecture
And during this collaboration with other studios from
studio could work. So, we always like these encounters
Eastern Europe we experienced a shared understanding
when we can speak about these frameworks with our
and shared values in terms of the architectural language
fellow friends from everywhere.
we use to design. It was easy to be understanded and vice-versa we easily understood the other’s concepts
and approaches to architecture. But if we consider only
But on the other hand, there are changes. The big
the Hungarian scene, then we don’t have these easy
difference between the group of young Hungarian
connections, in which we understand each other right
architects and the previous generation of architects in
approaches to the definition of what is inside the realm of architecture and what is outside of it. Maybe our frustration comes from this issue, that we would like to internalise everything into architecture, like exhibitions, research and so on. These are all part of possible architectural activities, as we see it. Whereas the common thinking in Hungary is that architecture is a realized building and
building is the only thing we have to reach for, if we would like to play a role as architects. I think this is the main aspect that changed for us during our years at the “Advanced Architecture basically
ourselves that introduced us mostly to the Anglo-Saxon architectural culture, thanks to several teachers who had experiences abroad and brought this knowledge to Hungary. Szabolcs In this context we saw that “building away. So, it was crucial for us to establish our own studio
an idea” can be the main goal, instead of realizing a
and search for friends internationally. It is not possible
building. Realization just helps to make the idea bolder.
to work for a good international office in Budapest and
It is something that we always have to say, that our
do interesting projects next to it as a freelancer, like
understanding about the architectural content is not
many young firms do it across Europe. We had to take
differentiated. On the same shelf we can put the building
full responsibility from the beginning. There was no
itself, a text about it, the study about its concept and a
photo documentation of the building. And if you do not approach architecture in this way, then you simply
miss a ton of great opportunities, where you could make
To come back to your question: in Hungary about 80 %
architecture. It is interesting how the references that
of our generation are working in architectural offices,
we got about this attitude – not just from abroad, but 19
from Hungary as well – are mostly from the 1970s and 80s. There were numerous projects, where you simply cannot make the distinction between formats and outcomes. Of course, these examples did not become the integral part of the education – from where you could easily pick up these interesting threads or patterns – or even the canon. This was just an “episode” according to the Hungarian understanding. Matthias András Weiszkopf was telling me that in order to habilitate in Hungary and to become a professor at a university you need to have something like sixty realised buildings that are relevant for your field of research. It seems that the academic structure is still one that didn’t adapt to the actual situation at all. Attila And not only the academic structure. When we participated in the competition for curating the Hungarian pavilion at the Venice Biennale together with Daniel Kovács, we had to present our concept to a jury of the Ludwig Museum of Budapest – they are responsible for the Biennale exhibitions in Hungary. And the main question that we got after we presented the theoretical concept of our proposed exhibition was: how many buildings have you realised already? Matthias You should buy a cube house and extend it.
Jerome What did you tell them?
Attila This idea is on the table.
Dávid None. Zero.
Dávid We have also decided to search for investors…
Jerome And how did you get the commission?
Szabolcs How much money will you invest Matthias?
Dávid There was a huge debate in the jury. Only one vote made the difference. It made it possible for us to curate the
Hungarian Biennale pavilion. But right after we won
the competition, they told us again that we are just engineers… So, they don’t understand our role, not even
the role of the Venice Biennale exhibition…
We are working on development strategies, this is true. In order to see more ways of how to change the situation,
but this is one thing that we discussed so many times
The other competitor was also mentioned as a great
with other studios here in Budapest and not yet really
engineer – they don’t mean this as a compliment…
with studios from the rest of Europe. Probably we will have a chance to meet many of them at the Biennale…
This is one thing that I am curious about, as a research
But on the other hand, the question is valid. So, we
topic, let’s say: how does it feel to be a young architecture
have not realized a building yet. For us, the biggest
studio or a young architect in the European scene? I am
challenge will probably be to transform all these ideas
also curious about how do you feel in Vienna, because
and concepts of our pre-commercial architecture studio
when we met for the first time, I remember that you
period into buildings. We will see.
were telling us about the opening of MAGAZIN and the 21
Photo: Balázs Danyi
institutional situation of architecture in Vienna, which
tight budget and it could obviously be much better,
had similarities to ours in terms of the conservativism of
but at least it allows us to run an exhibition space of
the academic scene. Maybe the register is different and
contemporary architecture like this, which would be
the level of canonization is much higher in Vienna, than
impossible in a lot of other European capitals. Artists
it is in Budapest, but it looks like that to step forward to a
started to open these independent artists run spaces
next level may be difficult too. What is your motivation?
here in Vienna. By now there are more than 50… Through
How do you see your activities?
them we realised that there might also be the possibility of funding architecture exhibitions. At the moment we
are the only exhibition space that does solo exhibitions
I think the situation is not that bad as you experienced
with younger architects in Austria, but also in Europe
it in the beginning of establishing your studio. And
there are only very few.
still, it seems to us that there has not that much been going on for the last 10 or 20 years in Vienna,¬ which
might also be true for the whole of Austria. Even though
Is there any international funding that you can get or is
there is a connection to the international discourse,
there only Austrian funding?
we feel that for several reasons there has been a lack of relevant contributions from the local architectural
scene. The start of MAGAZIN can be read as a reaction to
At the moment we only get funding from Austrian
this lack of contributions. A balance between local and
international positions therefor is an important aspect of our program. In addition to this, we also had the
impression that an independent, non-institutionalized
As an office it happens that you have nothing to do for a
space for exhibitions and discussions could add an
long time and then suddenly it flips over to the opposite
important layer to the current landscape of architectural
and you have too much to do and no time anymore for
media in Vienna and Austria.
anything else. Do you have a strategy to deal with this?
The public funding is still ok. We are always on a very
One format that we would like to sustain is to keep
Photo: Balázs Danyi
up the theoretical part of the studio, while we have
management issues, it is important that quality work is
to manage an eight-hour day with an office of eight
produced even without us. Now we are experimenting
people. This is one thing that we also have to “design” in
with different approaches to solve this situation. Or
the future: how are we going to manage to have the time
another question is: if you read a publication or watch
to read the latest sparky publications, review the newest
a presentation on YouTube or listen to a podcast, then
thing from the AA and so on? This is the main issue
how is it possible to transfer that knowledge to other
that drives us and these discussions that we have about
colleagues in the office and to make that personal
upcoming theoretical phenomena are the happiest part
knowledge into a common one? In this way, I think, we
of having a studio.
would like to be a kind of studio, where not everything comes from us, but there is a common spirit, which is
based on us and that spirit drives our colleagues to do
I think there is another key aspect, which is how to not
things that are Paradigma Ariadné-ish enough. Now it is
set up boundaries. We did not really set up or specialize
true that mostly every idea is coming from us, because
in anything, therefore we are able to use this diverse
we are on a level with eight people, on which it is
flow of the projects to make interesting connections
working. But there will be a certain level in the future,
and synergies, from where we always can get new
where we have to enjoy all the visions of our studio or
momentums and inspirations. So, I think that we are in this constant process, where we are designing or searching what our vision really is and right now it is not really an exact “thing”. However, we try to manage our resources in a way that we always have a project that not necessarily has to come from the market. So basically our strategy is to avoid to do nothing. We always come up with something, if there are a few days that are free. We do some research, look at an old idea that can be reconsidered or just have the mission to find something, make a library… This stuff always gives us something, from which we are able to do another step. Dávid What makes it possible to set up these boundaries that we are working with seems to be the pricing that we can have for our design work. So, if you can raise the level of your pricing, then maybe you have more time to do something else, which, in a very profane way, we can call innovation. Innovation that is priced into our design processes. This is a way how companies in any other economic sector deal with their wish for innovation. This is one thing that we do not want to hide anymore from our clients. We do innovation in our design processes and this is good for our clients. If we can persuade them in this point, it helps us to extend our boundaries regarding our activities. Jerome
sustain a system that creates visions without us.
Another important issue in your way of working seems to be a very constant staff in the office. The people you
are employing or collaborating with are mostly working
And we also know that to learn every aspect of our job, to
with you since a few years already, right?
learn to sustain this system that Dávid mentioned and even to learn how to make better exhibitions, it simply
takes time. One thing I wanted to mention is that the
Yes, and the key issue with that is to sustain a system in
older generation always tells us that it needs ten years
an office that can promote the quality of the work. This
to build up your office. After four years I think that we
is a question for us now, because if we do not have the
can see what kind of difficulties we still have, because
time during a week to draw a simple line, because of
our office is only four years old and next to successes, we 25
Photo: Balázs Danyi
also have failures. The biggest challenge we are facing now is the exhibition of the Hungarian pavilion at the Biennale. We are really curious what will happen and how we will live through all this.
And there is one more thing that I want to say
about the knowledge within our studio: I think it is really important that this knowledge is evenly distributed right now, so that not only one person knows everything and not only he or she can talk about us. An office needs this common knowledge, if it should run in a sustainable way. Dávid That is how we even started to communicate with ourselves. We are not a place where you can work on different projects one after another, but Paradigma Ariadné, as a whole, is a project that we are all working on and everyone has to give his knowledge into this and everyone has the responsibility to raise the level of knowledge within the studio. Matthias That is also very nicely represented in the exhibition, because you had the historical part in the largest room, then you had the design parts with the big installation and the patterns you designed and then you also had the research part. And you could go in circles… It is a hermeneutic circle. Dávid That is how it started and I think it is quite unique too. The ecosystem that we presented at the exhibition was very identical to us.
M A G A Z I N . Ausstellungsraum für zeitgenössische Architektur Weyringergasse 27/i A- 1040 Wien firstname.lastname@example.org architektur-im-magazin.at
ist ein Ausstellungsraum für zeit-
genössische Architektur in Wien, der von Jerome Becker, Matthias Moroder und Florian Schafschetzy geleitet wird. Das MAGAZIN fördert vor allem junge Architektinnen und Architekten aus dem In- und Ausland, die dabei sind
Architekturprojekten bereits ein eigenes Arbeitsprojekt abzulesen ist. Das MAGAZIN präsentiert die Arbeit dieser vor allem jungen Architektinnen und Architekten in eigens für den Ausstellungsraum konzipierten Einzelausstellungen und rundet diese mit dazugehörigen Publikationen sowie Vorträgen ab.
Breite Gasse Publishing, 2021 1070 Wien, Breite Gasse 3/2 ISBN: 978-3-9504111-7-1 Schriftarten: modum, RNS Miles
Für Ihre Unterstützung möchten wir vor allem dem 4. Wiener Gemeindebezirk, der Stadt Wien sowie dem Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlichen Dienst und Sport danken.