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MAGAZINE 1.

CONTEMPORARY V E R N A C U L A R A R C H I T E C T U R E C N TNE MO A V E R N C OR NC TH EI A V E R N M A N A R C H I

MI PFO E R ASR T Y A C U L A R M O TR U A R YE T EP C A C U L A R I F E S T T E C T U R E


This one

magazine of my

is

part manifest.

contemporary vernacular architecture. A manifest for

A manifest for

change.

There is not only need, but also

room for change. Let’s break out of the status quo.


Questions and concerns about contemporary architecture. . This magazine contains the worries I have when I think about architecture today. It’s a magazine about the duty of the architect. It’s a magazine about the social & ecological problem. It’s a magazine about my vision and thoughts as a future architect.

Fran Pieters.


THE DUTY


OF THE ARCHITECT


Architecture WITHOUT A SOCIAL MEANING can

NO longer be considered as ARCHITECTURE

Architecture without social justification only fulfils the ego of the starchitect. It’s outdated and narcissistic, self-referential. An architect can’t work without a human or social vision. One who does, is completely detached from any reality. Architecture without social justification is about a lack of interest in society and the world we live in. Making architecture without a social meaning creates

a status quo in architecture which we can’t escape without the help of true architects. Frank Gehry once said that without the starchitects, architecture wouldn’t get media attention. But do we really need this kind of attention? Do we need to be portrayed as a shiny, narcissistic fraction of the autonomic art? I don’t think so.


STARCHITECT

starÂŚchi|tect noun // informal, chiefly , derogatory // A famous or high-profile architect // Used in a sentence: a welcome departure from the ego-driven era of the starchitect


THE ECOLOGICAL &


SOCIAL PROBLEM


THE PROBLEM OF THE UNSEEN URBANISATION People are gravitating more and more towards the cities. This is good news. Evidence shows that people are better off in cities. But this shift towards the cities creates a challenge of urbanization which we have never seen before. Alejandro Aravena calls the problem the “3S” menace: “The scale, speed and scarcity of means with which we will have to respond to this phenomenon has no precedence in history.” Aravena explains further: “For you to have an idea, out of the three billion people living in cities today, one billion are under the line of poverty. By 2030, out of the five billion people that will be living in cities, two billion are going to be under the line of poverty. That means that we will have to build a one million-person city per week with 10,000 dollars per family during the next 15 years. A one million-person city per week with 10,000 dollars per family. If we don’t solve this equation, it is not that people will stop coming to cities. They will come anyhow, but they will live in slums, favelas and informal settlements.”.

2015

x billion in cities

billion in cities poverty 2015 x billionxin x billion in poverty

2030

x billion in cities

2030 x billion x billion in cities in poverty x billion in poverty


CITIES WILL KEEP ON GROWING.

THERE WILL BE MORE FAVELLAS THERE IS NEED FOR GOOD SOCIAL HOUSING


The gap between poor and rich is big. Too big. Architecture is a privilege in countries all around the world. But we should realise that this is not logical. People with less means need our help more.


Those questions are a main problem in the third world. What’s the role of the architect in the third world? We can’t create totally new systems of cities and expect people to behave as we planned. So what can we do as an architect?


What’s sustainable? Putting tons of solar panels on the roof or use 20 cm of (possibly toxic) insulation might not be as sustainable as we think.

SO WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY ?? Architects are putting the same high rises all over the world; It’s copy-paste in China, Dubai, African cities, Europe, America…. I have serious questions about this. Not only is this kind of architecture totally not responding to peoples tradition, but it also goes against every logical thought of building in different climates

IT’S TIME FOR A NEW GENERATION OF ARCHITECTS who realises that it’s

about time to stop dreaming about prestigious glass high-rise towers in every part of the world. The obsession with the high-rise tower is not contemporary but totally outdated. Because this tower fascinationdoesn’t only neglect different cultures, but it’s also a total violation of logical climatologic thinking.


MY GOALS,


MY VISION,


MY EVOLUTION IN THINKING When I began my architecture studies, I had no idea what I was starting. I just chose this study because I wanted a creative study combined with sciences. I wasn’t really passionate about architecture at that time. So I also didn’t knew much about it. I thought architecture was all about designing the shiniest, prettiest and showiest buildings. Although I wasn’t really a fan of the typical starchitect’s work, I was convinced that I was going to build minimalistic, white, clean houses.

M Y

This thinking changed quickly. When I started reading and researching about architecture I found out that it could be so much more than only nice houses for the happy few. Real fast I began to think of myself as a social architect with a concern for the environment. Unfortunatly, not every assignment gives the freedom to really push these ideals. But I’ve noticed that the ones where I could, are still the ones I love the most.

C O N C E R N S

As already became clear in this booklet, I am very concerned about the social problems we have to deal with. The social inequality, exploding cities… There’s need for GOOD social housing and I have the feeling too much architects don’t put their heart into a social housing project. I’m also concerned about the way a lot of architects look at the ecological issue. Aren’t we overthinking and overcomplicating it?

Maybe we should turn everything around and look at it in other ways. But I truly believe WE ARE

ON THE VERGE OF A BREAK THROUGH. I have the feeling more and more young architects are thinking about social problems and are willing to search for better ways to design social housing and ecological projects. I believe contemporary vernacular architecture could help us in that search, that’s why I’ve made this manifest.


M Y

G O A L S

I am not really concerened with taking a theoretical position or developing a style. My goal as an architect is being able to help people with few means and ameliorate their living standards by using sustainable building ways with an eye for tradition without neglecting the change in the world we live in.


Fran Pieters


Contemporary vernacular architecture MANIFEST. Magazine 1.