»Tradition is a dare for innovation.«

Alvaro Siza

Blog Agenda

Institutions Critiqued

A Copenhagen conference gets to grips with the future of the architecture center

  • Institution future?: The Danish Architecture Centre's new home from 2016 will be this OMA-designed building, the Bryghusprojektet, an “urban motor” to actively link Copenhagen's city center to its waterfront. (Image: OMA)&a 1 / 2  Institution future?: The Danish Architecture Centre's new home from 2016 will be this OMA-designed building, the Bryghusprojektet, an “urban motor” to actively link Copenhagen's city center to its waterfront. (Image: OMA)&a
  • Institution present: the DAC's current home in Copenhagen, Gammel Dok, a 19th century former warehouse, where most conference events are being hosted. (Photo: Eoghan OLionnain) 2 / 2  Institution present: the DAC's current home in Copenhagen, Gammel Dok, a 19th century former warehouse, where most conference events are being hosted. (Photo: Eoghan OLionnain)

In the gathering momentum before its 2016 relocation to the OMA-designed Bryghusprojekt, the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) is hosting a great line-up of speakers this month at its Dedicated to Architecture – Institutions as Drivers of Change conference, who will be discussing the different cultural and political agendas of architecture institutions and centers worldwide today. These will include Eva Franch i Gilabert, Chief Curator at Storefront in New York, Marc Zehntner, Director of the Vitra Design Museum, and Ole Bauman, until recently the Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam and now Creative Director of the 2013 Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale Shenzhen.  It will consider the role they play in relation to their audiences and partners - either as the communicators of an art form or as agents of change in cities and for urban policy. 

In preparation for the conference the DAC conducted interviews with some of the participants, such as Ole Bouman here on the NAI and his time there: 

“The first 20 years of NAI's existence had to do with building up the reputation of architecture as a biblical, cultural discipline ending with "The starchitect-culture" ...But then architecture itself became reduced to what a few stars made. ...in recent years the NAI and a few other institutions in the world were able to change that role. Instead of building up reputation, we built up relevance again. From reputation to relevance that is the shift. NAI became important as an act of culture.”

You can hear more from this opinionated bunch online here, and of course experience the real deal at the DAC conference, held from 17 - 19 April.

(Lastly... if you’re in the mood for a marathon week of architectural culture, you can start your spree in Berlin at the Culture:City Symposium (12-13 April) before heading off to Copenhagen!)

Dedicated to Architecture – Institutions as Drivers of Change Conference
17 - 19 April
Danish Architecture Centre
Strandgade 27B
1401 Copenhagen

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