Affirming Actions

27 March 2020, 17:00-20:00
28 March 2020, 09:00-17:00

Due to the current sanitary restrictions, the symposium is postponed to a later date.

En raison des restrictions sanitaires actuelles, le symposium est reporté à une date ultérieure.


Organised by the Institute of Architecture and the City

Chaired by Paolo Tombesi, IA, ENAC

With the participation of Toshiko Mori, New York, and Denise Scott Brown, Philadelphia

An international group of architects to debate on the challenges, the opportunities and the trajectories open to environment-aware practices in the world transitioning before our eyes.

With Carla Juaçaba, London, Rio de Janeiro / Inês Lobo, Lisbon / Rozana Montiel, Mexico City / Salima Naji, Agadir / Carole Pont, Sion / Hannah Robertson, Melbourne / Claudia Rodríguez, Mexico City / Marina Tabassum, Dhaka / Xu Tiantian, Beijing / Kerstin Thompson, Melbourne / Francesca Torzo, Genoa / Elisa Valero, Granada.

If we consider professional practice as a social construct conceived to mediate between human aspirations and environmental possibilities, what form could or should it take in architecture today, vis-à-vis the challenges this faces within the means at our disposal? 

Are there models of practice that could be seen to be more contemporary than others in light of their capacity to interpret perils and possibilities of our times? If so, are these models a continuation of established trajectories of architectural professionalism or do they imply a break with the past and the emergence of new actors?

To shed light on these issues, the Institute of Architecture and the City is organising two days of debate with a group of architects gathering at EPFL from different parts of the world, who have all shown a resolve to engage with building programs in ways that are at the same time resourceful and poetic, pragmatic and scholarly.

By virtue of their quality, their projects affirm the power of architectural agency even in conditions of limited means. At the same time, the industriousness underlying the work suggests both the need and the relevance of carrying out disciplined reflection (when not outright research) in areas that are strategic, yet traditionally tangential, to the task of the architect as conventionally understood.