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Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura

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The Biennial

Architecture is at the same time a language of art and of reason. A meeting of science and artifice.

Historically, it has been fortified by the nutrients that germinate in the limits.

It inhabits the crossroads between different cultures and identities; the intersection between nature and landscape, with the human sense of order; the blurred boundaries between reality and dreams; the threshold questioning the internal and the external; constantly investigating form as a response to function, without renouncing the ideal of beauty.

Nowadays, Architecture is at a difficult juncture, trying to address the challenges of a new technological and multicultural modernity which has become extremely difficult to understand and manage.

At the start of the 21st Century, inequality has proven to be a new pandemic. The recent socio-economic crisis has shown its gloomiest face with corrosive trails of poverty and exclusion, shifting the boundaries of what is socially acceptable and humanly desirable to truly unanticipated extremes. It is a problem that is seriously jeopardising the essential pillars of our civic identity at the present time.

Elaborate? Adapt? Rethink? Start anew?

Urbanism and architecture are still powerful instruments capable of healing wounds and, from an intellectual standpoint, of contributing to redefine the balance required between individual and collective well-being, in the essential pursuit of the virtue of the common good.

They must help to rethink and redefine new paths enabling the design of common spaces that materialise the collective yearning to live in a society and in cities that are fairer and more balanced.

First edition

11/6/2017 – 01/31/2018

The first International Architecture Biennial to be held in Basque Country will take place in San Sebastian during de months of November and December, 2017, and January, 2018. The main days will be from November 7th to 10th.

This project was born under the auspices of the Ministry for the Environment, Land Planning and Housing of the Basque Government, through its Housing Department. Additionally, other public institutions are collaborating in the design and implementation of this first edition, such as: the San Sebastian City Council, the Gipuzkoa Regional Council, the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) through the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the Basque Country (ETSA-UPV/EHU), the Professional Association of Basque-Navarre Architects (COAVN) and the International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Tabakalera.

Furthermore, other representatives of civil society within the field of Architecture are collaborating, such as ATARI (Euskadi Architecture Culture Association), the Civic Association ANCORA, the Reflex Space, the Rezola Cement Museum, the Archivo Peña Ganchegui and the Cluster Habic.

The aim of the Biennial is to provide a forum on Architecture for scholars, professionals, university students and ordinary citizens to meet. It aspires to foster reflection and discussion on the current state of Architecture and the role of the Architect, by putting the main dilemmas and challenges currently faced by both the discipline and its professionals on the table.

The Biennial has an international focus and intents to have a multidisciplinary character. The event will be held every two years.

Although each Biennial might have one or several core topics for reflection and work, they will all be covered under the umbrella name of

Mugak / Boundaries / Fronteras / Frontières

A stimulating programme of activities, including conferences, workshops, round tables, discussions, exhibitions and guided tours, will be deployed for the duration of the Biennial. All of the activities will be free of charge and open to all citizens.

This will be an excellent opportunity to analyse and try to redefine the boundaries that link and separate Architecture to and from other academic disciplines, in an attempt to restore the humanist tradition that connects it to Philosophy, Art or Culture, whilst searching for areas of symbiosis and collaboration with Economics, Geography or Sociology, that assist in devising solutions to common dilemmas.

Mugak also aspires to break down the boundaries that circumscribe Architecture within limits that are oftentimes difficult to access and understand by the population as a whole.

Thus, inviting them to participate in the celebration of Architecture represented by Mugak constitutes an attempt to reduce the distance that currently separates Architecture from the citizenry it must serve.

The Programme is being prepared