Architects without Borders: Bad public spaces act like urban tumors

Architects without Borders brings together young architects interested in public space and the social impact of architecture. They focus on disadvantaged members of society, the homeless, or environmental issues. “We try to make the services of our architects available to everyone. For example, we work in the settlements of Chanov in Mostek and Bedřiška in Ostrava,” said one of the association’s founding members. Wojciech Sigmund explains. Its members are united by their interest in socially sustainable architecture. “The social dimension in architecture is so hard to grasp and imagine that it gets forgotten, but we consider it to be the most important,” says Vojtěcha, one of his other co-founders. adds Karolina Kripnerová. “You can have a well-designed ecological passive house, but it is of little use if society as a whole is not functioning well.”

According to Sigmund and Kripner, the goal of socially sustainable architecture should be to reduce community vulnerability and, conversely, to support community liberation. That’s why ABH organizes participatory architecture workshops, not just in so-called excluded places. “How a society treats its weakest members shows how mature it is,” the architect said on the podcast. This is also reflected in the layout of public spaces. “They are often designed to be comfortable, nice, new, but some members of society are neglected or outright kicked out. Compared to a tumor that is formed, the so-called gated he community.

Together with the Artyč platform, Architects Without Borders is also shooting a series of documentaries called Architecture of Coexistence. Janek Rous, an artist collaborating on the project, said in an interview, “On the surface, it shows that coexistence of groups that cannot work together is actually possible.” “For example, I hold up a mirror that reflects the relationship between the Czech Republic and refugees, because one of his films is dedicated to a center in Munich where locals and refugees coexist, which is mutually beneficial. ’” he says Mr. Rous. The podcast analyzes how and why to get involved, what’s good for the general public and the city, as well as other parts of the series dedicated to coexisting majority and Roma or homeless people.

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