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HONEST ARCHITECTURE: SPEECH OF SLOVENIAN PIRANESI SELECTOR MOJCA GREGORSKI AT THE 2022 PIRANESI AWARD CEREMONY


HONEST ARCHITECTURE: SPEECH OF SLOVENIAN PIRANESI SELECTOR MOJCA GREGORSKI AT THE 2022 PIRANESI AWARD CEREMONY

HONEST ARCHITECTURE
39th Piran Days of Architecture, 33rd Piranesi Award: expert speech 

  
Esteemed Minister of Culture,  esteemed organisers and exhibitors, esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues.
 
Piran Days of Architecture are an exceptional phenomenon in the Slovene and European space, chiefly due to their continuity through the years and a firm grip on the content, which does not follow global trends, mega-projects, and capital, which often rules over the market. The attendees are not lured in with pompous promotion featuring trendy star-power. Instead, the event offers a select line-up of architects who measure their projects by the quality of execution rather than by the quantity or size, as well as by a subtle relationship to the context, and by caring for the user, the message, and the permanence of what was produced. All the awarded works, even those reaching several decades into the past, continue to remain contemporary and current. Also on offer at the meeting are the November mists over Piran, the scent of the sea, casual get-together of lecturers and attendees, and long honest discussions over a glass of wine. All in all, an experience which no website, Instagram post, or YouTube channel can ever hope to replicate.
 
This year's Piran Days of Architecture - already the event's 39th outing - address the issue of Honest Architecture. Unlike so many other conferences, we don't discuss the global crisis this time, nor the environmental issues, climate change, sustainable development, sustainable mobility, the access to housing or the lack thereof, policy inaction, the conflicts between developers and architects, and legislative shortcomings. We don't concern ourselves with questions surrounding the pandemics, the past or future market crashes, or the global effects of the war. And yet, we realise that the fast pace of technological development and globalisation are accelerating us towards an unpredictable future. Stop the Earth, I want to get off! Maybe even right here, right now, in Piran. Let us, then, focus on architecture. Honestly.
 
Us, architects, have always been dedicated to our work, which is much more than just a mere profession. The increasing complexity of the contemporary world still cannot match the characteristic complexity of our discipline: the education and work of an architect encompass knowledge from the fields of technology, art, history, philosophy, music, medicine, sociology, and more. Within the multitude of information and data, of new notions and ideas, we must forever(self-)examine and look for answers. We have to follow the fast-paced technological and social changes, and ever-expand our existing knowledge - all this in order to build a new, better world. We couldn't possibly live up to these demands without the honesty towards ourselves, the work we do, the client, the space, and the society. Despite its being present in all quality works of architecture, honesty is not found either in the current or any previous Building Act, in regulation or statutory instruments. Furthermore, the translation of honesty into the language of architecture has fostered countless interpretations: Peter Zumthor engages us with his material presentation and atmosphere; to the same end, Louis Barragan employs the poetic of the composition and the expressivity of colour; with Glenn Murcutt, it's his attitude to the environment; Alejandro Aravena does it with his social conscience, and Oton Jugovec with the interpretation of the tradition - to name but a few. But honesty may also simply proceed from the sincerity of the architect's thought and their view of the world. To wit, Jože Plečnik's sincere notion, inscribed on the front elevation of complex Križanke, reads as follows: "You are here but for a short time, only your works preserve the memory of you."
 
I honestly wish you a pleasant evening full of honest thoughts inspired by the exhibition of honest architecture.
 
doc. Mojca Gregorski, univ. dipl. ing. arch.  
Ljubljana, 26st November 2022
 
photo Jadran Rusjan

HONEST ARCHITECTURE
39th Piran Days of Architecture, 33rd Piranesi Award: expert speech 

  
Esteemed Minister of Culture,  esteemed organisers and exhibitors, esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues.
 
Piran Days of Architecture are an exceptional phenomenon in the Slovene and European space, chiefly due to their continuity through the years and a firm grip on the content, which does not follow global trends, mega-projects, and capital, which often rules over the market. The attendees are not lured in with pompous promotion featuring trendy star-power. Instead, the event offers a select line-up of architects who measure their projects by the quality of execution rather than by the quantity or size, as well as by a subtle relationship to the context, and by caring for the user, the message, and the permanence of what was produced. All the awarded works, even those reaching several decades into the past, continue to remain contemporary and current. Also on offer at the meeting are the November mists over Piran, the scent of the sea, casual get-together of lecturers and attendees, and long honest discussions over a glass of wine. All in all, an experience which no website, Instagram post, or YouTube channel can ever hope to replicate.
 
This year's Piran Days of Architecture - already the event's 39th outing - address the issue of Honest Architecture. Unlike so many other conferences, we don't discuss the global crisis this time, nor the environmental issues, climate change, sustainable development, sustainable mobility, the access to housing or the lack thereof, policy inaction, the conflicts between developers and architects, and legislative shortcomings. We don't concern ourselves with questions surrounding the pandemics, the past or future market crashes, or the global effects of the war. And yet, we realise that the fast pace of technological development and globalisation are accelerating us towards an unpredictable future. Stop the Earth, I want to get off! Maybe even right here, right now, in Piran. Let us, then, focus on architecture. Honestly.
 
Us, architects, have always been dedicated to our work, which is much more than just a mere profession. The increasing complexity of the contemporary world still cannot match the characteristic complexity of our discipline: the education and work of an architect encompass knowledge from the fields of technology, art, history, philosophy, music, medicine, sociology, and more. Within the multitude of information and data, of new notions and ideas, we must forever(self-)examine and look for answers. We have to follow the fast-paced technological and social changes, and ever-expand our existing knowledge - all this in order to build a new, better world. We couldn't possibly live up to these demands without the honesty towards ourselves, the work we do, the client, the space, and the society. Despite its being present in all quality works of architecture, honesty is not found either in the current or any previous Building Act, in regulation or statutory instruments. Furthermore, the translation of honesty into the language of architecture has fostered countless interpretations: Peter Zumthor engages us with his material presentation and atmosphere; to the same end, Louis Barragan employs the poetic of the composition and the expressivity of colour; with Glenn Murcutt, it's his attitude to the environment; Alejandro Aravena does it with his social conscience, and Oton Jugovec with the interpretation of the tradition - to name but a few. But honesty may also simply proceed from the sincerity of the architect's thought and their view of the world. To wit, Jože Plečnik's sincere notion, inscribed on the front elevation of complex Križanke, reads as follows: "You are here but for a short time, only your works preserve the memory of you."
 
I honestly wish you a pleasant evening full of honest thoughts inspired by the exhibition of honest architecture.
 
doc. Mojca Gregorski, univ. dipl. ing. arch.  
Ljubljana, 26st November 2022
 
photo Jadran Rusjan

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