Profession: Architect

WARSAW for the fifth time UNDER CONSTRUCTION? Yes, because Warsaw is a city with a lot of designing yet to be done.

For the local government this entails an endless history of problems with urban design planning, for the inhabitants – a difficult object of everyday use. Warsaw has seen a dramatic past, full of architectural ruptures and collapses.

The building process of the city has often failed in terms of logic, and new solutions have proved to be unsuccessful or non-functional. Torn, sometimes illogical matter is resistant and difficult to deal with – not every person knows how to find their way about the city and how to feel comfortable in it.

This year’s edition of the festival, entitled “Profession: Architect”, is devoted to architects and the subjects include, e.g. roles played by architects in society and their impact on the appearance and functionality of the modern city. Since the onset of the festival, architects have been an important audience as well as co-creators of WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION, however, this time, the subject under discussion is their very own work. The festival organisers also want to take a closer look at the question of ethical dilemmas inherent to the profession of architect exercised in the open market conditions.

The festival exhibition will be held at the Historical Museum of Warsaw. The Museum buildings, located in the Old Town Square, were almost completely destroyed by air raids and artillery fire in 1944. Only 105 exhibits survived the devastation of the war. More than half a century later, the Museum is “uninhabited” once again and its empty rooms are soon to be renovated and adapted for the purposes of a new exhibition which opens in a few years.

The festival will be exploring some of the unusual buildings and historical materials, such as the manifesto of the architects who worked on the post-war reconstruction of the city. The programme of the WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION festival fits into the space of the Historical Museum of Warsaw, the activities of which have aroused considerable excitement since 1936 – and alike the festival – have been targeted at the residents of the city in the first place.

WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION aims to be a practical festival and together with its participants, create a user manual of the capital city. The programme of the festival has been designed in such a way as to create a vehicle for both sharing knowledge and demonstrating ways of its practical application, but also in order to improve the quality of urban life. The purpose of the festival is to encourage people to participate in the life of the capital city and to express their opinion on its spatial design issues. As a result, the familiar problems of your own street may appear in a completely new light.