Articulating its scientific function and public role in a single series of events, the Braillard Architects Foundation pursues its mission based on the observation of the impact of urbanisation on the ecological balance. Called ‘Anthropocene’, the current era of our Earth during which the transformations caused by humans are becoming significant, even dominant and above all irreversible, this new human condition calls to research a new architectural, urban and landscape culture: close the environment, economical in resources, favouring biodiversity on the one hand; respectful of individuals and their cultural diversity, while taking into account contemporary technical and economic complexities, on the other hand.
In addition, the Braillard Architects Foundation is linking its 2016 programme to an exceptional occasion: the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s book, Utopia (Leuven, 1516). The English humanist would probably not have imagined to what extent this new word would find a privileged place in everyday language. Despite its setbacks, inflections, twists and failures, Utopia remains the term used to qualify all efforts to invent future-oriented frameworks, methods and visions. Across borders, cultures, and disciplines, Utopia has become one of the great sources of inspiration for many an emancipatory project.
Therefore, if the relationships between forms, functions and values of our buildings, cities and countryside need to be re-examined with regard to ecological transition, the question of the future is essential to remind us that any project for ecological balance and any ambition for controlled, measured and optimal growth can only be guided by visionary scenarios of urban life.
The Braillard Architects Foundation’s 2016 program of activities outlines a few questions relating to a dual issue – architectural and ecological – contributing to a priority debate for the coming century:
- How can we nurture the hopes of a new, resolutely ecological urban era while continuing our humanist project?
- How to transform the principles, manifestos and programmes which inspired the modernity of the 20th century into driving forces of the ecological transition?
- What will be the main aesthetic, cultural, technical and social features of the new Sustainable Utopias?
PROGRAMME OF THE SERIES
- Tuesday January 19th, 2016
Utopia and the city: after the crisis, episodically
- Wednesday February 24th, 2016
Risky objects: the sustainable gamble of the architectural project
- Wednesday April 16th, 2016
Door-to-door, a pragmatic utopia
- Wednesday April 27th, 2016
Geneva Debate 2016: Geneva territory, an open work
Adrien Besson, Alain Léveillé, Michèle Tranda-Pittion and Paola Viganò
- Tuesday May 24th, 2016
Urban solar infrastructures, a utopian manifesto
- Thursday June 23rd, 2016
What remains of the Corbusian utopia?
Round table facilitated by Sylvie Andreu, Nicola Braghieri, Rémi Papillault and Yannis Tsiomis