On Traveling

Two of the best outcomes of flying away from home for a short-period are the possibility to hunt for the information being transmitted through the air of cities, and then, of course, to update on those crucial personal networks of people who are creating stuff that somehow relates to your interests.

While Beyond presentations in Harvard GSD and at the Architectural Association, in London, originated very positive and challenging echoes, the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale and its Open City proposal provided fertile ground to both of the aforementioned activities.

Firstly, let’s say that the openings and parties provided abundant opportunities to get acquainted to interesting newcomers, but also to build on friendships that are actually nurtured across years of events and happenings. And this, let me tell you, is an essential aspect to any self-regarding Biennale. Secondly, there were new contents to be scrutinized – which is not always true of this kind of organizations, even in the case of the bigger and more established events.

With its stress on community and cooperation driven projects, the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale was a perfect counterpart to the eager commercial drive and dislocated self-amazement that the London Design Week still emanates… In fact, in superficially sniffing l’essence of the two events, one cannot but wonder which one is indeed talking about our effective future…

The relevant fact is perhaps that the Rotterdam event managed to be a multicultural event in a small but multicultural city, while the LDW was only the “reflection on a golden eye” of a creative world relatively happy with itself and its own small dealings – that is, a monocultural event in a multicultural megalopolis.

BrickLane

And this is why, in London, I definitely preferred the amazing liveliness of Brick Lane on a sunny Sunday morning or an independent event like Publish and Be Damned – an alternative self-publishing magazine fair pointed to me by Elias Redstone from the Architectural Foundation…

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