Future Architecture Platform: Lecture by urbz


On Thursday, 16 June 2016 at 8 pm Mathias Echanove, Rahul Srivastava and Ismini Christakopoulou from urbz will deliver the sixth in a series of six lectures in Oris House of Architecture as part  of the Future Architecture Platform, titled No Future - Building the Present.

Nostalgia and speculation often accompany our gaze into the past and the future, mainly because these temporal dimensions don’t look back at us. To look at the present however is a different matter. It confronts us here and now and makes us take choices that have real consequences. For this reason perhaps the present, and building with the present is not something we see very often as a moment of reflection in discussions on architecture. In fact, in architecture, the future is both messianic - buildings are infused with the promise of change, - and full of fantasies.

However, the notion of the future itself seems to now have become redundant. We seem to have lost the future somewhere in the twentieth century. We are only left with an avenir. L’avenir is what comes to us - as opposed to the future, which we were foolishly projecting. The externalities we produced and ignored in the process are now overwhelming us.

Anticipating what comes next, requires no less creativity and foresight than drawing the future on a blank page. Our practice embraces the present – regardless of how screwed up it is – with a mix of enthusiasm and pragmatism.

Instead of inventing the ‘city of the future’ (smart or otherwise) from an academic research lab or an architects’ studio, we take the existing city as our starting point. We build by connecting one’s own expertise with the knowledge of actors who are rooted in their daily lives. We engage with the present as it exists and the actors as they behave.

URBZ is an experimental urban research and action collective.

URBZ organizes collaborative workshops, facilitates hands-on research projects, creates urban forms and concepts, and develops web content about urban space and places since 2008. URBZ believes that residents are experts in their neighborhoods. Their everyday experience of the places where they live and work constitute an essential knowledge for planning and urban development. For policy-makers, urban planners, architects and real-estate developers, accessing this knowledge is the best possible way to enhance the quality and impact of their work. Understanding a locality from the point of view of those who inhabit it improves the chances of success of a project. URBZ is engaged in communities in various parts of the world. We support individual expression, grassroots involvement and ground up development and are committed to information sharing, open access and public participation.

no future: architectural practice for the living present

Future Architecture is the first pan-European platform for architecture museums, festivals and producers, bringing ideas on the future of cities and architecture closer to the wider public.

Our goals:

- Think Future. We highlight the emerging generation of talents in various disciplines and explore and share their ideas about the future of cities and architecture.
- Exchange. 14 organisers from 13 countries create a pan-European programme, visit emerging creators and present their ideas at exhibitions, conferences, lectures and workshops, in books and on the web.
- Raise awareness. The platform makes complex issues of architecture comprehensible to everyone, and promotes a more sustainable living environment.
- Build commitment. A Future Architecture European Quality label recognizes organisers who work with aspiring emerging talents and show their commitment to the platform objectives.

The Future Architecture platform introduces and celebrates innovation, experimentation and the ideas of a generation that will design the architecture and build Europe’s cities in the years to come. It promotes European innovation, architecture, culture, knowledge and social capital through a single common platform. 

Project Manager for Oris House of Architecture is architect and curator Ana Dana Beroš.

Coordinating entity: 
Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana (SI);

Oris House ofArchitecture, Zagreb (HR)
Museum of Architecture in Wrocław (PL)
Belgrade InternationalArchitecture Week (SR)
National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome (IT)
House of Architecture,Graz (AT)
Copenhagen Architecture Festival (DK)
Tirana Architecture Week (AL)
DesignBiotop, Ljubljana (SI)
Lisbon Architecture Triennale (PT)
Ruby Press, Berlin (DE);

Associate members:
Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel (CH)
Prishtina Architecture Week (RKS)
CANactions, Kiev (UA)


The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.