The exhibtion in Helsinki is open
Grzegorz Piątek about young Polish architects: The new generation is free from the uniformity imposed by the state-sponsored planning and construction machine. They can travel freely around Europe and the Internet provides a two-way communication channel: constant access to the newest images and ideas from around the world and an (eagerly seized) opportunity to show off own work. For all the freedom that it enjoys, this generation is caught up in a different type of standardisation. Context and identity are still the mantra, but the question is how does one relate to them in a meaningful and convincing way when one is free to pick from the internationally available catalogue of materials and techniques, when building regulations are increasingly international, when one is constantly aware of the latest fashions, when one designs not just for the local client, but also potentially for a global audience. After all, the local character, so cherished by the previous generation, had often been a result of constraints, an inability to ‘catch up’. The notion of identity is based on difference from the other. Perhaps the issues of context and identity have little left to do with contemporary architecture. What is left there to discuss then? Design intelligence? Honesty? Craftsmanship? Social impact? Environmental issues? Political statements? Beauty?