Archis SEE Network 2008-2013

In the period 2008–2013 Archis Interventions built a strong network of independent urban initiatives and organizations in Southeast Europe — the Archis SEE Network. In these five years it managed not only to initiate and carry out numerous projects in cooperation with local initiatives but also to promote debate and exchange between the various network members. Meetings, workshops, conferences and joint activities took place in Nicosia, Chisinau, Zagreb and Bucharest, to name but a few host cities. Given that contact between the different member initiatives and organizations is now well established the website will no longer be updated, but it will remain available online as a virtual archive of the years 2008 to 2013.

I personally am delighted to have had the opportunity to get to know so many interesting colleagues and their work during this period, and also very grateful for all the great cooperation and hospitality. On behalf of all network members I also offer most sincere thanks to the ERSTE Foundation, without whose generous support the Archis SEE Network would never have even begun its work.

Kai Vöckler, Archis Interventions

Balkan Reloaded – Lecture + Discussion

January 29, 2014
Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna (Az W)

Can the insights and experience gained by independent urban initiatives in the cities of Southeast Europe help us identify the development and qualification strategies appropriate to periods of transition and post-conflict situations? A publication covering various attempts by the Archis Interventions network in Southeast Europe to answer this question responds loudly and clearly with "Yes!" Edited by Kai Vöckler, »SEE! Urban Transformation in Southeastern Europe« (ERSTE Foundation Series Vol. 2, Vienna: LIT Verlag 2013) presents articles about local initiatives in the entire region and hopes thus to trigger not only further discussion on urban planning issues but also concrete interventions—the potential for which was explored recently, at a public launch and open forum hosted by the Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna.

Opening lecture: Kai Vöckler, Archis Interventions

In conversation with:
- Orhan Esen, Istanbul, Arkistan
- Dragan Krstevski, Skopje/London, First Archi Brigade
- Filip Radunovic, ERSTE Stiftung
- Tatjana Rajic, Kotor, EXPEDITIO
- Katharina Ritter, Az W
- Aneta Spaseska, Skopje, First Archi Brigade

Prishtina Dynamic City: Exhibition at Kosovo Museum

November 11-30, 2013
Prishtina Dynamic City Knowledge and education: key factors for the future development of the inner city of Prishtina

Archis Interventions_Prishtina (a member of the Archis Network) and Archis Interventions_SEE developed together with Hackenbroich Architects (Berlin) a strategic concept for inner city of Prishtina. The aim is to bring into public discussion the future prospects of Prishtina enabling thus relevant institutions take informed steps towards future urban development. The exhibition displays the key concept by analysing Prishtina’s potential as the capital of Kosovo, and identifies knowledge and education as the key factors for future development. The exhibition presents a preliminary study on the future development of Prishtina developed in cooperation with the Municipality of Prishtina and architecture and urbanism experts in late 2009, and forms a basis for discussion and an urban study to be developed in the future. The exhibition has been accompanied by high media attention, both press and TV (see YouTube: EXPRESS - 'PRISHTINA,QYTET DINAMIK').

Memli Krasniqi, Minister of Culture Youth and Sports in conversation with Visar Geci at the opening of the exhibition

A project by Archis Interventions_Prishtina
Authors: Florina Jerliu, Visar Geci and Vlora Navakazi (Archis Interventions_Prishtina), Wilfried Hackenbroich (Hackenbroich Architekten), Kai Vöckler and Thilo Fuchs (Archis Interventions_SEE).

Two Conferences with Workshops in Cyprus

Urban Design, Urbanism, Urban Policy – Towards a New Expertise

May 24, 2013
Home for Cooperation H4C, Nicosia UN Buffer Zone, Cyprus

Architecture and urban development have become spheres of work within an increasingly internationalized political and economic framework. The spatial design disciplines are assigned the task of developing new forms of planning able to offer the prospect of a ‘better life’ for this new spatial and power structure. This demands that planning (and architecture) be repositioned. Therefore the question arises, as to whether we will need to take new approaches in our education system. How can we combine the spheres of architecture and planning with the political and social sciences? We address this question specifically with regard to colleagues from universities in the region, who are dealing with the problems of urban transformation and post-conflict development. The aim of the conference is to establish a network and, in the longer run, a regional PhD program, supported by different universities.

The invited guests presented their existing programs and projects and contributed their ideas regarding a future PhD program on Urbanism and Urban Policy. The participants were: Kai Vöckler, HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design (moderator, opening); Petar Bojanic, Dir. Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory; PhD program Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade; Vladan Djokic, Dean Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade; Stephan Pinkau, Faculty of Architecture, University Anhalt, Dessau; Besnik Aliaj, Vice-Chancellor, POLIS University, Tirana; Sebnem Hoskara, Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University; Resmiye Alpar Atun, Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University; Socrates Stratis, Faculty of Architecture, University of Cyprus; Charis Psaltis, Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus; Stefan Ghenciulescu, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest.

In cooperation with the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), Rijeka
Supported by ERSTE Foundation

Post-Conflict Development and Civic Imagination (Divided Cities)

May 25, 2013
Home for Cooperation H4C, Nicosia UN Buffer Zone, Cyprus

Cities are plagued by social and political problems but, often—since every city is confronted not only with such problems, but also with its own potential for future development—it nonetheless, proves possible to actively encourage the residents’ optimism, in ways that go beyond the provision of basic necessities. The pivotal meaning of the city as an agent for political and social change becomes particularly obvious in a post-conflict situation. In the cases of Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Mitrovica (Kosovo) and Nicosia (Cyprus) the bodies that come up with the idea of building a communication space, or of transforming an existing building and collective memories of its past into a neutral zone for communication are not governmental, but local organizations. Activities initiated by local civil society organizations gain great importance, since they are rooted in local society and have the capacity to start a dialogue by realizing a project. Developing community centers as meeting points and spaces for communication seems to be a very important way to begin overcoming any divisions in communities. But, as the examples show, this is not enough. Strategies should be developed in order to turn communication sites into more than just meeting places, by creating activities that, in the long run, have the potential to become part of everyday life in the entire city—activities which are themselves creating a new experience of space. This topic was intensively discussed with Kyriakos Pachoulides, Nicosia, Cyprus (H4C), President of the AHDR (Association for Historical Dialogue & Research); Valdete Idrisi, Prishtina, Kosovo, CiviKos Platform; Aferdite Syla, Mitrovica, Kosovo, Community Building Mitrovica /CBM; Tina Coric, Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Abrasevic Center; Stefan Ghenciulescu, Zeppelin Association, Bucharest, Romania; Christopher Louise, Director, United Nations Development Programme Action for Cooperation and Trust, Cyprus; , Charalambos Preicleous and Fevzi Ozersay, Kontea Cultural Heritage Foundation; Katerina Antoniou, Youth Power Cyprus; Esra Can Akbil, Giorgos Psaltis, Sebnem Hoskara Archis Interventions_Cyprus and Kai Vöckler, Archis Interventions_SEE.

In collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Foundation Cyprus
Supported by ERSTE Foundation

Organisation: Archis Interventions_SEE (Kai Vöckler)
Local organisation: Archis Interventions_Cyprus (Esra Can Akbil, Giorgos Psaltis, Sebnem Hoskara)

Conference and Workshop in Bucharest

March 12+13, 2013

As part of the EE-Lab program led by Zeppelin Association and Archis Interventions, the Zeppelin Night #46 took place at the Aula Magna of the Central Library, University »Carol I« in Bucharest. The lectures by Eugen P?nescu (Planwerk, Cluj), Nicolae Lascu & Marius Marcu Lapadat (UAUIM – University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu), Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions) and Vladimir Us (Oberliht, Chi?in?u) focussed on strategies and design projects that have the potential to revitalize public space, and also gave a broad overview of current projects both in the region and in Bucharest. The following day, at a workshop attended by Zeppelin Association, Oberliht and Archis Interventions, an agenda for future collaboration was sketched out.

Conference and Workshop in Prishtina, Kosovo

February 22-24, 2013

Archis Interventions continued its series of public lectures and discussions with a conference on »Perspectives in Urban Development«, held on Feb 22 at the Modellarium, Faculty of Architecture, in collaboration with the University of Prishtina. Lectures by Andres Lepik (Technical University Munich, Director of the Munich Museum of Architecture) and Vedran Mimica (Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, USA) presented examples of innovative forms of urbanism and architecture dealing with problems of urban transformation, and were followed by a lively discussion with the audience. The public event encouraged discussion in Prishtina about the city’s future development.

Photo: Mrinë Godanca

As future development of the City of Prishtina is hampered still by a lack of vision, Archis Interventions is planning an exhibition and public campaign on this theme for 2013. Its programmatic and structural proposals for the strategic urban development of the City of Prishtina are based on the ‘Urban Vision’ worked out in cooperation with local stakeholders in 2009. A concept for the improvement and upgrade of the inner city was first developed during a workshop in April 2012, and further elaborated in the workshop on February 23/24. The workshop was attended by members of Archis Interventions, Andres Lepik and Wilfred Hackenbroich and was open to the public. The results of the workshops will be assembled and presented in an exhibition in 2013.

Supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation and ERSTE Foundation.

Conference and Workshop at Chisinau, Moldova

February 15+16, 2013

The conference »EE-Lab – Urban Activations« was held at Moldova Technical University, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, on Feb. 15. The lectures by Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions) on »Politics of Architecture – Archis Interventions in South Eastern Europe« and by Cosmina Goagea, Constantin Goagea and ?tefan Ghenciulescu (Zeppelin Association) on »Urban Activation in Romania – Zeppelin Association« were followed by a lively discussion with the audience. There then followed an interview with the local TV station, Moldova 1. The conference was organised by the Oberliht Association. The following day, Jurnal TV, a local TV station, covered Oberliht’s presentation of its recent activities, in the public space in Chisinau. The afternoon workshop was focussed on future collaboration between Oberliht, Chisinau, the Zeppelin Association/Bucharest and Archis Interventions, in the framework of the EE-Lab.

Conference on 'City. Money. Architecture.'

National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest

Zeppelin Association, Archis Interventions/SEE, DISC (Dutch Initiative for Sustainable Cities), Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) - Debates on Tour programme

How can our cities become more attractive, both for their inhabitants and for investment? By whom and how could new projects be implemented, partnerships being created, how could funds for all of this be attracted? The conference brought together professionals from different disciplines, from Romania, The Netherlands and Germany: architects, urban planners, economy and finance experts discussed possibilities and scenarios for new urban projects and business solutions together with the audience.

Moderated by Joep de Roo and Kai Voeckler, presentations were made by Gheorghe Patrascu, Chief - Architect of the City of Bucharest; Serban Tiganas, President of the Romanian Chamber of Architects; Anca Ginavar, General Director for Territorial Development, Ministry for Regional Development and Tourism Romania; Piet Van Ruler, senior partner urban development, Twynstra Gudde, Amersfoort; Prof. Liviu Ianasi, 'Ion Mincu' University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest; Damo Holt, director, Ecorys Research & Consulting, Rotterdam; Ellen van der Lei, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg; Sorina Racoviceanu, director, IHS - Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Bucharest; Eugen Panescu, architect and director, Planwerk, Cluj.

Conference and Workshop on 'Non-Aligned Modernity'

Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade (MoCAB)

The conference - whose primary focus was 'Energoprojekt', one of the world's leading construction companies, founded in 1951 and still operating globally - encompassed presentations by Marijana Vasic on the history of the company, and a study by Dubravka Sekulic of the International (Trade) Fair site in Lagos, Nigeria, which was designed in the 1970s by Zoran Bojovic, who also joined in the discussion. There followed a presentation by Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakic about a project they undertook on behalf of Energoprojekt in the 1980s, namely to design and build the Conference Centre and Sheraton Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe. The presentations and discussions provided an interesting insight into Energoprojekt's operations, and situated these in the broader context of Yugoslavia's role in the Non-Aligned Movement.

At the subsequent workshop, the 'Non-Aligned Modernity' project's future prospects were discussed with the Belgrade scholars presently investigating various examples of Yugoslav institutional policy - that of the Museum of African Art, for instance - in the light of Non-Alignment policy. The 'Non-Aligned Modernity' working group - represented at the workshop by Zoran Eric (MoCAB), Manuela Bojadzijev (Humboldt University), Jochen Becker (metroZones), Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions) - and its collaborators - the artistic duo Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber and architect Dubravka Sekulic - pinpointed the questions that need to be answered in the course of its members' on-going research, in order to make an effective contribution to global discourse on contemporary urban and socio-political developments. The group plans ultimately to compile its research findings in a joint publication.

Balkanology Exhibition at Sofia Architecture Week

Vivacom Art Hall, Sofia Architecture Week (SAW), Sofia
05.11. - 04.12.2011

In cooperation with AzW Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna and SAM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel. Organised by Architecture Center Sofia Az S (Ephgenia Hodkevitch and Boris Enev)

Curated by Kai Vöckler

The exhibition (co-curated by Vladimir Kulic and Maroje Mrduljas) focuses on the architecture of former Yugoslavia and its successor states, and on urban transformation in South Eastern Europe, by referencing various case studies from Belgrade, Bucharest, Kotor, Pula, Prishtina, Sofia, Tirana and Zagreb. Sofia is the final venue on this exhibition tour, following successful presentations in Basel (2008), Vienna (2009/2010), Bucharest (2010), and Belgrade and Podgorica (2011), where it — and the accompanying program of conferences — aroused a great deal of public interest. Curator Kai Vöckler has expressed interest in developing a new, innovative format, both in order to intensify exhibition participants' discussion of current urban transformation in South Eastern Europe, and to present their findings to a broader public.

Meeting in Mitrovica

Community Building Mitrovica (CBM), Center for Civil Society Development (CCSD), Archis Interventions
Oct. 29, 2011

In the framework of the 'Divided Cities' project, a meeting was arranged with Momcilo Arlov (CCSD), Valdete Idrizi and Afërdite Syla (CBM), in order to discuss the situation in Mitrovica and future cooperation. The representatives of the Civil Society Organisations from Mitrovica North ('Serbian') and South ('Albanian') gave a brief insight into their work in recent years, a specific focus of which has been he recently founded Mitrovica Forum. This joint civil platform for representatives of both communities is open both to members of the general public and to members of the city administration. More information about the Forum will be available in a forthcoming Archis SEE Network publication, in spring 2012.

Prishtina Project: Public Debate and Workshop

Archis Interventions, Hackenbroich Architekten
Oct. 28/29, 2011

Archis Interventions initiated and organised a public debate with architects and representatives of the Municipality on the topic of recurrent problems in the legalisation process. About 7000 applications for legalisation are currently being processed, but it remains unclear how many illegally erected buildings have still to be dealt with. Also, more illegal buildings have been erected since the registration phase ended, which calls for a new response from the Municipality. A new, additional problem is that the procedure for obtaining a building permit is still too complicated and extremely slow — in some cases it lasts several years. Furthermore, binding and coherent building legislation has not yet come into force. The overall process — legalisation per se, the enforcement of building regulations and the issue of building permits must therefore be radically reorganized. One outcome of the debate is that Archis Interventions, with the support of Hackenbroich Architekten and students of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Prishtina, will analyse selected sites in order to illustrate problematic aspects of the legalization process as well as potential solutions, and thereby make recommendations on how to improve the legalisation process and speed up the issue of building permits.

The 'Magic Blocks' Project

Zeppelin, Hackenbroich Architekten, Archis Interventions

The 'Magic Blocks' project, as presented in the SEE Archis Interventions in South Eastern Europe insert to Volume #26, December 2011 (download on culminated in various strategies, including an urban strategy focused on the 'non-space' behind the prefabricated tower blocks built as public housing in the socialist era along Bucharest's major boulevards. This 'concrete curtain' cuts off the older urban social fabric from main circulation routes. The workshop focused on strategic activation of this zone by proposing a new form of regulation, which would designate the area behind the tower blocks an intervention zone and differentiate it from the older urban fabric, which is a designated protected zone. Stimulating investment in the intervention zone and possibly also permitting a greater density of construction there - office space as well as other building types - would represent an improvement of the semi-public space behind the blocks, and contribute to preservation of the inner-city urban fabric. For this reason, important stakeholders from the municipality such as politicians and also experts from various fields are to be addressed directly. The workshop concentrated on developing this concept for public presentation.

Children's Workshop: Collecting the Children's Perspectives

Part of the Archis SEE Network Divided Cities Project
Dipkarpaz / Rizokarpaso, Cyprus (05.08.2011)
Archis Interventions Cyprus Initiative

The workshop - part of a broader program of meetings, events and workshops - was organized in cooperation with the local residents, associations and authorities of the village Dip Karpaz / Rizokarpaso, in order to read, learn from and contribute to their and our understanding and usages of space. The children's workshop was organized as one among several attempts to document children's perspectives on current conditions in the village while also providing them with a chance to re-think and evaluate their environment, and social dynamics in the village. Throughout the process they had the chance to discuss with us, among themselves, and with their families the qualities of the physical and social village environment, including cultural interaction among groups of people there. The basic aim of the workshop was to bring together the children of both communities to discuss their viewpoints on the existing qualities of the village and to envision its future. By examining the children's spatial practice within the village, it was possible to identify potential intervention spaces that all members of the society, and the children in particular generally pass by in the course of their everyday routine. Using this strategy, the project aims to identify neutral spaces and the routes taken by the youngest social group in the village, where interaction and cooperation between communities seem to be possible. Photos of the village shot by the children, as well as the drawings they made in order to explain their respective villages will be integrated in a single village map.

This drawing by a 9-year-old Turkish girl visualizes acceptance for the co-existence of the church (kilise) and the mosque (cami).

Broadcast of a TV Series about Informal Construction in Prishtina

An 8-part TV series about informal construction in Prishtina, developed by Archis Interventions, was broadcast daily from July 9-16, 2011 by the cable channel KUJTESA. Each episode dealt with different aspects of illegal construction such as safety issues, the overload of sewage systems, or neighbourhood conflict. After each episode a guest panel discussed the problems and possible solutions with TV star and co-founder of Archis Interventions/Prishtina, Visar Geci. A summary of the series was broadcast on July 16 by the KTV channel. Supported by ERSTE Foundation and produced by Pixels Productions, the TV series is part of a broader campaign to raise public consciousness of the problems caused when building regulations are ignored.

The Good Cause: Architecture of Peace

Exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA), Montreal

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents The Good Cause: Architecture of Peace, an exhibition in its Octagonal Gallery examining issues arising from the reconstruction of post-war territories. The Good Cause explores the creation of lasting peace through architecture and planning projects designed to stabilize, humanize, and rebuild cities and territories devastated by armed conflict. The exhibition questions whether reconstruction can be an instrument of peace and conflict prevention, and it highlights the complexities alongside factors of success and failure involved in this process. Conceived by the NAI (Rotterdam) and Archis (Amsterdam) and realised in collaboration with the CCA, the exhibition looks at the production of space in wartime and peacetime and presents case studies of projects undertaken with the participation of architects, planners, and architecture schools in several regions scarred by long-term geopolitical tensions: Afghanistan, Kosovo, South Africa, Rwanda, Israel, and Palestine. The Archis Interventions project in Prishtina which developed strategies on the regulation of formerly illegal construction in Kosovo and fostered improvements in the urban fabric is part of the exhibition.

Curators: Saskia van Stein, Lilet Breddels and Arjen Oosterman

Photo: The Good Cause: Architecture of Peace, installation view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 2011 (c) CCA

Archis SEE Network Divided Cities Project

Hands On Workshop
21 May, 2011, Dipkarpaz/Rizokarpaso, Cyprus

A participatory workshop organized in Dipkarpaz/Rizokarpaso, on May 21, 2011, discussed and evaluated the needs and the potential of the village itself , its inhabitants, and the broader spatial environment. The workshop aimed to bring together all the diverse communities in the village. The municipality of Dipkarpaz and local communities supported the workshop, the first participatory gathering of this type to take place in the village. However, ongoing social and political tensions made it difficult to begin work with all local communities simultaneously. Therefore, the Hands On Workshop on May 21 was focussed initially on the Turkish residents of Dipkarpaz village. The team then arranged small meetings with the Greek population of the village, which are to be continued in the coming weeks, in order to make a better and fairer evaluation of local needs and potential. Besides being the first attempt to bring together all the village communities and thus improve living standards and infrastructure within the settlement, the Hands On Workshop also demonstrated great overall potential for bringing out the capacities of the area, the village itself, and the inhabitants.

The workshop developed a set of strategies and actions - a village map, for example - which will be implemented in the coming months, in cooperation with local residents. A concept for a permanent community centre and a new central site for a village market will also be worked on. A Dipkarpaz Festival, which would draw attention to the village and show off its assets, is also under discussion with officials and citizens.

BALKANOLOGY: Exhibition in Belgrade and Podgorica

Belgrade Heritage House - Kuca Legata, BINA 2011 (06.05.2011-16.05.2011)
Art Pavilion - Umjetnicki paviljon, Podgorica (26.05.-08.06.2011)

In cooperation with AzW Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna and SAM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel

Curated by Kai Vöckler

The exhibition presented by the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel 2008, the Architekturzentrum in Vienna 2009 and by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest 2010 has been exhibited in Belgrade as part of the 6th Belgrade International Architecture Week / BINA 2011 at the House of Heritage and has now opened at the Art Pavilion in Podgorica. With examples from Belgrade, Bucharest, Kotor, Pula, Prishtina, Sofia, Tirana and Zagreb, the exhibition shows how architects, urbanists and activists engage with the rapid processes of urban transformation in a context of their cultural, social and political dimensions in the Balkan countries. Research projects, concrete interventions, architectural analyses and planning strategies are introduced - along with exceptional Yugoslavian modern socialist buildings in a dialogue with contemporary architecture (co-curators: Vladimir Kulic, Maroje Mrduljas).

Organisers Belgrade: Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade and BINA (Belgrade International Architecture Week). The exhibition in Belgrade is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade.

Organisers Podgorica: Office for Sustainable Development, Government of Montenegro. The exhibition in Podogorica is supported by the Embassy of Austria in Podgorica, the Ministry of Sustainable Development of Montenegro and the GIZ - Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Germany.

Initial Workshop on a Strategy for the Integration of Roma in Bulgaria

Sofia (13.05.2011)
fordewind ltd., C.E.G.A. and Archis Interventions

There are over 800,000 Roma living in Bulgaria, according to expert data of the World Bank. Over 300,000 are estimated to be living in segregated Roma neighborhoods and rural areas - areas where poverty and social exclusion go hand in hand. Poor education and meager professional qualifications restrict access to the labor market and reliable sources of income, and keep the majority of the Roma population in a vicious circle of poverty.

At the workshop the concept for the 'musthave-project' (developed by fordewind ltd.) was discussed. The concept is based on the creation of a viable business model with a social component. It is therefore a project about synergies - about creating synergies and channeling the benefits into personal development and socially inclusive development. It focuses on a responsible model of consumerism with a strong social dimension: one that provides both quality goods for the consumers, and fair training and work opportunities for disadvantaged employees on the production line.

An analysis made last year of the 'fakulteta mahala', a Roma neighborhood in Sofia, showed that in the communist period, a huge number of Bulgarian Roma were trained and employed in national companies, factories and corporate groups - mostly in the textile and clothing industry, wooden furniture production, and textile furnishings. The workers were well trained, educated and fairly well integrated. After the change in the political system subsidies for nationalized companies were cut, production slowed down, and Roma employees were the first to lose their jobs. This human potential, the skills and talent of well educated and integrated working people, has since gone down the drain in the Roma enclave. The hypothesis is: If the minority (Roma) group could offer a range of services or products, then the target group (interested consumers) would be willing to accept differences and move beyond borders. The concept is therefore to reactivate and use the forgotten and (among the younger generation) still untapped potential in the Roma community, and to channel it positively. The project wants to develop a hybrid-association, something between a school for teaching life skills and crafts, a professional training scheme for young people, a small factory/workshop for creating products, and an exquisite boutique for selling them to interested visitors. We, the project team, want to gain the interest and commitment of the top teachers at fashion schools and colleges - who are also famous fashion designers - and put them in touch with the young fashion designers of the future: together, they can create an exclusive collection then donate it to our social project/ business, along with a license allowing project participants to reproduce the designs and market them. The general idea is that the clothing developed in this way will have nothing in common with the so-called "Roma-look", but will make a strong, independent and modern fashion statement.

The concept was discussed with regard to possible obstacles and perspectives, also with Mr. Marcel Staub, CFO of Balkantex Ltd. The workshop prepared a three-phase agenda. Until September the collaborating partners will develop the first step of the project: to identify further partners in the fields of education, business management, and design; and to finalize the implementation concept.

'Divided Cities': Meeting and Workshop

Abrasevic Center, Mostar (31.03-01.04.2011)
By Abart and Archis Interventions

The project focuses on divided cities in the region and will begin with a collaborative venture involving independent civil society organisations and initiatives from Mitrovica, Mostar, Dip Karpaz/Rizokarpaso and Beirut. The project aims to diversify and include other divided cities and initiatives in the future. As a first step, a meeting and a workshop took place with Abart from Mostar and Archis Interventions members from Cyprus and the SEE network.

Cities are vulnerable. This is especially evident in cities recently emerged from a period of war or violent conflict, in which communities continue to defend their interests by physically appropriating parts of the city or by fighting for political control. Occupying urban spaces or erecting monuments and buildings that symbolize and edify a particular community is intended to strengthen its members' sense of belonging and identity; simultaneously it lays an exclusive claim to the city on their behalf. Battles rage over the city and architecture. Can the codes governing such spaces be re-written? Can other spaces be created? Can a new spatial practice be established, one that caters for and responds to all the city's inhabitants?

To answer such questions requires a careful examination of the particular conditions in each locality, for these vary from city to city. And the cities are influenced, in turn, by the overall political situation. However many parallels there may be in structural terms — the trend towards segregated educational institutions is one particularly striking example — spatial strategies developed for one city cannot be simply transferred to another.

The project aims to catalyze major discourse on the city and its evolving architectures. To support the participating initiatives' expanding regional networks, mutual exchange of know-how, and concept development is therefore of crucial importance.

The workshop focused on: (1) the similarities and complexities of each case, (2) how we can achieve an alternative planning strategy for divided cities and fragmented societies, and (3) alternative methods of fostering spatial and social revitalization, and the role of design, planning and arts.

One of the immediate aims is to pool the insights and knowledge of the initiatives and of other independent civil organizations working in this field in the region, at a workshop in August this year. In addition, Archis Interventions will launch regional research on this topic.

Imagine a City. Discussion on (Opening up) the Process of City Planning

Conference and Study Centre, Skopje.
Lectures and panel discussion, January 20 , 2011.

First Archi Brigade, Archis Interventions/SEE, Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) – Debates on Tour programme, Coalition for Sustainable Development-CSD.

From the background of the radical urban transformation that Skopje has undergone in the last decade, it seemed necessary to open up a discussion on the process of urban development and the relevance of architecture in it. Vedran Mimica, director of the Berlage Institute, Amsterdam and Ole Bouman, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, presented there views on the possibilities and necessity of good urban design for the future of the city.

The following discussion moderated by Dragan Krstevski (First Archi Brigade) and Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions) focussed on concrete examples for the possible directions which could advance the future development of Macedonia’s capital city. Skopje is everyday reality for its citizens and is also part of a broader context of a flux of people, goods and knowledge. The city is being built daily, but unless this practically irreversible activity is strategically planned then new city tissues could become a serious functional obstacle. The battle of participatory practices in contemporary urban projects can only be successful if the process of urban planning is open. With this event a discussion has been opened on the future of the city and showed that citizens, authorities and professionals are equally active creators of its urban future.

Local panelists:

  • Jasmina Siljanoska, Professor, eminent urban planner.

  • Aneta Hristova-Popovska, Professor, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Skopje

  • Biljana Filipovska, a representative of the Association of Architects of Macedonia

  • Vladimir Todorovic, Mayor of the Centar Municipality, Skopje

  • Izet Mexhiti, Mayor of the Cair Municipality, Skopje

The discussion is part of the NAI’s international ‘Debates on Tour’ programme and the Archis SEE network programme.

Workshop on Evaluation of the Legalization Process in Prishtina Municipality, Kosovo

November 26, 2010
Archis Interventions in collaboration with the Municipality of Prishtina. Supported by Hackenbroich Architekten.

Over the last few years, the Municipality of Prishtina has worked in cooperation with Archis Interventions to create a comprehensive strategy for dealing with illegal buildings, that is, those built without planning permission and possibly (or even very probably) in contravention of safety regulations. During that time, Archis Interventions and the Municipality of Prishtina drafted a Manual that outlines the minimal technical standards required for legalization as well as some basic recommendations on successful implementation of the legalization process in Prishtina. The Municipality of Prishtina approved the Manual and launched the legalization process in autumn 2010, based on its recommendations. The first phase of the process – the registration of informal buildings – lasts until the end of 2010. During this period, informative meetings/discussions with citizens were organized, their opinion was obtained and considered, and a considerable number of applicants embarked on the legalization process.

The second phase of the legalization process will start in early 2011. In this phase, the task of the Municipality of Prishtina – as recommended by the Manual on Legalization – will be to revise existing regulations, in parallel with drafting new ones. In order to put this part of the process on a firm footing, Archis Interventions in cooperation with the Municipality of Prishtina organized another joint workshop, this time on the topic “Prishtina – Dynamic City”, at which the future direction and other relevant points of urban development in the City of Prishtina were debated and formulated.

Given that the legalization process is in its first phase, and that other phases will require an integrated approach to planning, monitoring and documenting legalization, the need arose for this workshop on evaluating the legalization process. The workshop was organized at the request of the Mayor of Prishtina, Prof. Dr. Isa Mustafa. The workshop concentrated on current aspects of the legalization process and reconfirmed future steps in the light of current findings.

Romani - BG: Sustainable Strategies for the Integration of Informal Peripheral Settlements in Bulgaria and Europe

Open House (15.–22.10.2010).

Exhibition by Nina Ilieva – ADAPTations_EUS (NY/Sofia), Kai Voeckler – Archis Interventions (Berlin), Catalin Berescu – FRONTAL (Bucharest), David Bergman – MR+E (LA), Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller – AGENCY (NY), Selva Gürdo?ana and Gregers Tang Thomsen – SUPERPOOL (Istanbul).

Theme of the Sofia Architecture Week 2010 is 'PERIPHERY IS WHERE I'M NOT'. The curators of the exhibition, fordewind architecture ltd (Ephgenia Hodkevitch & Boris Enev) believe that the major issue when addressing the theme or nature of 'periphery' is the situation of the Roma population. Almost 800.000 Bulgarian citizens are Roma while the total Roma population of Europe is 12 million; Roma are hence the largest ethnic minority in Europe. Yet neither the Bulgarian government nor the European Union is making a serious effort to promote and facilitate their rights to equality and a dignified existence.

The presented investigation made by ADAPTations_EUS in collaboration with FRONTAL and Archis Interventions focuses primarily on 'Fakulteta', one of Bulgaria's biggest Romani neighbourhoods, located on 180 hectares on the western outskirts of Sofia, and home to an estimated 40,000 people. Most buildings there were built without a construction permit and lack basic amenities, a part of the area, named Cambodia, being a real slum. This is often the case with numerous Roma communities around Europe, both in historically inherited situations in the East or in improvised illegal migrant camps in the West. The exhibition presents examples of both situations in order to situate Fakulteta in an European context. However, examples of positive strategic developments in Los Angeles, Rome and Diarbekir presented by MR+E, AGENCY and SUPERPOOL demonstrate new potential for the successful re-urbanisation and social integration of restless peripheral neighbourhoods.

Catalin Berescu (FRONTAL, Bucharest) gave a lecture on the rise of the New Ghetto in Europe and joined in a panel discussion about 'Integration' together with Prof. Andreas Hofer, Technical University Vienna and Victor Lilov, manager of Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra. The audience addressed numerous questions to the lecturers and participated into the discussions while the exhibition proved to be popular among the Bulgarian public both in regards with the strong visuals and for a Gypsy dancing and singing workshop that took place inside.

Magic Blocks: Redesigning Modernity: Strategies for Socialist Collective Housing in Bucharest, Romania

An Archis Interventions, Zeppelin and Point 4 initiative, in cooperation with Hackenbroich Architekten (Berlin). Centre for Visual Introspection (15.10.–5.11.2010).

The exhibition presents the results of workshops held in 2010, The workshops analysed, different uses of space along the Mosilor Boulevard, identified potential new uses, and developed an overall concept for improving connections between the 'concrete curtain' of housing blocks on the Boulevard and the urban fabric behind it. The urban strategy that ensued proposed development both of the concrete curtain itself and the area behind it. Interventions designed to attract and animate the local public have now been made at five selected points, and are presented in a film screened at the exhibition.

The project is supported by ERSTE Stiftung, the Union of Romanian Architects, the Goethe-Institute Bucharest, the Administration of the National Cultural Fond, the Center for Visual Introspection. The two exhibitions were presented as part of the Bucharest Architecture Biennial. Partner of the Biennial: Roca.

Balkanology: New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South Eastern Europe

National Museum of Contemporary Art (15.10.2010 – 15.11.2010). In cooperation with AzW Architekturzentrum Wien / Vienna and SAM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel. Curated by Kai Vöckler

The exhibition presented in 2008 by the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel and by the Architekturzentrum in Vienna has now opened at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest. Extensive informal construction that began with the end of the Socialist economic system has resulted in a radical transformation of urban structures and a new form of urbanisation. With examples from Belgrade, Bucharest, Pula, Prishtina, Sofia, Tirana and Zagreb, the exhibition shows how architects, urbanists and activists engage with the rapid processes of urban transformation in a context of their cultural, social and political dimensions in the Balkan countries. Research projects, concrete interventions, architectural analyses and planning strategies are introduced – along with little known exceptional Yugoslavian modern socialist buildings in a dialogue with contemporary architecture (cocurators: Vladimir Kulic, Maroje Mrduljas).

Organisers: Zeppelin Association, Arhitectura and the Union of Architects of Romania. The exhibition in Bucharest is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest and Quehenberger.

Informal Urban Development in Bulgaria

Case study: The Faculteta Romani neighbourhood, Sofia, Bulgaria
Meeting and workshop, June 3–5, 2010

ADAPTations 1 in collaboration with Archis Interventions and Frontal (Bucharest)

One of the major challenges in urban development today is to successfully integrate the informal urban settlements that developed on the outskirts of large cities following the collapse of state socialism. In Bulgaria, the residents of such settlements are almost exclusively Romani. This minority community consequently has to deal not only with the severe infrastructural problems typical of informal settlements but also with social isolation arising from de facto ethnic segregation.

To move beyond resentment, racial prejudice and social isolation, and turn these ethnic enclaves into a place for cultural exchange and positive social interaction is the main goal of the project. The project's primary focus is 'Fakulteta', one of Bulgaria's biggest Romani neighbourhoods, located on 180 hectares, on the western outskirts of Sofia. Most buildings there were built without a construction permit and lack basic amenities. It is estimated that 40,000 people live in 'Fakulteta'.

Developing mutual trust between the national and regional governments and Romani community organizations is crucial to realizing effective programmes, community participation and viable solutions. The top-down approach will therefore be supplemented by bottom-up strategies. Urban integration problems and prospects were discussed at meetings arranged with the support of non-governmental Romani organizations and/or residents of “Fakulteta”. Representatives of the municipality as well as local and international professionals from the fields of social and political science, architecture, urbanism and economics also attended several meetings and a workshop, where the current situation, past experience, and future steps and strategies were discussed.

Magic Blocks presented at Moscow Architecture Bienniale

Central House of Artists, May 26 – June 8, 2010

The second Moscow Architecture Biennale focused on the question of how to modernize the existing city. As curator Bart Goldhoorn stated, "In the first decade of the 21st century, Russia hoped to be able to create new cities that would offer new environments for new ways of living. Now, both credit and climate crisis make us realize that we should focus on creating this new city from within. In the coming years or even decades, the task of architects and urbanists is not to build new cities on pristine land, but to deal with existing cities: cities that are often badly designed to start with, that are slowly falling apart, and that are inadequate for contemporary life. These are wasteful cities – this is their major problem, but also the key to their revival. Modernization can be financed by making the city more efficient: by reducing energy consumption, by increasing density, by restructuring open space and by developing an economical and social infrastructure that will create jobs and improve the quality of life".

In 2009 the project, 'MAGIC BLOCKS', (an Archis Interventions, Zeppelin and Point 4 initiative, launched in cooperation with ATU, Space Syntax Romania, Hackenbroich Architekten and Platforma 9,81), developed scenarios for the future development and use of socialist-era housing estates in Bucharest. The project was presented both in the exhibition 'Modernization of Modernism', and on May 28 – in a lecture by Constantin Goagea of Zeppelin Association, Bucharest – as part of the panel discussion 'MODERNISM -/+'.

Archis Interventions in Cyprus

Workshop and Research in Cyprus, May 14-16, 2010

In collaboration with the Urban Research & Development Center (URDC) of Eastern Mediterranean University, Gazimagusa/Famagusta

The meeting - which included a site visit to Dip Karpaz/Rizokarpasso and a 2-day workshop in Gazimagusa/Famagusta at the Eastern Mediterranean University Cyprus - resulted in us setting up a local informal group that will subsequently take the form of an NGO affiliated to the Archis network. Our aim thereby is to encourage urban projects in Cyprus, which improve the living conditions and the environment for all citizens, create innovative and integrative conditions for the development of Cyprus, seek ways to move beyond the borders imposed by powerful elites, and to weaken the hold of entrenched psychological barriers.

The local informal group, and thus the future NGO, will develop with the support of Archis Interventions two research projects that will underpin future activities:

_ critical research into urban projects developed over the last 36 years, the focus of which was to establish collaborative participation between Cyprus' two communities. The majority of these projects dealt with the spatial implications of the division of the country. They had an urban perspective or were related in some way to the urban fabric ("buffer zone/green line"). Most of them failed or had only partial success. Analysis of their histories would contribute to both international and local political and urban discourse, and help to clarify the NGO's future strategies.

_ research into the situation in Dip Karpaz/Rizokarpasso, a village in North Cyprus inhabited by members of both communities, with the aim of developing future strategic actions and interventions.

Architecture of Peace - How do we materialize peace?

Conference and Workshops in Rotterdam

Auditorium, Netherlands Architecture Institute (Nai), Rotterdam
3. + 4. May 2010

A cooperative project of Archis Interventions, the NAI, Partizan Publik and the University of Amsterdam

The project Architecture of Peace calls upon professionals from the fields of architecture, urbanism, development studies, sociology and conflict studies to engage in long-term research and action directed at rebuilding the post-conflict city.

The inaugural conference presented a variety of professionals with a background in resolving urban conflicts. On the first day, lectures were delivered by Sultan Barakat of the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU), Department of Politics, University of York; Cees Hamelink of the Free University Amsterdam; Hilton Judin of the Witwatersand University, Johannesburg; Jolyon Leslie of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Afghanistan; Paul van Tongeren of Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC); Kai Vöckler of Archis Interventions. The second day included presentations on Kabul by Allard Wagemaker of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, International Security Studies Department, Netherlands Defense Academy, Breda; and on Nicosia by Gert Breugem of the Urban Development Department, Almere. Lecturers and guests further explored these themes and issues in workshops. A report on the outcomes will be presented soon online.

Calea Mosilor - Behind the Concrete Curtain

Workshop in Bucharest

Archis Interventions, Zeppelin and Point 4 in cooperation with Hackenbroich Architekten

The cityscape of Bucharest is dominated by huge, standardized public housing estates, built during the socialist era. The majority of such housing lies along major traffic axes and functions quasi, as 'concrete curtains', blocking the view of all that lies behind it. The traffic axes, full of heavy motorised and pedestrian traffic, function as urban boulevards. Space behind these buildings is generally little used and is rarely directly connected to their front side. If used at all, then without authorization as a parking lot and rubbish dump, or for small private gardens and a few children's playgrounds.

The workshop analysed the different uses made of such space along the Mosilor Boulevard, identified possible new uses, and developed an overall concept for how connections between the 'concrete curtain' structure and the urban fabric behind it might be improved. The urban strategy that ensued identified potential for new developments with regard both to the concrete structure itself and to the area behind it. An activation strategy for the latter is under planning. Further documentation will be published soon.

Debates on Tour: NAI - Prishtina

Discussion in Prishtina

Conference Hall, Municipality of Prishtina
Thursday, 25 February 2010, Prishtina

As part of the Debates on Tour series, the Municipality of Prishtina, the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) and Archis Interventions organised a debate on participatory planning in Prishtina, which was introduced by the Deputy Mayor, Avdullah Hoti The NAI - represented by its director, Ole Bouman - had invited two experts on citizen participation in planning processes to give presentations: Marcel Musch from BVR Adviseurs Ruimtelijke Ontwikkelin and Wilma Ruis from De Beuk organisatieadvies. The Dutch experts then debated the issue with the general public and a panel composed of representatives of the Municipality of Prishtina, Florina Jerliu, Adviser to the Mayor of Prishtina and Luljeta çeku-Sokoli, Director Dept. UCE, Valdet Osmani, President of the Association of Architects of Kosovo and Senat Haliti, Archiedu Students' Network. Kai Vöckler of Archis Interventions/SEE chaired the debate.


Co-plan - Albania
''Urban regulatory plan for Kukës''
Feb 14th 2010, Tirana, Albania:
The ongoing project ''Urban regulatory plan for Kukës'', which builds on Co-Plan's previous experience of designing urban regulatory plans, is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between USAID and Kukës Municipality. The City Regulatory Plan will steer private investments in Kukës, and bring them in line with public investments. Kukës is situated in northeastern Albania, on the border with Kosovo. Until the early 1970s it was situated at a historical settlement. However, owing to construction of one of Albania's major hydropower plants, it was demolished and moved in 1976 a few km away from its original location to its present one. Construction of the Durrës-Kukës-Morinë highway has already improved links between Kukës and the central part of the country, and has laid the groundwork for a faster, better connection with Kosovo.
The main objectives of the Urban Regulatory Plan are:
1. To equip the city with the instruments necessary to steer urban development
2. To encourage sustainable development of the city by promoting participatory planning processes.

The Urban Regulatory Plan will include a zoning code and establish a GIS database. These will be submitted to the municipality as an aid to further territorial management.

Press to Exit - Macedonia
Feb 1st 2010, Skopje, Macedonia
Press to Exit has just rounded off a series of collaborative exchange and research-based workshops with a final exhibition in Rome, ''If you don't have God, you'd better have a multiverse'', designed by 1:1projects (Rome) in partnership with the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris) and ''Press to Exit" project space (Skopje). The exhibition presents three itinerant workshops that took place in Rome (25-27 September), Skopje (30 October-1 November) and Paris (27-29 November), during which invited groups took part in open discussions on the issues of time and space and how the latter are perceived. Envisaged as a moment of encounter, each workshop included presentations by the participants; a guest lecture or intervention by an invited artist, scholar or scientist; and an event open to the general public. The exhibition in Rome in late January, 2010 was the last chapter of the project, at least for the moment.

IPOP, Institute for Spatial Policies - Slovenia
''Celoveška, what will be''
February 2nd Ljubljana, Slovenia.
A panel discussion named ''Celoveška, what will be'' was organized by IPOP (Institute for Spatial Policies), the local community, the city council of Staro Šiško, and a group of landscape architects named PAZ!PARK. The purpose of the panel was to highlight problems associated with the crossroads at Drenikovo Road/ Ruska Street, and ultimately to enhance public space there. The panel organizers presented some brief spatial analyses of Celoveške Road. In that respect, they offered interesting insights into the spatial regulation of pedestrian zones and their contribution to the new governmental spatial plan.

Muzil - Croatia
''Full Support''
February 2nd 2010, Pula, Croatia
Activists involved in the ''I love Pula-Initiative for Muzil'' gave their full and total support to activists from Zagreb, who blocked the street and organized the rally in protest against plans to turn a section of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage, as part of the Cvjetni shopping centre and luxury flats development planned for the historic city centre of Zagreb. On the ''Muzil'' website activists stated, "It must be made clear to the political elite that - in spite of broad legislative and bureaucratic support for the general trend to privatization throughout the whole country - we will not allow the city and public space to be privatized. The city belongs only to the citizens - and only the citizens may legitimately decide about the future of the city.''
The rally protest is still going on.

Right to the City - Croatia
''Activists Arrested''
February 11th 2010, Zagreb, Croatia.
At 03.30 in the morning around 100 riot police arrested 23 activists from ''Green Action'' and the Right to the City initiative in Zagreb, Croatia. The raid took place just hours after 4000 people turned out in snowy conditions to protest against plans to turn a section of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage, as part of the Cvjetni shopping centre and luxury flats development planned for the historic city centre of Zagreb. The operation aimed to remove the accommodation container, which the groups had put on Varsavska Street, a pedestrian zone, as a 24-hour info-point, in order to prevent work beginning on the ramp, which is still under legal dispute. Activists inside of the container and on the roof resisted removal peacefully by locking themselves together using arm tubes, and were arrested after the fire brigade cut the tubes. Around 50 more activists blocked roads to prevent the lorry carrying the container from leaving the site, but riot police removed them also. The activists have announced that protests will continue.

Urban - Rural Recycling Design, Vladicin Han
Exhibition ''Once and Never''
February 16th 2009, Vladicin Han, Serbia
Urban activist from Vladicin Han, Ms. Suzana Stankovi?-Aleksi? has announced several activities that will hopefully re-shape the image of modern-day Vladicin Han. One of the current projects (2009-2010) is the reconstruction of the pedestrian zone in Zagubica, a small village situated in East Serbia. This will give Žagubica a chance to enhance tourism and promote its local sightseeing attractions. Suzana has also announced that the exhibition "Once and Never" will be entered in ''Arhienale V'', a competition organized by the Engineering Chambers of Serbia. In that respect, Ms. Stankovic-Aleksic has stated: "Without analysis of current values and situations in V.Han... in the field of XXI century urban-design planning, we can do little to address the preservation of cultural heritage. Politicians, planners, and architects from Serbia or from V.Han itself have disturbed cultural heritage... important cultural monuments of Serbia. Unfortunately, even in the XXI century, southern Serbia and V.Han display abundant stupidity and social conflicts regarding professionalism, which creates new barriers. How shall we be able to justify our actions in the eyes of the generations to come?''

ADAPTations1 - Bulgaria
''Looking for a funding''
February 17 th 2010, Sofia, Bulgaria
ADAPTATIONS1 from Sofia is currently fundraising for their next project. The project will provide recommendations on improving the physical conditions of Roma communities in Bulgaria. At present the Roma people are suffering from long-term disinvestment in their communities' physical capacity to deliver basic health, welfare and economic growth opportunities. In the past, national and regional governments approached these communities with culturally inappropriate infrastructural and technical solutions. This led to the communities' ongoing marginalization and also fostered their mistrust of the motivations for and efficacy of interventions in public improvements. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) alleges that large numbers of Roma in Bulgaria are segregated from non-Roma populations. Roma live in separate settlements, often walled off by physical barriers such as metal or concrete fences and almost completely removed from the mainstream of Bulgarian social and economic life. As the Government itself recognizes (for e.g. in "1999 Framework Programme for Equal Integration of Roma in Bulgarian Society") Romani neighborhoods are usually found on the outskirts of cities, town and villages, are not included in urban planning schemes, and therefore lack adequate infrastructure.

Expeditio - Montenegro
''A presentation about Expeditio within the project ''Supernatural Eco Pavilion'', Belgrade''
February 16th Belgrade, Serbia
The Belgrade-based organization "Supernatural Environmental Movement" (Supernatural ekološki pokret) invited a representative of Expeditio to present the work of the organization within the framework of a competition for the "supernatural eco pavilion". The presentation took place in the Cultural Centre "Grad", on 2nd February 2010, at 6.00 p.m. For more information about the organization "Supernatural", please see

Novi Put - Bosnia & Herzegovina
''A new website and a upcoming project''
Mon February 22nd 2010, Biha?, Bosina&Herzegovina
The Biha?-based NGO ''Novi Put'' (New Way), an organisation working in the fields of Human Rights and Cultural Management in Una-Sana canton, Bosnia&Herzegovina, has announced that their new website is now online. All activities and news can now be found at
Novi Put is also organising for the third time the event ''Days of German and Austrian Culture in Biha?'', which will take place at schools in Biha?'s municipality. This project is endorsed and supported by the Goethe Institut BiH, Bauern helfen Bauern and the German Embassy in Bosnia&Herzegovina. The aim of this project is to reinforce cultural and educational connections between Bosnia on one side and Germany and Austria on the other. As the NGO ''Novi Put'' says, the main focus of the project is the integration of young people and children, who are the future (adult) citizens of the European Union.

Two exhibitions in Vienna and Bucharest

New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South Eastern Europe

Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna (22.10. 2009 - 18.01.2010) in cooperation with SAM - the Swiss Architecture Museum

Curated by Kai Vöckler

Presented in 2008 by the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, the exhibition has now opened at Vienna's 'Architekturzentrum', and will run until mid-January. Initially comprised of projects and research from member initiatives of the Archis SEE network, the exhibition now includes new contributions from New-Belgrade, Sofia, Bucharest and Pula. A supplementary event from 20-22 November - the 17th Wiener Architektur Kongress - will also focus on urban development in South Eastern Europe.

Scenarios for socialist collective housing estates in Bucharest

Exhibition: Muzeul ??ranului Român (09. - 26.11.2009)

An Archis Interventions, Zeppelin and Point 4 initiative, launched in cooperation with ATU, Space Syntax Romania, StudioBASAR, Hackenbroich Architekten and Platforma 9,81

Presented previously in Berlin at AedesLand, the exhibition can now be seen in Bucharest, along with a documentary film about local interventions undertaken in cooperation with StudioBASAR. At a conference on 16 November, presentations by Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions, Berlin), Michael Obrist (Feld 72, Vienna), Ivan Kucina (University of Architecture, Belgrade) and Justin Baroncea (Point 4, Bucharest) will put the spotlight on architects and planners' strategic interventions, and discuss them with the public. Moderator: Marko Sancanin (Platforma 9,81, Zagreb).

The project is financed by the Romanian Cultural Institute through the Cantemir Programme. Supported by ERSTE Stiftung. Union of Architects Romania, Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bucharest. We thank: Velux, Roca, Rockwool, Gealan, Resido, Fakro, Dulux. Media partner: Arhitectura, Arhitext, Igloo media, Bicau, Radio România Actualit??i, Radio Romania Cultural, Radio Bucure?ti, Money Express, 24Fun, RATB, Cotidianul.


Archis Interventions in Prishtina

Knowledge and education: key factors for the future development of Prishtina

Workshop: 5-8 October 2009

In cooperation with the Municipality of Prishtina with the support of Hackenbroich Architekten
Archis Interventions/Prishtina, together with Archis Interventions/Berlin organized a workshop in Prishtina, with the aim of developing a strategic concept that would enable educational and training institutions to play a more active role in the city's future urban development. Prishtina's future prospects and how planning might best support them were discussed with representatives of the Urban Planning Department, the Municipality of Prishtina, and local and international experts, as part of the upcoming process of legalizing structures built without planning permission.

It is necessary to offer future prospects to citizens by developing a realistic strategy that takes the current situation into account but also establishes the principles of viable future development. This is strategic planning based both on a vision and on reliable information, and can therefore offer a solid foundation for consensus and negotiations. The workshop developed a key concept by analyzing Prishtina's potential as the capital of Kosovo, and identified knowledge and education as the key factors for future development. The workshop focused on the latter's spatial implications and formulated the major principles of future urban development. The final result will be presented to the public at the end of the year.

Supported by ERSTE Foundation, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Municipality of Prishtina, Kosovo Foundation for Open Society


Exhibition and Publication, Scenarios for socialist collective housing estates in Bucharest

An Archis Interventions, Zeppelin and Point 4 initiative, launched in cooperation with ATU, Space Syntax Romania, Hackenbroich Architekten and Platforma 9,81.

Exhibition: AedesLand, Savignyplatz, Else-Ury-Bogen 600-601, 10623 Berlin
Duration: 8th Sept.–29th Oct. 2009

A Romanian/English publication will accompany the exhibition:
Stefan Ghenciulescu, Constantin Goagea, Kai Vöckler (eds.), Magic Blocks. Scenarios for socialist collective housing estates in Bucharest. Bucharest: Zeppelin Association 2009. ISBN: 978-973-0-06942-6

Photos by Dragoş Lumpan.

The cityscape of Bucharest is dominated by huge, standardized public housing estates built during the socialist era, mainly in the 1970 and 1980s – in which circa 70 per cent of the city's population still live. These 'concrete curtains' flank established major traffic axes, blocking the view of the parts of Bucharest that lie behind them. Alongside them stand more recently built estates, with a total of as many as 400,000 inhabitants. Following the collapse of state socialism and the introduction of a market economy, most public housing was privatized. Sitting tenants were able to acquire their apartment for a minimal sum. Market factors have since come into play: an apartment's value falls or rises according to its location, amenities and local infrastructure; some apartments are of interest to investors; others are suffering from neglect. Neither officials in the City Housing Department nor individual owners (most of whom are owner-occupiers), are equipped to cope with the new situation – and it is here that the »MAGIC BLOCKS« initiative seeks to make an impact. Launched by Archis Interventions in cooperation with local and international architecture offices and projects, »MAGIC BLOCKS« will present scenarios for the future development and use of housing estates and thereby stimulate public discussion of housing and other social issues in Bucharest. The exhibition illustrates this concept in the light of supplementary information on overall urban development in Bucharest.

»Magic Blocks« opens up a new area of debate in architecture: it addresses the, until now, largely unexplored drawbacks of the privatization of public housing in former eastern bloc countries and asks, what alternatives are available.

more info:

Zeppelin – Stefan Ghenciulescu, Constantin Goagea, Cosmina Goagea
Point 4 – Justin Baroncea, Carmen Popescu, Jean Craiu
Archis Interventions – Kai Vöckler
Space Syntax Romania – Esenghiul Abdul, Christian Beros
ATU – Vera Marin
Platforma 9,81 – Marko Sancanin
Hackenbroich Architekten – Wilfried Hackenbroich

The project is financed by the Romanian Cultural Institute through the Cantemir Programme. The project »Archis Interventions« is supported by ERSTE Stiftung.
We thank: Union of Architects Romania, Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bucharest

TV show about informal building in Prishtina

Archis Interventions in cooperation with Pixels Production

Start of production August 2009

A public campaign designed by Archis Interventions/Prishtina will accompany the process of legalization of informal building in November 2009. Public presentations and a media campaign will broach the issues regarding the most important principles (security, infrastructural connections, social aspects) by raising public awareness.

In addition to public presentations and reports in different media, a TV show is planned, which will be produced in collaboration with Pixels Productions, Prishtina. Different TV channels such as Kohavision/KTV expressed their will to broadcast the show. The TV show will be produced by Visar Geci, co-founder of Archis Interventions/Prishtina and a renowned TV star in Kosovo, in cooperation with Florina Jerliu and Kai Vöckler. Eight broadcasts on different subjects have been planned, recorded on selected sites in Prishtina. They will include the responses of citizens and officials to the situation in dialogue with Visar Geci:

1. Safety: Escape Routes > safety aspects
2. Statics: Building extensions and ground floor cut-offs > safety aspects
3. Minimal Distance: blocked neighbors > social conflicts
4. Overburdened infrastructure: sewage, water supply > life quality
5. Public space: abandoned public sites > life quality
6. Periphery: unconnected city extensions > life quality
7. Natural resources: protection and improvement > life quality
8. Responsibility: common responsibilities > future perspective

The recording of the first 2 broadcasts started at the end of August. The production will be completed in October this year.

Supported by ERSTE Foundation.

SEE Adriatic coastline

Workshop in Kotor, Montenegro/ July 17-18, 2009

Participating: Analog, Archis Interventions, Co-PLAN, EXPEDITIO, Platforma 9,81, Pula Group

The initial meeting of several architectural initiatives and organizations who are dealing with the spatial transformation of the Adriatic coastline in Croatia, Montenegro and Albania focused on an exchange of information by presenting individual research findings and projects. In addition, the driving forces behind the spatial transformation were discussed and a future collaborative project outlined.

In general the Adriatic coastline is facing extensive urbanization triggered mostly by tourism and this has a problematic impact on natural resources and also on domestic economies. There are a number of very different protagonists in this process: the national governments and local municipalities, foreign investors (mostly in Croatia and Montenegro), and private entities, both local and from other regions of the country.

Main issues

-no alternative to tourism economy is being focused on either by the national or the local politicians and persons responsible. Alternative economies are to be addressed by spatial strategies
-the new spatial metropolitan-rural interaction requires new forms of planning and architecture
-public space is suffering as a result of this development process: how can tourism be made public? How can public access still be guaranteed?
-other forms of »tourism« should be addressed by specific programs, for example »cultural tourism«
-protection of natural resources and cultural heritage


A new image of the region is required, a vision that not only takes the spatial transformation into account, but also develops a perspective beyond the usual strategy of focusing only on tourism. This vision should include the different aspects of a new landscape, the role of culture and the necessity of public participation.

Supported by ERSTE Foundation

Archis Interventions in Bucharest

Workshop: AStrategy for Collective Housing, A Legacy of the Socialist Era
Bucharest / April 3-5, 2009

Organised by Archis Interventions together with the Zeppelin Association and Point4, in cooperation with ATU, Space Syntax and Platforma 9,81

All over former Eastern Europe, collective dwellings built in the Socialist era are now in a critical state, in terms both of their structure and their social function. Privatization of this housing fund in the early 90s led to a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, complete social disintegration has left to a chaotic individual development of the units (apartments) and derelict communal spaces. Complete rehabilitation of this housing no longer appears even remotely possible. On the other hand, despite its physical similarities with housing estates in Western countries, this housing was created not to serve disadvantaged social groups (i.e. as "social housing") but as a political means to level class differences (i.e.: as "housing for everybody"). Few alternatives were available and these neighbourhoods consequently still enjoy a degree of social mix and urbanity - although its decline has certainly set in.

Bucharest, one of the largest cities in South-Eastern Europe, is characterized by this type of prefab housing, which accounts for 70 per cent of the city's total housing stock. Bucharest's development was quite specific however: large estates developments were here planned as extensions of the city, not as new towns; a huge number of them are situated in the inner city core, the result of totalitarian planning in the 1980s; and the radical socio-political upheaval of 1989 caused abrupt, extensive change. This makes it a perfect place to study the relationship between totalitarian planning and ultra-liberal growth, between the collective and the individual, and the private and the public spheres.


Results of the workshop - Analysis of the current state of collective housing and development of maintenance strategies

The workshop analysed the current state of collective dwellings built in the socialist era in Bucharest and developed urban, architectural, technical and legislative strategies for these neighbourhoods. The results will be presented locally in June 2009 - in an exhibition supplemented by a programme of public discussions and interventions - and then later be integrated into the "Balkanology" exhibition at the Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna in October 2009. The project's long-term aim is to support existing programs and also to develop new strategies and model projects.

Supported by ERSTE Foundation, The Austrian Cultural Center and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest

Archis Interventions in Prishtina

Workshop on the qualification of the urban development in Prishtina
Kosova / March 13-15, 2009

In cooperation with the Municipality of Prishtina and Co-PLAN

Archis Interventions/Prishtina, together with Archis Interventions/Berlin organized a workshop on illegal construction in Prishtina, with the aim of developing a strategic concept ("Manual"), which would enable institutional reaction on an ongoing process of illegal buildings' treatment.

In addition, the workshop has to reflect its strategy concept how it can be generalized and being also helpful in different circumstances with regard to international discourse on urban issues, as represented by the Archis network.

Results of the workshop - The concept for a "Manual" and recommendations on the legalisation process

The first step in developing an implementation strategy was a workshop, in which experts were brought together to develop a "Manual" that explains the principles (relating to security, infrastructural networks and social aspects, etc.), necessary to improve the present situation. The "Manual" was conceived in cooperation with international and local experts, including representatives of the Municipality, the Institute for Spatial Planning of Kosova, and other official organizations.

The workshop participants developed joint recommendations and strategies on how to act in the near future, and jointly formulated provisions for the "Manual". They consider this to have made an important step towards bringing major policymakers into closer contact and cooperation with regard to the legalization issue. It is planned to implement the strategies in summer 2009, in cooperation with the Municipality.

Supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation and ERSTE Foundation


The exhibition “Balkanology – New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South Eastern Europe” will be presented at Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna in October 21, 2009 – January 18, 2010. A conference will accompagny the exhibition from November 6 – 8, 2009. It is planned to extend the “Turbo Urbanism” section of the exhibition with other researches and projects done by member initiatives of the Archis SEE network.

»Operation: City 2008« conference

seenetwork_zagrebA first meeting of several members of the Archis SEE network took place as part of the conference »Operation: City 2008« in Zagreb, Croatia, in December 2008. Member initiatives’ public presentations illustrated different approaches to intervention in the urban development of their respective cities and were discussed with the audience.

Exhibition: »BALKANOLOGY«

_Exhibited at the Swiss Architecture Museum SAM, Basle, Switzerland

New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South Eastern Europe

SAM – The Swiss Architecture Museum, Basle (04.10. – 28.12.2008)
in cooperation with the Architekturzentrum Wien/Vienna

Supported by ERSTE Foundation

Curated by Kai Vöckler


In the “Turbo Urbanism” section of the exhibition, four members of the Archis SEE network – Co-PLAN, Tirana; Platforma 9,81, Zagreb; EXPEDITIO, Montenegro and Archis Interventions, Prishtina – were invited to present their work, alongside research projects conducted by Srdjan Jovanović Weiss and Dubravka Sekulić & Ivan Kucina.

»Balkanology« brings together leading architects and urban planners from South Eastern Europe and shows their approaches to fundamental urban transformations. The exhibition illustrates the cultural, social and political dimensions of urban phenomena in the region. The key questions here are, to what extent unregulated, informal urbanism develops new typologies and urban forms, and whether these forms could also emerge under the banner of neo-liberal de-urbanisation in the rest of Europe.

The exhibition presents research projects and concrete interventions, architectural analyses and planning strategies. »Balkanology« deliberately avoids trying to achieve a picture of urban development that would be valid for the whole region. Instead, it uses selected examples from different locations to highlight specific local influences on architecture and urban construction, and thus critically examines the potential for reassessing the scope of urban planning. The Archis SEE network is presented in the exhibition as an ongoing project to assemble different initiatives from the region, for the exchange of knowledge and development of further cooperation. This section of the exhibition shows how initiatives undertaken by architects, planners and urbanists reacted to changes in their respective cities, and how their various concepts and strategies intervened in urban development.