Foros 2016: Origin

Now in its 18th year, the Foros lecture cycle at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture is organized under the title Origin, a concept that invites reflection on the origins of ideas, something that can be invisible and hard to describe but often capable of changing circumstances.

The Foros cycle, considered a reference on today’s architecture scene, brings together professionals in the international architecture that highlights the diversity of profiles of contemporary architects.

This 1 February sees the start of a new edition of Foros, the cycle of architecture lectures open to the public, during which prestigious national and international architects will be visiting the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture and sharing their view of architecture and the profession by means of their work.

Jorge Vidal, lecturer and director of Foros, under the title Origin, invites the speakers at this edition to get to the origin of things, of thinking, of projects and works, with the aim of drawing a map to help us understand things that can be invisible and hard to explain. According to Vidal, Origin is “the germ of such a powerful thing as ideas; the point of departure of any idea or sum of ideas, capable of developing and changing circumstances”.

Over the years, the Foros cycle has become consolidated in Barcelona as a reference on the present-day architecture scene. The aim of getting students to compose their own architectural world with the help of the experience of reputed national and international architects goes beyond the lecture room by opening its door to the city’s public. The Foros cycle organized by the School of Architecture has, over the years, become a meeting point for professionals in Barcelona.

The 2016 edition includes lectures by renowned architects with a variety of profiles that complement a broad view of architecture. The cycle starts on 1 February with Christoph Hölscher and Victor Schinazi, directors of the Chair of Cognitive Science at ETH Zürich, and continues with Spanish architects Luis Martínez Santa-María, well known for his publications in the field of architecture reflection; Arquitectura-G, the most recent winner of the Mies van der Rohe Emerging Architect Award; and Harquitectes. Towards the end of the cycle we’ll be visited by the Italian studio Baukuh, founders of the San Rocco architecture magazine, and by Swiss architect Pascal Flammer, who worked with Valerio Oligati; and the cycle closes with the prestigious Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, named honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in 2009 and designer of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2014.

Origin is both the end of the road and the beginning once more. A search for the fundamental essence of our work in what surrounds us. Throughout this cycle we will discover and unravel the complex spider’s web which any thought creates, find out where it comes from and the elements it consists of. The different speakers will trace out a path towards understanding what is sometimes invisible and difficult to explain. We will find the essence at the heart of what slips through our fingers. The root cause of what is so powerful: ideas. The hard nucleus of any organism. We aim to understand the complexity of transformations and previous relationships. The origin is perhaps the most mysterious part of things. What precedes us, what has moulded us and made us who we are.  It is the basis and the beginning. The essence of continuous growth which is transformed and adapted to various conditions and needs. But in the end the origin is the starting point for any idea or group of ideas. It is capable of developing and changing circumstances.

Director of Foros: Jorge Vidal


Alexandre Llapart, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture

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