Foros 2021 delves into a new architectural vision and systemic transformations sparked by COVID-19

This year’s Foros series titled “Expectations”, will start on 27 January and will run until the end of April with two lectures per month

This year, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture’s lecture series Foros, an unmissable annual event in the field of architecture and urban planning, is launching a new online programme that will run from 27 January to 28 April.

Under the title “Expectations”, this year’s event will lead conversations on reconstruction proposals resulting from the COVID-19 crisis across society, with a special focus on the field of architecture and urban planning. For the third consecutive year, the event is directed by lecturers Guillem Carabí and Fredy Massad. They have both explained how ” adopting a new ethical, political, economic and social perspective on habits and customs is a necessary and responsible step. Simple good intentions for the environment, the circular economy, sustainability, recycling and goods distribution are no longer valid. We have a responsibility to incorporate them all, seamlessly and without delay. The planet isn’t warning us, it is rebelling,” they say.

Two online lectures per month

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The series kicks off on 27 January with a lecture by the Chilean architect Cazú Zegers, a leading figure on the contemporary Latin American architecture scene. Her architectural projects, such as the award-winning Tierra Patagonia Hotel (Hotel del Viento), explore the relationship between architecture and territory from a poetic perspective that values the local area and its cultural heritage. She has taught at several schools and universities, including Yale School of Architecture, the University of Talca and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 2019 she was named as one of the top 18 architects in the world today by Elle Decor NY, and in 2020, Forbes included her in their list of “Latin American female architects breaking down barriers”.

The second lecture will be held on 10 February, with a talk by the renowned Catalan economist Santiago Niño-Becerra. A professor of economics at the Universitat Ramon Llull, he has published numerous books, including El crash del 2010 (2009), La economía. Una historia muy personal (2015) and most recently, Capitalismo (1679-2065), published in 2020. He works with a multitude of national and international media and has given conferences both in Spain and abroad. 

On 24 February, Foros 2021 will welcome the Dutch architectural historian and critic Hans Ibelings. Editor of The Architecture Observer (Montreal/Amsterdam), he now lectures at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Before moving to Canada in 2012, he was the editor and publisher of A10 new European architecture, a magazine he co-founded in 2004 with graphic designer Arjan Groot. Before that, however, he was well known for being the author of the popular book Supermodernism: Architecture in the Age of Globalization.

The series of lectures continues on 10 March with a lecture by the Portuguese art historian Dalila Rodrigues, currently director of the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower in Lisbon. Her extensive experience of managing several museums and art centres in Portugal is impressive, having directed the Grão Vasco National Museum, the National Museum of Ancient Art and the Casa das Historias Paula Rego. She also teaches as a visiting lecturer at the University of Coimbra College of Arts, she is a researcher at the Research Centre in Archaeology, Arts and Heritage Sciences (CEAACP) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

On 24 March, we will have the opportunity to listen to Jorge Riechmann, writer, activist and lecturer for the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition to his poetry collections, Riechmann has been lauded in recent years for such brilliant essays as ¿Derrotó el smartphone al movimiento ecologista? (2016), ¿Vivir como buenos huérfanos? (2017), Ecosocialismo descalzo (2018) and Otro fin del mundo es posible (2019). He also keeps his own blog www.tratarde.org.

On 14 AprilJorge Gorostiza, specialist in the relationship between film and architecture, will take over. Gorostiza has published numerous articles and books on film and architecture since the nineties, and directed the Filmoteca Canaria between 2000 and 2005. He sits on the juries of numerous film festivals and lectures at architecture schools and cultural centres across Spain. 

For the closing lecture on 28 April, Foros 2021 has invited the American Justin Stearns, associate professor in Arab Crossroads Studies at New York University in Abu Dhabi. His research focuses on the intersection of law, science, and theology in the pre-modern Muslim Middle East, having published several books and articles on these topics.

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