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Welcome to the final show of R-Lab with this year's theme ARCHITECTURE, CITIES, UTOPIAS

Students from the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm, Architectural Theory and History course R-Lab, present their research projects in the exhibition THE MIND DEPARTMENT and launch of the yearbook and exclusive publication "THE BALTIKAN" (MORE THAN FAKE NEWS)

Opening on Tuesday May 23rd from 15:00-17:00.

Participants: Guillermo Sanchez Arsuaga, Ela Celary, Sara Saxton Chirinos, Simon Fagéus, Anna Maria Furuland, Marta Gil, Juanma González, Gabrielle Iwelumo, Isabel Löfgren, Anna Odlinge, Vesna Salamon, Marios Salatas, Joanna Sieradzka, Hana Vojackova, Leire Mesa, Eva Larsson in collaboration with Matthew Ashton (publication) and Jens Evaldsson (exhibition). Leader of the pack: Prof. Peter Lang, KKH

About R-Lab 2017-18
Architecture, Cities, Utopias:
Baltic & Balkans - Rīga and Mostar

The course at KKH is primarily designed for practitioners within the fields of architecture, design and the arts and who are interested in pursuing theory and practice based individual projects with a critical focus on urban and material culture. There are two components to the course: the first comprises regular lectures, group sessions and individual consultations with the professor designed to help advance each students’ individual research project. The second comprises a series of collective workshops designed to test concepts developed for institutional settings and public environments: this year the R-Lab institutional partner is Färgfabriken.
UTOPIA IS ALL THE TIME IN THE MAKING
An Introduction by Peter Lang

While architects often consider themselves best prepared to deal with problems arising from within the civic realm, there is much about architecture education that falls short of the task. Architects are more inclined to plan spectacular buildings then to build everyday communities, or to rely on the latest technology rather than rely on the value of human resources. Architecture has left a troubled legacy of bankrupt clients, underserved citizens, fortified enclaves and decimated landscapes. Big capital has for too long commandeered the building process leaving cities and infrastructure in the hands of elite private interests.

Not that any of these criticisms are new, Bruce Haggart, from the British counter- culture group Street Farmer wrote in the early seventies:

“Architecture has never been a popular art. Its clients have always been the rich. Its legacy is one of palaces, fortifications, office blocks, commemorations to those with power and wealth. It is an old role that architects play. Paradoxically they try to rationalize the old role in a world of new circumstances and consciousness.”

But what makes Haggart’s observation most poignant is that he doesn’t leave it at that... Haggart advises the architect to think about doing something else instead:

“Better to become entertainers, jesters, clowns, trapeze artists, alchemists singing songs of the new age...”

If architects should remake themselves, they also have to be conscious of how to remake the institutions that are vital to achieving broader societal transformations.If on one hand the architect – urbanist, designer, or let’s say player-activist needs to operate first on him or herself, it follows that he or she needs to channel these creative actions through hospitable institutions, something not exactly available in today’s field of operations.

Teddy Cruz is a San Diego based architect and urban critic working extensively on the impoverished communities living around the border between Tijuana and San Diego. Cruz thinks it’s not enough to be deeply committed to documenting these extreme topographies, but it is also necessary to actively partake in their solutions. Where Cruz sees a major weak-point is precisely in the disconnection between concerned activists and the support institutions themselves.

In collaboration with Färgfabriken, ADA Mostar, Kanepes Cultural Center Riga and more.
May 23rd