Building Narratives

#Lecture Series, Publishing
17 Aug - 6 Sep 2020
Architektūros fondas, Vilnius, LT
Vilnius, LT

© Hidden Architecture, photo: Norbert Tukaj.

Architektūros fondas‘ programme Building Narratives is focusing on investigating the relationship between architecture and stories surrounding it. We are looking for untold stories, projects making new connections, objects changing their meanings and other cases demonstrating the power of narration. As a new narrative has the power to transform architecture on its own, it becomes extremely important to understand how different ways of talking about architecture can shape its future. Thus we want to discover personal building narratives and encourage the creatives to get involved in this affair.

In 2020, Architektūros fondas will collaborate with 5 Future Architecture creative teams researching the Building Narratives, experimenting with and creating new approaches for the future of narration, and exploring curatorial methods and tools. Invited creatives will elaborate their projects in three stages: (1) summer is dedicated for their site-specific researches, helping to contextualise and adopt their primary or brand new ideas within the Lithuanian context; (2) focused talk series at the end of September, bringing all the creatives in one place to share their summer experiences; (3) contributions to the (online) publication with the texts, visual stories, films, etc. at the end of the year. The publication will not only contain explorations of the creatives’ but also will include texts of invited authors, contributing the sub-topics of Building Narratives. We take the Building Narratives programme as a strong creative impulse for merging the ongoing projects of Architektūros fondas and their methods – Experiments of architecture curating, Aikštė (a podcast and publications on architecture and public spaces), and Architecture talk series. Within that Architektūros fondas will act as a moderator and as a creative link between the FAP creatives and members, while incorporating its expertise as an open and voluntary platform, hosting bottom-up initiatives and projects in the field of architecture.

The creative teams will refract Building Narratives theme through diverse lenses in the working scheme described above:

Un-war space lab  Armina Pilav, Damir Ugljen, Karla Crnčević, Jonas Langbein – as a cross-media research-based platform on transformations of rivers, woods, land, architectures, interspecies society during and after the wartime, will develop their project Baltic logs. That is cross-media research, looking at de-forestation of the woodlands for military purposes that started in 1930 and it continues today. During their journey of ten days, Un-war space lab will inhabit and record past and present destroyed woodlands for construction of the military landscapes located in Vilnius, Jonava and Švenčionių districts in Lithuania, resulting with an experimental document of sounds, videos and photos.

Tatiana Letier Pinto will contribute to the theme with her expanded research and a publication of the Tomteboda project. It is a research of the narratives surrounding one building – a former old post terminal in Stockholm. Produced in parallel with architectural feasibility study this work unraveled historical, political and ownership background of Tomteboda building and led to unexpected results tracing back to the biggest property developer in the world and current president of the US. This has brought a different narrative to the building and showed the hidden connections and story that interfered with the way we perceive space. In the frame of the Building Narratives theme, this research will be expanded, published in the publication and culminate in a workshop based on the same methodology but using a selected building in Lithuania as a new study case.

Will Jennings is invited for a long talk on a floating platform, which will be prepared for a discussion with a draft name Fluid Perspectives. The participants (artists, art and architecture critics) will focus on deconstructing dominating spatial narratives and representations of the city. The round table on a platform will freely float down the river through the center of Vilnius, while constantly changing the urban scenery in the background and providing plenty of context and inspiration for the panel. This public event will be followed by a text, authored by Will Jennings, who will subsequently join a public talk with other FAP creatives.

The Building (mass housing) Narratives team – Sonja Lakic, Goda Verikaitė, Povilas Jankūnas – are going to join the Modernism for the Future summer school „Microrayon“ (organised by Bartlett School of Architecture, KTU, AUTC with contribution of Architektūros fondas) and focus on macro and micro-narratives of the particular post-socialist mass housing rayon Eiguliai (built in mid 80s) in Kaunas. There they will develop and contextualise their ideas – starting from the recycling utopia visions on how the mass housing architecture can reshape the society where at the end the failed utopia split into the ever-changing fragmented heterotopias; continuing with the provocative approach on how we can reveal the mass housing rayons as the personalized massless table game, developed together with the locals and creating the unexpected puzzles and scenarios, reshaping the (un)banal narratives of everydayness; and also exploring the ways the locals perceive and parasite the generic mass housing areas, narrating the beauty of the under-transformed architecture of boredom in between the subtle lines of legality and illegality.