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icamprint 06 | editorial | letter from the president |
> icamprint 06 (5.2 MB – complete file)

Architecture does not provide its own mediation. Institutions like architecture museums and centres have been making endeavours to provide effective architecture education for years. Exhibitions are among the ‘classics’ for communicating with the public, while as a medium they have also long been helping to define the architecture discourse. Interestingly, to this day there has been no well researched survey on the subject of architecture exhibitions. So I have compiled a fragmentary, selected bibliography on the subject (see p.29). At the last conference, chaired by Barry Bergdoll, the widespread impact and consequences of The Pressure of the Contemporary on and for architecture museums was discussed. Architecture faculties are increasingly offering educational programmes in the fields of architecture criticism, publishing, curating, exhibiting, writing, and research.

Two curators have the word in this issue whose approaches are diametrically opposed. Architecture historian Wolfgang Voigt supports an ‘old school’, research based curatorial praxis that holds on to the today almost frowned upon monographic format. Pedro Gadanho regards himself as an architectural practitioner who consciously adopts a non-historian’s perspective, he regards his curatorial praxis as a continuation of criticism of the discipline of architecture. Two approaches that appear to address different recipients: the political implications for culture and education policy of the Humboldtian model of higher education, and criticism aimed at a redesign of architecture as a discipline. Both approaches combine to provide the means to mediate architecture in museums through curating.

Exhibitions have the power to frame architectural discourse by exploring the larger cultural conditions that shape the discipline. This and other related topics, like cases of how researchers are using the exhibition as a driver for their own research projects, or cases of architects’ curating exhibitions to explore their fascinations and new ideas, and cases of contemporary curatorial practices that explore new formats. As pursued at the Jaap Bakema Study Centre’s second annual conference in 2015, entitled Research on Display: The Architecture Exhibition as Model for Knowledge Production. Bart Tritsmans participated in the conference, and provides a summary of the contributions and discussions for this issue.

Due to the great success of the previous member survey, we have again addressed a question to our icam members: How to mediate architecture to a broad audience through curating. In this issue you will read about 15 examples of how icam members try to engage with their audiences. I should like to thank all of my colleagues who participated and shared their insights with us.

icam18 is pending and the conference will be back in Europe, in Slovenia. Ljubljana is characterised, among other things, by the architecture of Otto Wagner student Jože Plecˇnik. The monumental buildings, squares, memorials and parks designed by Plecˇnik are intended to raise the sense of Slovenian nationality and to transform the provincial town into a representative capital city. Matevž Celik and his team at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) are welcoming us in Ljubljana and have prepared a stimulating programme.

From this issue onwards we have a new editorial board, and I am delighted to have the current and future support of Jolanta Gromadzka and Triin Ojari. Finally, I should like to express my thanks to all of the authors who have contributed to this issue.
Monika Platzer, editor