Modern Utopia

© butikofer de oliveira vernay sàrl – School gymnasium, Attalens

Modern Utopia

Olivia de Oliveira (BR)

How does the modernist work of Lina Bo Bardi influence a contemporary practice of architecture?

Has a  kind of pragmatic idealism come to exist: a combination of postmodern relativism with a return to the modernist belief in the makeability of society? It seems indeed, that ever more architects, artists and thinkers currently take up politically and socially engaged positions while maintaining a typical postmodern sense of irony. How can a revisit of the modernist legacy in architecture in general, and the unique voice of Lina Bo Bardi in particular, avoid a nostalgic trip down memory lane but inspire and provoke new kinds of socially engaged yet pragmatic architectural practices today? What is the outcome of the dialogue between the modern and the contemporary? 

Olivia de Oliveira is partner-architect and co-founder of the architectural practice butikofer de oliveira vernay in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Butikofer de oliveira vernay was founded in 2005, and often participates in competitions set in complex urban situations, operating as an important reflection tool in the practice. Fundamental to this practice is the attention for space; for the urban and cultural landscapes in which a project finds shape. Atmosphere, generosity, comfort, pleasure and simplicity, combined with an economy of means and material, are crucial points of reflection when striving for the best possible result. The dissolution of boundaries between the natural and the artificial, and the use of materials and contemporary technologies with an awareness of the past and its traditions, are also carefully considered.

Olivia de Oliveira studied at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil and  received a Ph.D. from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. She authored several publications dedicated to the theory and criticism of Brazilian architecture with special attention to the work of Lina Bo Bardi. Her written works include Lina Bo Bardi, obra construída (Ed. Gustavo Gili, 2003/2010/2014) and Lina Bo Bardi, subtle substances of architecture (Ed. Romano Guerra et Gustavo Gili, 2006) which was awarded by the Instituto dos Arquitetos do Brasil, and shortlisted for the 2007 RIBA International Book Awards.

She is currently a visiting scholar at the Federal University of Bahia, where she coordinates a research project around the recycling of empty buildings in the former commercial and industrial zone of the harbour of Salvador, Brazil.

6 TOPIA: Conversations on Utopia and the Real

Six conversations confront utopian fictions on the city with their real-life counterparts. Whereas Thomas More used the fictive island of Utopia to hold up a mirror to the society of the time, the series re-engages with utopian thinking on architecture and the city from the point of view of its different incarnations and apparitions in reality. This takes place in the actuality of late capitalism in which representation and reality intersect and coincide. How can future scenarios for architecture and the city be truly radical and tangible in the current moment, where ideas, concepts and imageries have become commodities rather than catalysts for real societal change?

CURATORS Czvek Rigby & Natural Born Architects | ORGANISATION Stad en Architectuur vzw
 stuk kunstencentrum, asro ku leuven, existenz | support stad leuven, provincie vlaams-brabant, vlaamse overheid | sponsors febelcem, vandersanden group, a+ architectuur in belgië, nav

STUK Auditorium
Thu 16 Feb 201720:00
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