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Publication date
09/10/13

Author(s)
Jean-Didier Bergilez

Bibliographic reference
Dithyrambes. [Re]nouveaux Plaisirs d'Architecture #3

Link
www.wbarchitectures.be/fr/publications/Dithyrambes.__Re_nouveaux_Plaisirs_d_Architecture__3/164/
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"(Re)Nouveaux Plaisirs d'Architecture #3"

Opening

And so deliciously that trumpet blows
On evenings of celestial harvestings,
It makes a rapture in the hearts of those
Whose love and praise it sings.
Charles Baudelaire, “The Unforeseen”, in Les Fleurs du Mal
 
[Re]Nouveaux Plaisirs d'Architecture #3
 
Although some argue that architecture is gradually (re)becoming a cultural discipline in French-speaking Belgium, it must be acknowledged, in parallel and not in contradiction, that the importance given to it, to its most emerging, most “experimental”, most unstable manifestations, remains fragile. Yet it is also and especially this aspect that can and must draw our attention in the hope of identifying those that are, perhaps, the forces to be reckoned with tomorrow.
 
Without vowing a cult to youth, with a healthy dose of insight, and all the necessary reserves, the third edition of [Re]Nouveaux Plaisirs d'Architecture intends to pursue the goals that had already been identified as fundamental in the first two editions of this event, which first got off the ground in 2004: to seek out, identify, develop and debate a so-called "emerging" architecture in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

Since 2004, however, things have fortunately significantly changed and the political and cultural frameworks that, at the time, appeared as beautiful desert steppes, appear today much more armed, active and productive of things that are of unfailing architectural interest. Just look back and to all sides for a moment at the exhibitions, publications, lecture series, but also at the regulatory and legal provisions, incentives and development programmes implemented by the government, or the place granted to architecture in the media, in publications, on television, on the web, to realise that times are gradually changing, and that architecture is also changing.

Unfailingly, however, we believe it is still and always necessary to talk about architecture, the show and to discuss it. Because the field of architecture is in a constant state of renewal, in terms of its human resources, its practices and its representations, but also because this new breath of life also offers the opportunity to no longer focus on the urgency of putting the spotlight on a young generation of architects and rather to focus more specifically on the pleasures of architecture, the sheer diversity of the production and sharing of points of views.
 
Based on/starting from these goals in tandem with the curator of the exhibition RNPA # 3, Pablo Lhoas, we have focused on the small trajectories of young architectural practices not only for what they are already, but for what they could be and become, and then especially for the implication that they could have for our environment and our response to it, for the way we experience it and consider it. RNPA # 3 presents and brings together under one banner nine practices, nine productions, nine firms, collectives or architects: adn architectures, v. p. alexis, Label architecture, LLAC architects, Radim Louda, orthodoxe, SPECIMEN, VERS.A and V.O. They are recent participants, all in their own way, in this extension of the field of architecture.
 
Let us be clear about one thing: we do not claim to reveal, recognise and develop established practices to be taken as an example. The respective peculiarities of these nine practices very clearly put them in a cultural environment undergoing change, one that has been modified by the productions rolled out by their predecessors, in line with other practices, architectural and other, in Belgium and abroad, today and yesterday. Nor do we set out to formalise an architectural identity. On the contrary. Going against probably the latest collective events at the end of 2012 in Brussels and Flanders in particular, the challenge is to broaden the scope of references and highlight the diversity of practices. The previous editions of R.N.P.A. showed, if it was necessary, and this edition continues to do so, the multiplicity of approaches, the variety of trajectories, the wealth of production and inadequacy of a unifying discourse.
 
Giving these nine faces of architecture an early podium[1] is our way of underlining the importance of doing so. While the decade that has just passed seems to point to a welcome revival of architectural debates, policies and production in Belgium, Wallonia, Brussels and elsewhere, and while it is still necessary to adopt a prudent and clear approach when assessing their importance, it is nevertheless possible to smile and sing with enthusiasm - the enthusiasm of the careful observer - the praises of a refreshing wind of change.
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[1] «The probable need for early podium" is the title - still relevant – of the introductory text written by Vincent Brunetta for the exhibition SUPERNOVA. Young Belgian architecture presenting 44 figures of emerging architecture in Belgium in 2000.
 
Jean-Didier Berligez

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