The many actors from different disciplines of architecture, as co-creators of the physical spaces in which we all live and move, play an important role in solving future challenges such as housing and urban development in the face of climate change, migration, new family patterns and demographics, urbanisation, depopulation and shrinking cities, deindustrialisation, rising inequality and housing prices, housing shortages, technological achievements, new economic paradigms, etc. Here, the field of architecture in the broadest sense is understood from residential buildings and institutions, to parks and landscapes to metropolitan scale, all of which contain social, aesthetic, political, environmental and economic aspects.
The manifesto as a format was an integral part of the maligned modernist 'isms' and political ideologies, but seems to be back on the map of architecture. After the great stories have been doomed for some decades, the manifesto resurfaces, such as the 2018 'FREESPACE Manifesto' by the Venice Biennale curatorial duo Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara, or the 29-point manifesto by Chinese Amateur Architecture Studio, on display in Louisiana Museum in 2017.
At the same time, there is a renewed interest in the 20th century avant-garde manifestos, which are rediscovered in the book 'Manifesto Architecture: The Ghosts of Mies' (2014) and the anthology 'Avantgardemanifester' (2019), edited by Mikkel Bolt. By refocusing on the manifesto, we want to get Danish professionals to consider what values they stand for and build on. To dare to set goals and visions for where we are going in the future and what kind of cities, homes, landscapes and public spaces we need to develop and take care of. The aim of the manifesto is therefore to consider architecture as a framework for social and urban development and how architecture can change the world.
In aggregate form, the manifestos will constitute an important document that could potentially support policies and plans. This provides a multidisciplinary expertise to the public and, at the same time, it gives professionals working in different areas of architecture an opportunity to rethink the values on which we will build the future of the city, the home and the citizens together. Architectural quality, caring for social and environmental cohesion requires all actors to be around the table.
We hope that the manifestos will benefit urban and social development.
Academic Architects' Association and Copenhagen Architectecture Festival
Copenhagen, April 2019