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3 questions for Mikołaj Machulik, president of the Katowice branch of SARP

13 of January '20

Recently, the local branches of the Association of Polish Architects held elections of new authorities for the 2019-2023 term[results]. On our portal you can learn about the plans of the newly elected presidents of the association. In today's episode, Mikołaj Machulik will talk about the activities of the Katowice branch.

SARP Katowice Branch

Mikolaj Machulik
president of SARP branch in Katowice

© SARP Branch Katowice

A&B: What program of activities of the SARP branch do you assume for the nearest future? Are there any changes planned?

Mikołaj Machulik: The program of activities of our branch revolves around several basic elements: education, promotion, integration.

In terms of education, we have cycles of meetings and workshops, lectures. The series, which just turned 15 years old, "Masters of Architecture" is dedicated to already interested young people, students and architects. For the youngest children - "Archidzieci" and "Children in Cubature". We also co-organize with the Silesian Regional Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland professional training courses for architects, and actively participate in the national educational program of the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland for children and schoolchildren - "Shaping Space".

Within the scope of the promotion of architecture falls the above-mentioned education aimed at people outside our environment. First of all, it is the organization of architectural and urban planning competitions of implementation, review and exhibitions. Every year we award prizes in our competition Architecture of the Year of the Silesian Voivodeship under the patronage of the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, with which, in turn, we also organize the Best Public Space of the Silesian Voivodeship. 2019 marked the 25th and 20th editions of these awards, respectively, which we celebrated with a unique gala and ceremony at the Silesian Museum. The turn of the term is always associated with the review of SPAW, or "Silesian Provincial Architecture Review." We are just about to close the release of the 3rd edition - an exhibition and catalog that will present the work of our colleagues. Added to this is the Diploma of the Year award in cooperation with three already universities in Silesia.

Organized exhibitions are mainly post-competition and review exhibitions of SARP, but we also invite our members to individual exhibitions, where we give freedom of expression, and provide service, vernissage, promotion. We have been cooperating for years with the Cabinet of Architecture in Ostrava, from where we bring exhibitions of international scope - most recently original works (drawings and models) by Zvi Hecker. We also want to organize problem-based exhibitions. For so-called hygiene, our Architecture Gallery also hosts art from time to time.

Both training sessions and exhibition openings foster the integration of the community. Additional elements are the cyclical meetings "May Day of Architects" and "Archiziemniak", which are held in our House of Creative Architectural Work in Ustron in the so-called villa of General Ziêtek. These events are anticipated and are very popular, as is the Architects' Ball.
They are complemented by meetings and discussions around books, films, events and issues sometimes organized on an ad hoc basis.

With the institution Silesia Film - Filmoteka Slaska, we invite people to watch films together and talk about them in the "Film and the City" series, where we again manage to promote our "art of seeing." We are also working on photography workshops....

When thinking about integration, we think broadly. The last meeting of young architects SARP U40 organized in Katowice was titled "Opening". We want to open new and tighten existing cooperation not only with other SARP branches closest to us, but with other environmental organizations, in particular the Silesian District Chamber of Architects, the Society of Polish Urban Planners O/Silesia, the Repair the City Foundation, or other non-governmental organizations with which we share common "spatial" interests. This is also where we enter the fields of promotion and education.

There is a lot of it, so we are unlikely to plan more new cycles of activities. We want to focus on their quality.

A&B: How many members are there in the branch and how much are the dues?

Mikolaj Machulik: We have almost 400 members in the branch. The amount of the fee is 15 PLN/month. Retirees and honorary members are exempt from the fee.

A&B: Why is it important to be a member of SARP?

Mikolaj Machulik: SARP, like any organization, is made up of people. SARP gives you the opportunity to voluntarily, but as you can see very actively, get involved in the work for the architectural community and the real promotion of architecture. Is it worth it? Do we succeed in doing so? The numbers speak for themselves. In the past term in our Branch we had about 211 previously mentioned events in 19 cycles over 4 years, which statistically gives 1 activity per week! We held about 20 contests alone, on top of that 16 review contests and 3 workshops. On average, one every two months! This is also a good start for young aspiring architects, graduates eager to join the active professional community and open to cooperation, before they dutifully join the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland, so that they can independently and consciously and responsibly practice the profession.

The vote has already been cast