Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Architectural "inspirations" in Michalov continue

23 of June '20

The festival of architecture in Michalow continues. On Friday, June 19, 2020, Michalow authorities discovered that they had inadvertently used an outdated visualization idea of the Disco Polo Music Center to be builthere (we wrote about it here). The municipality's official website now features the visualization proper - less inspired by Horizone Studio's design. To make it funnier, the commentary emphasized that it's an unworkable idea anyway.

This story probably wouldn't have been thought up by the mostcreativelyricist of disco polo songs. But the material to be used is certainly strong. The purpose ofthearticle we published on A&B last Friday was to stimulate a discussion about plagiarismin architecture. However, we didn't think it would ignite a storm. The topic is being heated up by the township authorities. On Friday, they published a surprising explanation:

"Several versions of visualization ideas were drawn up for the project. One of them was inspired by the design of the existing Ericpol Software Pool office building in Lodz. By mistake, a previous conceptual idea of another employee was posted on the MICHALOWO.EU website." - can be read on the site.

The text is accompanied by a visualizationthatshould have branded Mikhailov's idea. The illustration shows the design of the Ericpol office building by Horizone Studio,whichhas been overlaid with a gray layer with sketchy facade divisions. On the gable wall, fluorescentlights visible in the windows of Horizone Studio's original visualization shine through from under the overlaid gray layer. This one was simply repainted. And for the sake of inconspicuousness yet another change - under the rainbow "disco polo" logo the word "center" was added.

However, as it turns out, the visualization was created only to markup the new investment, because the municipality does not intend to build such an edifice. The devilis in the details, and it's best to use a quote so as not to misrepresent anything:

"[...] neither this, nor the other pre-developed visualizations of the building used to present the idea to the Marshal, will be used during the conceptual and design work. We all know that there is a gymnasium on the site, and it is this gymnasium that will be adapted [sic!] for the disco polo center, which makes any of these visualizations practically impossible to implement."

What are we dealing with? Inspiration? Alteration? Plagiarism? Theft?It mayseem like a satire on the capitalist society of excess, a commentary in the spirit of "everything has already been done," a challenge to the architects, a self-criticism of the dead end into which the affirmation of this populist musical genre has run. But none of these loftygoalsseem to have guided the authorities of the Michalowo municipality, and the published explanation is a clumsyattempt tocover up the theft of a projectwhosecopyright is held by Horizone Studio.

Robert Strzeński, a partner in the architectural firm Horizone Studio,saysemphatically, "The visualization is obviously beyond comment. The explanation, on the other hand, is not satisfactory to us and does not meet our demands sent in the legal letter. Butto behonest, we didn't expect anything else. The situation only confirms the level of the authorities in Michalow... Well, for some reason, that's where they wanted to gain publicity on the pseudo-culture of disco polo."

I asked Michalow'sdeputymayor Konrad Sikora,whocommented for the previous article, by email, how this correct visualizationdiffersfrom the design of the Ericpol building by Horizone Studio, because from the translation on the website one can conclude that this correct version is not an inspiration. And yet it isn't. Sikora explains, "Both graphics were inspired by the Ericpol building project. It's just that the graphic originally posted online should not have been published. The actual illustration was based on the erroneous one, and the main difference was the removal of characteristicelementsof the Ericpol building."

The commentary on the commentary is a bit of a shot across the knee. It also clearly shows what the problem is. The Mikhailov authorities are using Internetresourcesunder a Creative Commons license - downloading and actingcreatively- like pop-art artists. They areunaware that even if the visualization by Horizone Studio were to operate under such rules, it would be necessary to mark the authorship, which was lacking hereat all. In this case, however, one would need permission to use the illustrative material - both in official documents and promotional activities. And for this one no one eventried toapply.

"The municipality of Michalowohas not drawn up any project, concept or visualization. None. Only an illustration was included in the application to the Marshaltodrawattention to our idea, so that an employee in the Marshal's Office would not simply translate our idea from one pile to another as less interesting," continues Sikora.

Not quite true - the visualization was created. A verycreativeone. And you have to admit that the goal wasachieved- now it will be difficult for an office worker to overlook the issue.Michalow authoritiesalso posted the "new" visualization on their Facebook fanpage. Over the weekend the post generated 150 comments. All of them are unequivocally critical. But all in accordance with the old drunkard's principle "It doesn't matter howtheytalk, it mattersthatthey talk."


The vote has already been cast