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Sink or soar, or a summary of the year 2022 in architecture (part X)

16 of January '23

The end of December — because that's when we finished preparing the January issue — is the best time for all kinds of summaries. And like every year, we ask practitioners and architecture critics to write what they consider a success and what they consider a failure in a given year. We do it in the convention of Sink or Soar. We give our Authors total freedom of expression and do not moderate this discussion. Rather, we are very curious about it.

Previous episodes of the series featured:

Monika Arczynska in Sink or Soar 2022 from A&B 01|2023 issue

SOAR

Support of the architectural community for Ukraine

Rarely do we manage to mobilize in such a way, and probably even more rarely do spontaneous, instant actions produce such positive results. I write „us” because I don't remember an initiative with which such a large part of our industry community identified. Although it seemed that our role would only matter when the reconstruction — what can architects do besides design? — support and intensive action began immediately. The "Designers_ci for Ukraine" job database, the Paper Partitioning System providing refugee women and men with a minimum of privacy in large halls, facilitation of university admissions or the express, low-budget adaptation by the xystudio studio of a floor of a Warsaw office building into a school for Ukrainian children are just a few examples. In addition, numerous collections, relief efforts and volunteer work have been and are ongoing — the war has thrown us out of a constant mode of deadlines and other matters that suddenly seemed unimportant. I admire, I thank, I bow my head!

SINK

housing

I wish it were for lack of a better idea, but I'll repeat last year's putt: housing. A year ago I was grumbling about real estate prices, the „doe,” houses without building permits and the failure of Housing Plus. Despite the many problems, however, it seemed that their solution was a matter of time, because after all, at least in theory, it was clear what to do. Admittedly, the municipal stock has not miraculously multiplied, and suburbanization has not stopped, but for a moment one could sense in the air a readiness, if not yet for action, then for a new, broad way of thinking about housing. On the other hand, in the private market, with a bit of luck, it was sometimes possible to come across a gem for rent or an opportunity to buy. That came to an end. Due to the war, the crisis in this area has worsened considerably, and today it is difficult to talk about any financial accessibility, especially with the simultaneous decline in the creditworthiness of many Poles. Again, one has to „somehow” manage, with the pool of possible housing solutions not so limited for a long time. Graduates are starting new studies, as long as they don't lose their right to a dormitory, and families are reconverting to multi-generational households (you can then get more coal subsidies!). If this continues, I'll point to housing again next year. Let's hope not.

Monika Arczynska


architect, A2P2 Architecture and Planning studio

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Interior trends 2023
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