The 10th edition of the Lower Silesian Architecture Festival in Wroclaw under the theme "City in Solidarity" starts tomorrow. The curators of this year's installment - Barbara Nawrocka and Dominika Wilczynska of Miastopracowni - have invited to the event Tatiana Bilbao, a Mexican-born architect and lecturer, who is particularly concerned with their future users and users in her projects. Tatiana Bilbao's lecture will take place on November 18 at 6 pm at the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw.
What solidarity means to Tatiana Bilbao was asked in a conversation by Karolina Częczek, an architect from the Only If studio. You can find an excerpt of this conversation below, and read the whole thing in the December issue of A&B.
Karolina Częczek: [...] What is solidarity for you and how does it translate into spatial aspects?
Tatiana Bilbao: Solidarity is a very capacious word. I, above all, would like to emphasize solidarity with other people. None of us is an autonomous being and we need others in order to interact with them, to get support and care. Unfortunately, we increasingly rely more on financial capital than social capital in our daily lives. This is a huge problem, because not all of us are productive individuals and not everyone is capable of taking care of themselves. By relying excessively on economic aspects, we lose the essence of life, which is the closeness and presence of another human being. As human beings, we need space to create and enact acts of solidarity. I think we have erased from our culture many spaces and communities that served this purpose. For example, traditional agricultural production was based on a system of interdependence and balance between people, space and the environment. Today, food production is completely industrialized and optimized, and is not based on these interdependencies. I'm not proposing a return to agrarian society, of course, but this is an example of a socio-spatial system that was developed through cooperation and solidarity among people. How can we today create solidarity-based systems based on modern needs? An interesting example is public laundries, which were very common until the first half of the 20th century. In many places, these were spaces where people (usually women) did domestic work, created care and support networks, and shared other social and material resources. They were absolutely essential, especially for those with limited access to them. Today, in the most developed parts of the world , we have stopped washing clothes in public, which can be a metaphor for a society that does not reveal its weaknesses and needs. Without this, it's very hard to build solidarity.
You can find the conversation with the DOFA curators and the festival program here.