AN INTRODUCTION TO THE YEARBOOK ABOUT THE THEMATIC YEAR OF THE DOCTORAL SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
During the academic year of 2011-2012, the Doctoral School of Architectural Design at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics examined the relation bet-ween community and architecture. This motto composed and organised both the collective creative work and the individual research topics.
There are several ways to define this relationship. The simp-lest of which is probably to say that designing a building happens basically in teamwork, both in the narrow sense of architectural design and in the wider approach including the collateral engineering fields. The image of the lonesome architect is gradually taken over by the team of architects who work together from the design concept to the details in the execution plan,helping each other all the way. The tendency of linking newly established studios to two, three or more architects is growing worldwide, and becoming predominant in Hungary,as well. One can find many reasons for this tendency. One of them is the continually growing number and ratio of architectural graduates which give rise to the need for associations.
But we can also assume that the world is moving in this direction. That the extreme individualism of recent decades is gradually being taken over by the desire and demand for sociality. In the latter case, the formation of communities is not only driven by material needs, but also by far more substantial psychic and spiritual reasons.Considering the whole process of architectural design, the dominant factor is the dynamic development of the collateral sciences: the number of specialisations connected with design is increasing rapidly. The task of architects is to synchronise the work of the specialists, and that is only possible in the spirit of cooperative teamwork and through harmonious collaboration.
Another possible definition of the motto is that architecture is serving the needs in minor and major communities. Thus, a determining component of architectural work is the effort to achieve as substantial and precise understanding of needs as possible, so that the outcome can best serve their fulfilment. Substantial understanding of needs is not only a professional, but rather a human challenge.To achieve this, we must dismiss the egoistic motivation of the individuals for selfrealisation, and try to understand the often dismissable circumstances which is by no means an effortless task.
And finally, there is a third way of interpretation, which incorporates the first two, presumably becoming the most important of all. The design teams should get in contact, with the building communities, but also with the ones that needed architectural service, but have no chance for it on market level. A fair relation between groups of architects and client communities is of crucial importance,and the cooperation process is its best promoter. Slightly extended, these relations form the discourse between professionals and the society as a whole, and every single project can be conducive to the empathic relationship of the two parties. A gradual growth of this understanding would be a significant achievement.
But an even greater accomplishment would be the disco-very of paths leading the architects to the groups which daren’t even come up with their hopes and needs, because they miss all the resources needed and probably could not even articulate them. These communities are multiplying and becoming further and further adrift from helping hands. It is not difficult to find them. Turning towards them is a bit harder. And perhaps the hardest of all is to serve them with specific work. Hard, but attemptable. This is what we have been trying this year.
Ferenc Cságoly DLA, Dsc, HAS Cor. Mem.
head of BUTE Doctoral School of Architectural Design