editorial ZERO

The practice of Architecture is intrinsically linked to life on Earth, to its climate variations, to the different development stages of each population and to each one of its local and global specificities. And it is from this point of view that nothing is excluded from practice in architecture.

The CRISIS will also influence the perception of Architecture in general, just as it has changed the way the architect acts when facing different challenges nowadays. Increasingly, outside the mainstream, new principles and complex systems are emerging which explore alternative ways to position ourselves when facing the imbalance of a system that everyone had forgotten was frail – the capitalist system. Outside of the system that creates architectures of image using too expensive formalities to endure during an extended period of time, questions are raised and the solutions found can place the known contemporary practice in checkmate. By no means can we let go of this opportunity to look to the side and share knowledge about other realities, other practices, other ways of thinking and acting in order to be able to place the best questions and find better solutions.
Is the architect able to help solve a CRISIS? What changes can be proposed and which will be inevitable? But after all, what CRISIS are we facing today?
We begin this series of publications with the most discussed topic of the day – the CRISIS – and to begin the discussion and sharing of knowledge, we invited Lia Vasconcelos to participate in the first issue –PhD in Environmental Engineering/Social Systems, Master of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning and coordinator of several initiatives of collaborative participation in political governance– and the Ecuador Al Borde studio – which has developed its work around the sustainable use of automated self-help community and return to the primitive notion of inhabiting the planet.
Thus, we have two approaches: the studio in which the new difficulties are the engine for new approaches; and those who argue that the path that brought us here is not the one which will allow us to proceed, nor find innovative answers. Both can be found in the creation of communities of practice that are a result of the integration of various types of knowledge, formal and informal, in search of the best solution to every crisis or situation.
At the same time, we invited the architect Manuel Graça Dias for a conversation at U.A.L., where we learned a little more about his journey as a student, teacher and architect, and in the interview we ended up talking about the education that failed, resulting in insensitive and uncritical students and the lack of flexibility from the State to develop positive synergies – in short, about the several crisis of the country and the sum of all the current CRISIS in which we live in.

filipa ramalhete + joao caria lopes