Architecture is more than just a constructed shell that defines space. It is a sign of its time, an expression of its function, a monument of its philosophy, and the subject of both internal and public reflection. A museum and the idea behind a collection – both are granted a physiognomy through architecture. A cultural landscape discovers its trademark. A whole town receives its icons through the specific formal language of a particular building. Cultural tourism, with its vitalising powers, is seldom far behind. Architecture is also a form of communication – reason enough to fashion a professional engagement both with it and the discourse that surrounds it.
Culture has in the interim become a decisive factor in the choice of location. It is an elementary component of urban self-image, as well as its outward representation. Its economic relevance and concomitant importance is burgeoning in the creative economy’s new dialogue. The interest in synergies often encounters the fear of instrumentalisation, the mutual field of interest doesn’t create an arena for cooperation, but rather one of conflict, posing a number of exciting questions: how can the perceived reality and image of a culturally-orientated city be initiated and guided convincingly? Where does city marketing get the necessary credibility and authenticity to create a bond between the communicators and producers of culture?
Culture and architecture are social themes – they are almost always dealt with in a cultural-political manner, and, often enough, dispensed with arbitrarily. The growing scarcity of economic resources plays its part and duly undermines the culture lobby. Thus an engaged, committed, and critical articulation of social interests that considers expert knowledge as much as it heeds the desires of chief protagonists and the interested public, is more important than ever before. The process of forming cultural and political lobbies demands both an idealistic approach to the matter in hand, as well as a strategic procedure with regard to the responsible parties. Culture needs protection and sponsorship in order to preserve its existence as a salient quality of urban life. We are committed to this aim.