Lyonel Feininger, Dome in Halle, oil on canvas, 1931; source:
Can architecture be apolitical?
I r i n a M e l i ț ă
The sole existence of a built presence represents a statement. A statement that can be used to manipulate, to make a point of force or influence, or, simply to send a message. Every architectural gesture sends a message, and therefore, is political. It can be very easily and bluntly explained: for example, a building that takes into account the context and responds to complex systems that surround it, can be politically named democratic. On the other hand, a building that turns this message into one of power (be it financial or ideological), is a dictatorship. Of course this is a caricature reduction, let’s say, of a more nuanced reality, but only for the scope of sustaining the argument that architecture cannot be apolitical.
In the past the means of transmitting something through architecture was in the hands of few...Now this power has spread. The important question is how the role of the architect has changed following this evolvement of things. I think that now, more than before, we are the guardians of democracy!
Irina Melita studied architecture at the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest between 1998 and 2004, followed by a Master’s Degree in “Integrate Urban Planning“ in the same institution. She taught at the University, 1st year architecture studio, for four years. During the studies she had a one year Erasmus scholarship in Toulouse and several internships and collaborations in Geneva, Paris and Lausanne. She has acted as a teaching guest at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland in 2014. Irina worked since 2004 in several partnerships, until she founded POSTER, together with Stefan Simion, in 2007. www.theposter.ro