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How will migration influence architecture and the city?

Șerban Țigănaș

Architecture is materialized civilization as result of migration of ideas, goods and people. The future may be one of intensified migrations as expression of more freedom but also of more needs. Architecture will be imprinted by references to the origins of the migrants, but also of aspirations of them to integrate into the culture of the destination. Migrants are exiled, conquistadors or both. This means they want to remember their culture but also to escape and forget. This is complexity and contradiction, as Venturi said. The language of architecture may be an Esperanto of nuanced pluralism very differently applied to programs as homes, schools, temples, or pubs. This is about being different and the same or being different in the same way. Architecture reflects the contradictory need of belonging and of detaching from the crowd.


The City is the product of growth achieved by attraction and reflecting migration of proximity or distance. The City is also multifaced self-branded personalized type: it never sleeps, it is friendly, green, safe, vibrant, sophisticated, cozy, creative, and many times is calling him self a capital of something. Cities will compete for attracting migrants, but will also try to filter them, at the gate or later. There will be cities within cities, brands within brands, and architectures among architectures. The City will be the material infrastructure of the Citynet, a juxtaposition of relations, habits, and influences. Migrants will first discover, then select, enjoy, and enrich the Citynet. 


Nothing new as phenomenon, related to migration influence, but faster and much more intense, winning and loosing the same time, because architecture and cities are alive. When you live you get something by any decision, but you also loose something by not deciding differently. Migration is about disruption and planning the unplannable. It is life on this planet.   

Șerban Țigănaș is a Romanian architect, founder of Dico&Țigănaș, a multidisciplinary leading design office that received several awards and whose projects were nominated, published and exposed internationally. As a professor in the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca he is currently teaching theory and project design, recently adding a new course on communication and marketing for architects. He held different positions in the Romanian Order of Architects, including presidency between 2010-2018, in the Architects Council of Europe and the International Union of Architects, being part of the team preparing the UIA Congress in 2020 in Rio, establishing Rio de Janeiro as the first World Capital or Architecture, in association with UNESCO

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