THREE APPROCAHES TO ARCHITECTURE IN TIMES OF CRISIS

Year: 2011 (work in progress)
Client: Board of Architects of Rome

The crisis has changed the work systems of young architects, who upon graduating from university have had to adapt to the new conditions and reinvent their profession. This research project has focused on the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, three countries with different economic and political traits that have developed different methods of working. Without a doubt the Netherlands faces the least problematic situation, although dissatisfaction among young architects has been rising over recent months as the first effects of the financial crisis become apparent and subsidies for cultural activities have been slashed. In Italy frequent government changes and legislation on labor structure and organization are essential elements in understanding this debate. In Spain the profession is facing one of its greatest crisis ever. More than anywhere else, the country has been a victim of an unprecedented speculation in real estate, while in the past 15 years governments, both right and left wing, together with the private parties, have invested great part of their capital in constructing new buildings, mostly for residential purposes. Today, most of these properties remain vacant or have been abandoned. In all three countries the situation is gradually becoming more complex: this project's objective is to promote a cultural exchange and foster a debate on the causes and consequences of the economic crisis and its effect on the architectural profession.