Frank Lloyd Wright's scaled model of Fallingwater, one of the many objects on display at the International Exhibition on Living Architecture


ARTKITEKTURA: Organic architecture in the 21st century

ARTKITEKTURA Festival of Architecture and the Arts is coming back to Manila this February!

  • January 27, 2018

  • Photographed by Ed Simon

“Organic architecture” made its grand entrance into design discourse through Frank Lloyd Wright. In a 1914 essay, he used the term to describe his work. The architect believed that a building must be in harmony with the environment, as if it grew naturally from the ground.

In a 1957 interview, Wright shared: “I would like to have a free architecture. Architecture that belonged where you see it standing—and is a grace to the landscape instead of a disgrace.”

So how is organic architecture now expressed in the current age of digitally driven design? This is what the International Exhibition on Living Architecture aims to present. It traces the journey of living architecture from the pioneers of organic architecture, to the enlivening of modernism, to contemporary worldwide expressions.

A detail of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater scaled model

You can catch the exhibit this February as ARTKITEKTURA 2018 brings it to the UP Vargas Museum. The 2018 run of the festival will cover Movement and Flow in the Built Environment with lectures and workshops to be held on 3-4 February 2018 at Areté, Ateneo de Manila University.

ARTKITEKTURA 2018 is a CPD-accredited event. Tickets can be purchased online here. Below is a rundown of the lectures included in the festival.

Invisible Architecture: Environment Design in Practice by Patrick Bellew

Professor Bellew will outline the global imperative for a sustainable approach to development and will look at the forces that have led to the current attitudes to sustainability in world architecture. He will also discuss how the emergence of ‘WELL’ building concerns ally with the bigger environmental concerns of the day.

Flux, Flow, Self and The World; Exploring the Space Between by Gregory Burgess

Identification (or oneness) and separation (otherness) are the two primal human spatial experiences from which architecture derives. In finding the dynamic balance – the oscillating third or middle space between these polarities, we can experience through the creative process, the building presence emerging as self – ourselves in becoming.

Places – Flowing through History by Richard Coleman

– Recalling Places that MOVE Us
– Making Transitional MOVES – Old to New
– A Future Heritage MOVEment

Using the three headings above, Mr. Coleman will illustrate the way in which townscapes of the past have inspired him, how people move within them and ways of analyzing their qualities. He will describe how his work and the work of others can be a movement towards a heritage of the future.

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Bamboo – An Alternative for Construction by Luis Lopez

Bamboo can be the epicenter of a green revolution of new construction systems that, to some extent, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that the construction industry is currently producing. When a material such as bamboo is used with appropriate technology in order to provide decent and safe housing, not only are the living conditions of the inhabitants of the dwelling improved, but a local economy is activated that involves the farmers improving the living conditions of them too.

Creating Form Out of Time, Place and People by Pieter van der Ree

Buildings and industrial products are always embedded in natural, social and cultural life processes. They influence both people and the environment, but are not always designed out of this awareness. How can we design products that support and enrich our lives and are in accordance with nature?

Archaeology of a City in Search of Identity by Joy Belmonte 

Quezon City Vice Mayor Belmonte has recently begun an archaeological research program across the city to map its invisible heritage. She will illustrate the origins of this idea, show the results of progress so far, and provide an initial vision for the city’s cultural profile.

Weaving Living Architecture with Philippine Culture by Jason Buensalido

The current state of Philippine Architecture shall be analyzed and explained through a short historical narrative of how cultural, political, and economic events led to an eventual disconnection of Philippine Architecture from local culture and nature. This current status magnifies the importance of why these two elements need to be re-integrated into our built environment, with the intent of ensuring their preservation and longevity for future generations to enjoy.

For more information about the festival and the workshops, visit ARTKITEKTURA 2018’s official website.