Enric Massip-Bosch on Architecture and Travel
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What is the importance of architectural tourism?
Tourism in general can be very negative. I would rather think that there is a difference between tourism and travelling, there is a difference between a tourist and a traveler. Perhaps, a traveler tries to understand the context compare to a the tourists which is compassion or just want to see things, and I think that architectural tourism as a post to architectural travelling can be very much an illusion of cities and architecture we have this problem all over the place not to mention in Greece for instance. It is a global problem that is not really easy to deal with. Except through education, I don’t know.
What is the importance of travelling especially for architects?
It is essential. It is very important to travel in order to have other experiences. I always suggest to my students to have other experiences in another country in another culture if it is possible try to grasp, as many things are possible for their own personality building. It is probably the most interesting part of architecture the one that deals with the complexities of the world and tries to bring them together into a single response, which is actually what our work is about.
What is the added value that architecture creates within a city?
Architecture does not create added value to a city, architecture is the city or the city is made of architecture, it’s a physical aspect. If you mean that architecture is somehow above near construction then we have a problem. Architecture should be everywhere, architecture should not be only flashy buildings, it should also be the background for our lives and this background doesn’t have to be special or really flashy, it is enough that it is moving and stimulating or just plain and simple an agreeable space to live. The city that is made out of a good background and with certain highlights is the city that is better than the city that is made only of highlights or only of background or a city that it was only made of contraction without any other aspect. We think about all the instant cities that have been built in the last ten or fifteen years in the world and most of these places are not places they are just spaces with people feeling in floors. They don’t have a real sense of place if they don’t think about the public space which I think is the glue than brings together the community and actually that gives a feeling of the identity of a place.
At last, can you please provide your personal proposal for ten buildings (constructed and visitable) that you are the most important worldwide and someone must visit anyway?
I really believe that you can only talk about architecture when you are visiting, we miss a lot of dimensions of architecture when we talk about it only from pictures but still I would like to point out emergence of many excellent architects in places. You can find excellent architecture in Somalia you can find excellent architecture in Tanzania which is beyond the excellent tradition of modern architecture, there are developments everywhere in places that are unheard and unexpected if I might say from my point of view. And I think for me this is the most interesting lets say the best ten buildings in the world I still haven’t visited, I hope I have the chance to visit all those places that are out of centrality of the west centrality.
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