Residential and public complexes. Sofia
February 3, 2024
Public Lecture Series





19.02.2024 - 14.05.2024


Aneta Vasileva,
Emilia Kaleva,
Zekie Emin,
Georgi Marhov

In times when fragmentation of public opinion and individualism are on the rise, times defined by social bubbles and contesting the authority of experts, it becomes even more difficult for a single person to influence the majority. The same is valid for a single article.

In 2018 the fictional WhATA architectural awards announced ‘the citizen from social media’ as winner of their Person of the Year Award – this is the same untiring commentator who types indignant posts, makes collages and uses videos and editting techniques to ridicule any half-baked ideas taking shape in our urban environment. In the year that Facebook took its biggest blows and saw its most shocking revelations, precisely these people who vent their indignation within the Bulgarian Facebook realm successfully demonstrated the power of civil society. This power led to resignations from public servents, scrapped contests, and a stronger scrutiny from the people over refurbishment works and public tenders. But it also showed something else. 

In times of living in social bubbles and the dying authority of experts we have developed a serious issue with trusting expert advice. This leads to constant petty information storms and scandals but little actual change. The elected people in power become hostages to public opinions and more often feel paralysed to make bold and visionary decisions.

How can we write and speak about architecture today? Where is the place of architecture criticism in a world where content has a short lifespan and people become more and more divided. What is the responsibility of the media?

In this lecture series the New Architectural Heritage Foundation and Goethe-Institut Bulgaria will discuss key contemporary themes and points of conflict through the lens of architecture – the so called ‘crisis of criticism’, the deficient trust in expert advice, phenomena like populism in architecture, the new architectural conservatism, traditionalism and the divided society that we live in today.

Lecture 1
Realkritik | Architecture, society and media
date: Tuesday 19th March 2024 at 19:00
by: Aneta Vasileva, Zekie Emin and Georgi Marhov
Lecture 2
Die Neue Altstadt | Eagles, ‘traditions’ and the new architectural conservatism
date: Tuesday 2nd April 2024 at 19:00
by: Aneta Vasileva and Zekie Emin
Lecture 3
Make Architecture Great Again! | Monuments, parks, parliaments and the new populism in architecture
date: Tuesday 23rd April 2024 at 19:00
by: Aneta Vasileva
Lecture 4 + Panel Discussion
Kicked a Building Lately?* | (Architecture) criticism after the digital revolution
date: Tuesday 14th May 2024 at 19:00
by: Aneta Vasileva, Zekie Emin, Georgi Markov and guest critics
Visualisation: Dimitar Karanikolov, Elena Filipova / studio MESHROOM
Design: Nikol Decheva
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