Curatorship and theme announced for the World Congress of Architects 2026

The winning project in the competition to choose the curatorship for the UIA-UNESCO World Congress of Architects Barcelona 2026 is headed by the architects Pau Bajet, Mariona Benedito, Maria Giramé, Tomeu Ramis, Pau Sarquella, Carmen Torres and José Zabala. The team of curators will drive research through architecture, with time as the central theme.

17/01/2024 12:37 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Becoming. Architectures for a planet in transition is the winning curatorship project for the UIA-UNESCO World Congress of Architects 2026.

The project was presented today in a public ceremony at the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC), one of the six organisations promoting this major international event, along with the Higher Council for Architects’ Associations in Spain (CSCAE), the Ministry for Housing and Urban Agenda, the Catalan Ministry for Territory and Barcelona City Council.

The details announced included the definition of the site for the congress, with Barcelona’s metropolitan coast taking a central role.

One congress, six areas of research

The winning project centres on architecture’s capacity to transform reality through time and sets out six areas of research, each posing a question.

  1. Becoming beyond-human: how can we stimulate awareness and action to look after human and non-human planetary existence?
  2. Becoming attuned: what types of meaning, ethics and aesthetics can we adopt in our daily professional practice?
  3. Becoming embodied: how can we include our values and desires in the transition of materials into constructive beauty?
  4. Becoming interdependent: how can we include conflict, empathy, solidarity and care as key factors for improving interpersonal and social relations?
  5. Becoming hyper-conscious: what tools and actions should we use to achieve hyperawareness about our territory and be able to catalyse changes in ways of living?
  6. Becoming circular: what form will territorial production and reproduction have, taking into account postextractivist and local circular policies?

The goal is for the city to become a lab for architectural research over the next two years, and for the process to conclude with a series of conclusions to show real knowledge and practice that makes architecture drive change for people and the future of the planet.

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