Barcelona Meeting 2018
by Tiago Lopes Dias

After the meeting held in Guimarães in December 2017, it was decided that a next event should be organized in Barcelona so that Spanish or Spanish based architects, teachers and researchers could re-evaluate the impact of Team 10 ideas in this country.

Almost twenty five invitations were sent, asking for a small text (around 500 words) and a title that could synthesize a specific problematic related with the legacy of Team 10. No topics were suggested: each author was free to choose accordingly to their intellectual interests, research projects or personal motivation. However, it was emphasized that the objective was to bring together a series of themes, problems and challenges that may constitute thematic panels for an international congress.

The sixteen texts that were kindly sent to us were quite different from one another: some were personal notes, some embodied an impressive amount of research (probably gathered for a PhD thesis), a few seemed to be a draft for a paper to be submitted, and there was also an excerpt from an article previously published in Quaderns magazine.

With the support of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC), on June 1st 2018 we were able to gather the sixteen speakers in the auditorium of the Association’s headquarters in Plaça Nova in Barcelona. It was organized the same way as the Guimarães meeting: four sessions with a minimum coherence of contents synthesized – due to the need for organization – in a title. Many presentations resulted in fantastic lectures, sometimes with almost 45 minute long. The professionalism of COAC did possible to record and make available all presentations in its own YouTube channel.

Due to the extended time of the presentations, it was decided that a general round-table debate would take place in the end of the fourth session, by mid-afternoon. An unexpected and intense debate took place between the organization, the invited speakers and the assistance, with the complicity of the Guimarães’ organization team, also invited for the event. A few pertinent questions were thrown, which made us ponder: is it legitimate to compare the social motivations of architects such as Coderch or Oiza to that of Candilis or the Smithsons?

The agenda was completed with Dirk van den Heuvel’s lecture “Jaap Bakema and the Open Society”, in which he presented the book with the same title launched by the Jaap Bakema Study Centre together with Archis (2018), the first extensive publication on the Dutch architect who was part of Team 10’s “inner circle”.

In the following day, early in the morning, a group of participants from the meeting, together with some UPC architecture students, went to visit Gaudí Neighborhood in Reus, designed by Ricardo Bofill and his Taller de Arquitectura. It was a unique opportunity to be received by the association of residents of this extensive urbanization and to understand, in situ, the concept of “labyrinthine clarity”...

The discussion on how to incorporate the approximately forty contributions we received in Guimarães and Barcelona into the structure of a future congress occupied us a good part of this second day. As we were expecting, there were no clear conclusions. However, it was clear among us all the will to continue the “farwest adventure”.