In the context of the COVID-19 virus, similar measures have been implemented worldwide to prevent the further spread of the virus. It is a far-reaching crisis which also heavily impacts our living spaces and, as a consequence, alters our perception or rather our needs and requirements for what we consider “home”. There is a sudden change in significance and value of space and its qualities. The function of spatial mobility, natural daylight, tranquillity, a balcony or a terrace, a kitchen, but also the layout of (outdoor) spaces acquires a new meaning. How are we going to approach it?
The exhibition “Staying Home, But How?” addresses the question of what or rather how we can learn from the COVID-19 crisis, especially in terms of architecture. A glance at architectural history shows that epidemics, crises and catastrophes have had an impact on urban planning and architecture time and time again. Is this to be expected from the COVID-19 pandemic as well? How helpful and important would a global exchange to find innovative solutions to a worldwide problem be at this very specific time? Following recent experiences, what does the population wish for the architectural future? In all these complex decisions, the question must be asked, what role politics, architects and occupants have to take on.
philomena+ has chosen Vienna, in the centre of Europe, and Isfahan, in West Asia – with both cities’ historical city centres inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List – as representative places for the research and exchange for this exhibition, which will travel from Vienna to Isfahan.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with further contributions from Ian Banerjee, Negar Hakim, Barbara Holub/Paul Rajakovics, Mohamad Mohamadzadeh, PPAG architects, Ida Pirstinger, Peter Reischer, Robert Temel.