OSA_Act of Resilience 2
Peter Swinnen_The Architect as policy whisperer
Peter Swinnen currently practices architecture at his Brussels based office CRIT. and conducts PhD research at the KUL University on The political praxis of architecture. Between 2010-15 Swinnen enrolled as state architect for the Flemish Region, a public mandate for which he developed strategic pilot instruments allowing architecture to become – again – a leading policy making discipline. The pilot programs focused on collective housing, health care infrastructure, blackfields and energy landscapes. In 2013 he co-curated The Ambition of the Territory at the Architecture Biennale Venice. From 1998 till 2014 Swinnen founded and spearheaded the architectural office of 51N4E, with key projects such as C-MINE, TID Tower, Skanderbeg Square, ISTANBUL 2050, BUDA Arts Centre and the walled Arteconomy residence. In 2011 he edited the publications Reasons For Walling a House and Double or Nothing.
Currently he is teaching at ETH in Zurich where he has organised a series of lectures called "I prefer not to" in which guests where called to express their position in architecture through a negative notion. Quoting from the series presentation: "What if the architect would systemically cultivate the uncomfortable yet urgent art of saying ‘NO’? How many architects really acknowledge that declaring ‘NO’ to irrelevant briefs or other impertinent opportunities is a fundamental social responsibility of the profession? And can this ethical ‘NO’ be considered productive for the public good? The self-evident though elusive answer is: ‘YES’, of course."