October 10, 2018 - Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ljubljana - Living with Water - Southern Fringe of Ljubljana
e-flux Architecture
October 10, 2018
October 10, 2018

Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ljubljana

Milan Dinevski and Benja Pavlin / MAO.

Living with Water - Southern Fringe of Ljubljana
October 18, 2018–March 24, 2019

Opening: October 18, 7pm
Conference: October 19, 9am–4pm

Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ljubljana
Pot na Fužine 2
SI- 1000 Ljubljana
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm


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The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) presents Living with Water - Southern Fringe of Ljubljana, the exhibition that looks at scenarios for urban development underpinning the synergetic relationships between the human and natural environment. 

The modernisation mantra of the 19th century has been contained within the premise of taming nature by building infrastructure that turns it from the divine and wild actuality into a domestic and controllable source. This continued throughout the 20th century with the creation of dams, regulations, bridges, capping of water wells and other forms of engineering trophies, not seldom on a colossal scale. With this in mind the exhibition raises the question, what should a 21st century model for living with water look like

Instead of fearing water, could we imagine a future where we build systems that are as flexible as the changing water levels? Instead of protection from environmental hazards, could we consider developing smarter and more inclusive human-natural living environments?

In offering a framework to test these scenarios, the exhibition, as a case study, explores Ljubljansko Barje, a former marshland along the Ljubljanica River. An area filled with contradictions, it is on one hand a protected natural reservoir while on the other it faces an ever increasing pressure for urbanization; a rich reservoir of fresh underground drinking water that is under a threat of contamination from, for example, the existing settlements, which lack a proper sewage system. 

None the less, Barje has immense potential for development and a unique ecosystem. What kind of architectures could we imagine in this area, having in mind both the local and global concerns?  How can we go beyond the “economy of crisis” and “cleaning up after the storm has passed” thinking that we encounter—resulting in only short term gains?

These questions and ideas will be conceptualized and presented by the curatorial team Špela Šubic, Milan Dinevski, Nikola Pongrac and Damjan Kokalevski through archive materials in a museum environment, while the Future Architecture Platform participants SET-Architects, Phi, Maite Borjabad, SKREI, Miruna Dunu will tackle these issues by developing artistic and architectural scenarios with the mind–set already shifted towards a new societal paradigm—that proposes a radical coexistence with nature without denying the economical and technological growth.

The opening will be accompanied by a multidisciplinary conference in Museum of Architecture and Design, which will explore and discuss the relationship between architecture, spatial planning and water, both past and present and what this relationship should look like in the future. Guest speakers will include climatologist Dr. Lučka Kajfež-Bogataj, Dr. Mitja Bricelj from Slovenian environmental agency and Hans Brouwer from the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat.

Living with Water - Southern Fringe of Ljubljana is a part of the Future Architecture platform programe. The exhibition and the conference represent the final act of Living with Water project, which was devised by MAO director Matevž Čelik and kick-started with the opening of the Slovenian Pavilion at the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale. 


Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Ljubljana
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