IBA is: Exceptional Circumstances

All building exhibitions have one thing in common: a time out of ordinary life to create something new. Building exhibitions have always been more than an industrial fair by showing programs of innovation, temporary laboratories. They have been able to work this way because they have been given the privilege of temporary preferable terms and political as well as administrative support set up for exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances were the necessary premise for the “freedom” to develop exemplary solutions.

IBA is: Enthusiasm and Sophistication

All building exhibitions wanted to overcome the traditional. The initiators‘ courage, risk appetite and enthusiasm were preconditions. Therefore, the beginning of building exhibitions was always accompanied by emotional exuberance. Building exhibitions have only been successful when they possessed a clear strategy and intelligent reckoning with respect to the chances of realization. Enthusiasm and tactic refinement belong together. Because of the spatial and thematic expansion of the building exhibitions and the increase of partners it has become more and more difficult to balance enthusiasm and strategy.

IBA is: Building and Much More

The first building exhibitions were defined by holistic ideas of reform which were mostly realized within a short time. They were real building exhibitions. In the course of the centuries they changed into structural programs with a wide spectrum of topics, regional extensions and a long time of development. Today there is even more to be demanded of the building exhibitions. They should be something like the “last rescue” for complex problems and tasks of development. Building itself plays a more and more minor role and the differentiation of exhibition and every day life vanishes. Consequently, the urge to launch events appears – risking outshining the actual innovation with respect to building culture.

IBA is: An International Discourse

All building exhibitions were internationally orientated. Some of them included experts from foreign countries, some discussed international topics and some defined quality standards which would be valid internationally. In times of globalization “internationality” does not remain a label of quality anymore. For a long time, foreign influences have entered our every day life and the familiar can be found everywhere. And new developments spread worldwide and everywhere immediately via modern communication and information technologies.

IBA is: The New

Each building exhibition wanted to create something new and found its own ways to do so. New problem solutions require a certain degree of surrender to the traditional. The secret of innovative product development is based on the willingness to think differently and laterally, to explore and develop. At the same time the interest in the “treasure” of building culture experience and in the knowhow-archive grows so that the buildings exhibitions do not have to be “reinvented”.

IBA is: The Maturation of the New

The polish of the once new can vanish in only a short time. The convincing forces of the innovational efforts of building exhibitions authenticates if they are able to establish themselves permanently or if they only remain a flash in the pan. The past has revealed that many reforms and innovations developed in building exhibitions have become common property and knowledge of building culture over the years. Sustainability of innovations – as paradox as it sounds- is one of the main tasks which have to be confronted with emphasis by future building exhibitions.

IBA is: Quality Above All

Building exhibitions yet do not have any fixed schedule and have been developed without any prefixed regulations – in contrast to the World Exhibitions or Cultural Capitals. Many times they were the result of a more or less accidental constellation of specific problems, the right time and people keen on experimenting. Nevertheless, all building exhibitions are characterized by high quality standards. But there is no guaranty. Building exhibitions are $not really protected of fraudulent use. The danger actually lies in this vacancy of regulations, in the invitation to replace the demand for innovation and quality by mere events.

IBA is: A Chance for Europe

International building exhibitions have a special German format, developed and practiced in Germany. In a transnational world, especially in a converging Europe there is no place anymore for a purely national instrument. Therefore, international building exhibitions push for a comprehensive international exchange, for opportunities to experiment within a European frame. Europe is considered as the “new city on the hill”. The world watches the new transnational governmental experiment and hopes for orientation in a globalized world. The “European City” belongs to the cultural treasure of Europe. The “European City” is expected to answer the central questions of the future.

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last update: 11/13/2017 6:50