International symposium


The Anatomy of a Street

Sunday 7 November, 2:00 pm — Sunday 7 November 2010, 7:00 pm


1053 Budapest, Képíró u. 6. Map

An event by the KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and the Budapest University of Technology


In the past decades, political, economic, social and cultural changes in Central and Eastern Europe also led to an important transformation of cities. The region’s cities have struggled with similar problems and have often faced the same challenges. However, there is no sufficient exchange of experiences between these cities; this is the gap KÉK’s event is devoted to bridge. There has been many institutional answers offered to the dilemmas raised in these cities that have become veritable battlefields of opposing political, economic and social visions. Parallel to that, reflections of post-socialist urban transformation have also began at the intersections of professional, civil and cultural spheres.Cooperations between architects, artists and activists have resulted in numerous innovative and courageous ideas, proposals, projects.

What are the new methods and tools with which the contemporary city can be approached? Where are the junctions between architecture, urbanism, art and activism? What is the role of research and intervention in cultural projects addressing the city? What are the capacities of cultural projects to make pressure on decision-making institutions? The meeting is looking for answers to these questions.

In the first part of the meeting, the results of the parallel research project “Anatomy of a Street” will be presented, where besides the presentations of Aleksandra Wasilkowska (member of the Warsaw foundation Bęc Zmiana) and Dagmar Petrikova (Slovak Institute of Technology), the project by Steierhoffer Eszter (Art Network Agency) and Levente Polyák (KÉK) prepared for the London Festival of Architecture will also be introduced. In the second part of the event, Grzegorz Piątek, representing the Warsaw organization Bęc Zmiana, will talk about how art has become a part of the debate about Warsaw. Following him, Jakob Hurrle, director of the Prague-based Multicultural Centre will present the centre’s programmes investigating urban phenomena related to international migration. Constantin Goagea, from the Bucharest group Zeppelin will talk about his organization’s approach to finding solutions for dysfunctional public spaces in Bucharest’s housing estates. In the final presentation, Ivan Kucina, teacher at the Faculty of Architecture University of Belgrade and at the Parsons the New School of Design in New York, and programme director of the Belgrade International Architecture Week will talk about self-regulated urbanity in contemporary cities.




14.00 Steierhoffer Eszter & Polyák Levente: Anatomy of a Street: Budapest, Pécs, London

14.30 Aleksandra Wasilkowska (Bec Zmiana, Warsaw): Anatomy of a Street: Warsaw

15.00 Dagmar Petrikova (Slovak Institute of Technology): Anatomy of a Street: Bratislava

Q&A, coffee break

16.00 Grzegorz Piatek (Bec Zmiana, Warsaw): Debating the City: Art and Cultural Organisations

16.30 Jakob Hurrle (Multicultural Centre, Prague): Cultures from Around the Block

17.00 Constantin Goagea (Zeppelin, Bucharest): Interventions in Socialist Neighborhoods

17.30 Ivan Kucina (Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade): Conditions of Self-Regulated Urbanity

18.00 Questions, discussion


For more information visit or here.


Supporters: PATTERNS_Lectures (WUS Austria & ERSTE Stiftung), International Visegrad Fund, Polish Institute


About the participants:


Eszter Steierhoffer is an art historian and curator based in London. She studied history of art and architecture in Budapest and in Italy, then pursued her studies in curating contemporary art at the Royal College of Art in London. Currently she is undertaking research at the Critical and Historical Studies Department of the RCA, and directing the Art Network Agency Program at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London. She was co-curator of the Anatomy of a Street project, shortlisted at the 2010 London Festival of Architecture.

Levente Polyák is urbanist, researcher and critic. He studied architecture, urbanism, sociology and art theory in Budapest and Paris, and he is currently lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and at the Budapest University of Technology where he teaches urban studies and architectural theory. Levente has worked on urban projects for the New York, Paris, Budapest and Pécs municipalities, and as member of the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, he has organized events dealing with various contemporary urban and architectural phenomena. His publications and theoretical work focus on the intersections of art, architecture, urbanism, geography, radio and cinema. He is co-curator of the Anatomy of a Street project.

Aleksandra Wasilkowska established a studio in Warsaw in 2007 for spatial and social research and practice after studying architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology and École d'Architecture de Bretagne. She has collaborated on projects with artists, sociologists, scientists, and mathematicians to explore the territories between architecture, art and science. Her projects investigating new urban strategies and modes of collective production in public space have included:Symbiotic City (2005), MultipliCity Disorder (2008), Warsaw as Emergent Structure:Em_Wwa 1.0 (2009), and Assembling in Public (2010). Wasilkowska has participated in exhibitions including Warsaw under Construction at Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2009, 2010); Expectation in Bęc Zmiana Foundation, Warsaw (2009); Extremely Rare Events in Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2009); and The Witch is Watching at the Institute of the Avant-garde, Warsaw (2010). Completed projects include [No.Platform] at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; and a temporary structure for the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2010). Warsaw as Emergent Structure was published by Bęc Zmiana Foundation in 2009. Curently Aleksandra Wasilkowska  with Agnieszka Kurant represent Poland in 12th Biennale of Architecture in Venice.

Dagmar Petrikova is Associate Professor at the Institute of Management, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. She is also Head of the Department of Spatial Planning. Dagmar is Executive Director of the Central European Research and Training Centre in Spatial Planning – SPECTRA. Her work focuses on the social aspects of urban and regional planning, on cultural dimensions of urban revitalization, public participation and negotiation, and brownfield redevelopment.

Grzegorz Piątek is architecture critic, graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Politechnika Warszawska (2006). Contributed articles and essays on architecture, design and the city, for magazines, books and catalogues, e.g.: Notes from Warsaw (Warsaw 2007), Wallpaper City Guide. Warsaw (London 2008), Stadium X. A Place That Never Was (Warsaw 2008), Hotel Polonia. The Afterlife of Buildings (Warsaw 2008), Architektura Polska/Polen Architektur (Vienna 2008), Warschau. Der thematische Führer durch Polens Hauptstadt (Stuttgart 2009), Use It. Warsaw map (Warsaw 2008, 2009 – 2 editions). The Promised City (Warsaw-Berlin 2010). He is editor at the magazine „Architektura-murator” since 2005. He curated Hotel Polonia. The Afterlife of Buildings, Polish pavilion at the 11th Architecture Biennial in Venice, Golden Lion for best national participation (with Jarosław Trybuś, 2008); Open:Poland. Architecture and Identity, RIBA, London (with Rob Wilson, 2009); Modernización, Cuenca, Barcelona (with J. Trybuś, 2010); Mountains for Warsaw!, Warsaw (2009); Pleasure, series of urban interventions, Warsaw Under Construction 2 festival (2010). Hisawards include : Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; diploma of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for promoting Poland abroad (2009). He is Ambassador of Warsaw as a candidate city for European Capital of Culture 2016.


Jakob Hurrle obtained his degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the Berlin Technical University. In his thesis, he evaluated Roma targeted development projects in the rural communities of Eastern Slovakia. He is also one of the founders of the Central European magazine Plotki. He worked as an editor on and as a researcher on the Intercultural Map projects. He was the executive director of the Multicultural Center Prague between February 2007 and April 2010. After a research stay at the Western States Center in Portland, Oregon, he works currently on the Multicultural Center Prague´s Flexi-In-Security project. He is also involved in the organization PragueWatch, which recently launched a new web portal of the same name that has the aim to monitor the Czech capital´s urban development.

Constantin Goagea is architect, journalist in architecture field, researcher. His work investigates the relationship of contemporary culture, technology and the human environment, and the innovative roles architecture can play in these issues. He is a licensed architect in Bucharest, an active member of professional organizations, and is regularly invited as lecturer, consultant and jury member. Director of “Arhitectura” magazine since 2000. Co-author of “Remix. Fragments of a country” exhibition in Romanian pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2006. Founding member of Zeppelin association in 2008. Special interests: post socialist urban development, the potential and problems in socialist neighborhood, urban systems and identity in Central and Eastern Europe. He is currently based in Bucharest.

Ivan Kucina is a full-time faculty at the School of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia and a Visiting Scholar at the School of Design Strategies, Parsons The New School for Design, New York.  Ivan’s research focuses on the processes of transition in architecture and urbanism, particularly, on the informal building strategies and uncontrolled processes of urban transformation of the Western Balkans, with a specific interest in understanding the evolving space-time paradigm in architectural and urban design. At the University of Belgrade, Ivan has established numerous collaborative exchange programs with architectural schools, among many with the Berlage Institute, TU Wien, TU Delft, KTH Stockholm, Roma 3 University and Parsons The New School for Design (New York, USA). In 2008, he published “15/3” (Univerzitet u Beogradu, Arhitektonski Fakultet) a textbook on the innovative methods of understanding space-form dialectics within his Introduction to Architecture Design course. Ivan Kucina is also a practicing architect and runs an interdisciplinary architectural and design practice together with architect Nenad Katic, with projects that range from urban design to residential buildings and exhibitions. In 2006, he co-founded the Belgrade International Architecture Week and currently serves as its Program Director.