Skip to content

40th anniversary PDA

We invite you to the 40th Piran Days of Architecture, which will take place on Saturday, November 25, 2023.

Context. Concept. Consensus.

The title of this year’s Piran Days of Architecture (PDA) sums up the content of all the get-togethers so far, as well it should. If one were to look at the statistics of how the PDA topics have appeared or been revisited through time, we would find that no governing rule may be discovered which would reveal anything of significance. The three topics are intertwined so closely that it is difficult to discern to which group they are supposed to belong. Is a concept something independent or superordinate, is consensus a part of a concept or of context? In what way does the context influence the development of a concept and its comprehensiveness? Does working towards a consensus bear on how convincing it is? Is the quest for a consensus a part of the concept or a part of the context, and is its point of origin the method or, rather, the scale?

Context lends itself to characterisation the most readily even though it’s difficult to define everything that it encompasses, everything that it includes, and what it’s determined by. Beside the fact that it constantly expands and changes, we refer to it the most often. Context is what our attitudes are the most developed towards, being that it represents the inevitable premise which influences the development and power of a concept to the greatest extent. Just as the context is only explained and evaluated by way of the concept.
This is not unlike consensus, as we are never quite certain where or with whom we are to seek it. Alongside the investors, users, and decision makers, does one also consider the various publics, the professional community, politics, or the critics? Is the quest for consensus a way to include group knowledge and experience in the development of the concept? Is a general consensus prerequisite for the ethical basis of the concept – deriving as it does from the context – to be validated? And if so, are context and consensus concepts which are conditioned upon one another and interdependent, whereby the context correlates with the values, which are verified by arriving at a consensus?

The discussion which evades specificity the most is that of concept. It is an abstract, intellectual structure of a project substantiated both in its relation to the context and the consensus. The proof of concept is the comprehensive instituting of several concepts: placing, landscaping, tectonics, functioning, supply systems, interior design, lighting, transformation, and decomposition. Each of these holds a part of the comprehensive answer to the context, which occasionally sublimates into the artistic experience of a form of perfect union and harmony.
The recognition of context, the integration of a context into a concept, and the verification of the concept by means of seeking consensus are, in fact, generally acknowledged working procedures which, while widely employed, are mastered in various degrees of impeccable comprehensiveness. Any such achievement is rare, and furthermore reserved for a select few; its extent ultimately transpires within the context of the future and the consensus of the past. This is why returning to these eternal topics is each and every time salient, vital, and significant.

Janez Koželj
translation to English: Sašo Podobnik