26.10 Saturday 7.00pm

exhibition, lecture

Museum of Architecture

Lower Silesia. For many of us the name sounds familiar, but in fact our region, apart from Wrocław and other major tourist villages, functions as a slightly unknown and partly forgotten place - is this right ? The region which has experience a complete exchange of its population seems not to have fully settled its identity yet. In terms of architecture is it already more "Polish" or maybe the architectural achievements dating form before 1945, are still dominant? Or maybe today, having combined the "old" with the "new", it has created a completely new quality standard? There are 91 cities, 35 municipalities and 1,599 villages in our province. On the national level, our province is one of having the largest proposition of cities in relation to the area. Is this particularly reflected in the nature of architecture and urban planning of the region? The "Bicycle-related review of architecture " sets itself an objective to explore the architectural identity and the potential of the region. During two weeks, in the sweat of our brows, we will discover regionalism of traditional architecture as well as successful contemporary projects. We will seek "gems" unknown to a wider audience yet worth being promoted. We will try to find the spirit of Lower Silesian architecture. Following the theme of this year's Festival we will ask Lower Silesians about places which, in their opinion, could be considered as “the acupuncture to the tissue of their cities” and where changes should be carried out, as well as about examples of public space which is truly friendly to them. We will also try to find places where – thanks to a grassroots initiative of inhabitants - the quality of their living space has improved.

If you catch a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, the hole is at the very valve, no patch works and the night is coming ... With a piece of advice from old hands - fill the tire with grass and continue the journey. Today’s “grass solution” distance 10 km. Have any of you already used this method?

On the basis of collected during the two weeks materials, an exhibition and a lecture will take place during this year's Festival. We want to start a discussion on the topic and encourage to independently learn about and exploring the region. It is possible that the first expedition will inspire us to take up the next, since the journey of 1000 km in Lower Silesia will only enable us to present a small part of the regional architecture’s wealth.

A few words about me

My cycling adventure started when I was 4 years. That's when my dad found out about a supply of bikes in a neighboring city. He took a permission to go out from work and ran to join their queue. The purchased bike was transported to my home street on the back of old STAR truck, raising undisguised envy among my peers. The whole thing took place in the previous regime’s days when bikes were considered luxury goods.

Today being able to enjoy riding a bike is not such a challenge anymore. Which is why I’m surprised to see that some still resist this absolutely efficient - especially in urban conditions - means of transport. From my life experience, a bike has always been there - when I went riding in my home mountain regions and when I cycled to school. But it was until last summer that I would take my bike companion for a travel longer than one day. Last summer I decided to cycle around Poland. While for experienced cyclists it’s a piece of cake, for me it was the real challenge. The expedition, despite its spontaneous nature, has reached its goal. It opened up for me a completely new chapter in the “cycling world” .

Damian Gatkowski

Author of Bicycle-related review of architecture