EASA 013 Žužemberk

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About Sandy ground above green river,
on its top a castle stays,
history spread all over,
growth, bloom, and decay.
- Tone Pavček, Žužemberk

The essence of the event is to be found in the connection between the location and the given theme; defining the problem and the context. In the process of devising a proposal the team tried to define both simultaneously and thus reached the following conclusions. The criteria for the selection of the location arose from the natural conditions of the Slovene land, which can be abstracted as green and blue: vast forests and a rich and clean water system. By focusing on nature and the countryside, it became clear that the theme will function very locally with a touch or feeling of the global. The castle was the icing on the cake – as a symbol of cultural heritage, the token of history, the object exposed to different regimes and ideologies, changes in the intended use etc.

Žužemberk is situated on both banks of the river Krka and is the capital of Suha Krajina (Dry Land), a part of Lower Carniola region in the southeast of Slovenia. The town was and still is dominated by a medieval castle surrounded by strong castle walls. The castle is uniquely placed in the very center of the town, being a vital part of the central square.

The EASA theme works as a frame; on its basis students think, research and create. It can be oriented very architecturally or simply socially. Reaction as such refers to the people, to villagers, to the response to the state of society. Nowadays active involvement into processes that change our environment is very important. The theme Reaction explores the possibility and the importance of the public's participation in shaping the space through researching the past, the cultural and social background.

On one hand Reaction is very locally oriented, on the other it explores similar issues in other parts of the world. How to properly react to the current situation with the world crisis and consumer society? What is actually the architect’s primary job and the job of architecture? How can we help the community when designing public space, even when the architect’s direct influence is not present? How to preserve the knowledge, skills and qualities of construction and design from the past? The theme Reaction is a very wide notion, one that can be interpreted differently by each participant. It is only important that everyone asks themselves how an individual can contribute to a higher quality of coexistence.

The theme Reaction is divided into three practical sub-themes, linked to location, tradition and craftsmanship. The three subthemes were not chosen randomly, but follow the classical division of the EASA workshops into theoretical, practical and workshops which combine the two.

During the two-week-long workshops students will use their academic knowledge in practice, make analyses and concepts, develop their ideas, debate, socialize, solve issues within the work groups, exchange ideas and experience etc. They will interact with the surroundings, learn how to use tools for material treatment, work with the locals and be introduced to local crafts. Within two weeks the workshops, which might be only at the stage of an idea or conceptual design, will be brought to a realization. They will be concluded with an evaluation and presented at an exhibition.

The EASA network stimulates intercultural dialogue. It encourages the collaboration among students of different Schools of Architecture, nationalities, backgrounds, opinions, which benefits the development of an individual's thinking process. There is no hierarchy in workshops and activities so everyone can contribute to the project’s evolution.

Association of Students of Architecture EASA Slovenia is the national board of the EASA network. It connects students of architecture, complements their education and has been helping in gaining practical experience for over 15 years. It is a non-profit association that accepts unlimited number of members. The only condition is being an architecture student.
The Association has its tradition. In the past, members have organized many international workshops and meetings which had a big impact on local and European students. Our students regularly attended the two-week summer assemblies. The current team is showing some of the completed projects as part of the association or collaboration from the year 2009 till now.
Phone +38641950981
Web site http://www.easa013.si

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