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Lecture: "Travelling in
Architecture through Europe"

Speaker: Rudolf Gräf (RO)
Chernivtsi City Council / GIZ
Date: 14.03
Time: 19:00
City: Kyiv
Venue: National Art Museum of Ukraine, 6 Hrushevskogo St.,
Enter: free with registration
Language: English
Between different architectures there is a difference of role and scope, more than form and function. In this regard, architectures of different ages and different cultures tell us a story not only of representation, but of specific micro-cultural settings and life dynamics. Architecture is here to impress, but with the right knowledge it can also make us compassionate and understanding, instead of just amazed or envious.

But what about those groups on the move for centuries, or those who had to make use of the freedom of movement brought to them by the spread of globalisation? The first were pushed increasingly towards a sedentary way of life but at the same time still maintained a kind of mobility. Roma architecture in south east Europe gives clues and answers to an otherwise slippery issue. Gipsy houses amaze us through visual exuberance and challenge our understanding of aesthetics, as well as the role of architecture and architects.

"The gypsy palace" offers us a unique insight into the way cultural artefacts are adopted and altered across different cultural identities. How and why Roma groups in Romania started to build houses and to empower them with highly symbolic capital is a question I try to answer, as architecture has been proven to function as a highly adaptive tool of representation and communication both inside and outside of the communities embracing it.

Rudolf Gräf is an architect with a degree from Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), established the Vitamin Architects office in Romania, and worked on land use and urban development plans. Currently, works as an urban planner for the Chernivtsi city hall and GIZ Project Integrated Urban Development in Ukraine.
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