Critical Care

Architecture for a Broken Planet

Wed 24.04.2019, 19:00
Aerial photograph of an area with circular structural deepenings

Colectivo 720: Unidad de Vida Articulada Orfelinato, Uva de La Imaginacíon, Medellin, Columbia, 2015
© photograph: Sergio Gómez

A planet in crisis. The earth in intensive care. Man-made environmental and social catastrophes are threatening to render the planet uninhabitable. The situation is critical and, dominated by the interests of capital, architecture and urbanism are caught up in the crisis. The exhibition 'Critical Care' shows how architecture and urbanism can contribute to repairing the future and keeping the planet and its inhabitants alive.

The exhibition ‘Critical Care’ is an appeal for a new approach, for a caring architecture and urbanism. 21 current examples from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the USA and Latin America prove that architecture and urban development do not have to be subservient to the dictates of capital and the exploitation of resources and labour.

The relationships between economy, ecology and work are redefined in each of these projects. The instigators of this care are extraordinarily diverse groups of people: activists, lawyers, anthropologists, artists, but also city councils and companies, working together with architects and planners. Care is always concrete, the specific local conditions are the starting point, as the exhibition shows, including earthquake-proof and sustainable village development in China, flood protection through traditional low-carbon building techniques in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the diverse conversion of modernist buildings in Brazil and Europe, an ecological community land trust in Puerto Rico, the revitalisation of historical irrigation systems in Spain, new concepts for public spaces and mixed urban districts in Vienna, London and Nairobi. The exhibition ‘Critical Care’ shows how architecture and urbanism are helping to revive the planet. The repair of the future has begun.


Curators: Angelika Fitz, Elke Krasny

Exhibition architecture: the next ENTERprise

Exhibition graphics: Alexander Schuh


Speakers at the opening:


Sybille Straubinger, Municipal Council Vienna

Jennifer Kickert, Municipal Council Vienna

Angelika Fitz, Curator, Director of the Az W

Elke Krasny, Curator, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna


A book is being published by MIT Press to accompany the exhibition, Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet, containing all 21 case studies as well as 12 essays.


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