Since its establishment, the Department of Public Building Design has been a prestigious intellectual hub in Hungarian architectural education. Our success has always hinged on credible creative activity, the knowledge gained through that and the need and ability to share new findings with others. Generations of architects have been educated in this atmosphere based on trust and defined by a constructive relationship between tutors and students, and many of them have become leading figures and trendsetters in contemporary Hungarian architecture. This is an ongoing process, as evidenced by the achievements of our staff and students.
The discussion about architecture at the department is still characterised by the parallel existence of practical and theoretical knowledge, group work and an informal attitude. Our methodology is based on openness, extensive cooperation and the appreciation of the freedom in design. We believe this free approach is necessary because our own experience has shown that something entirely new is forming in the world, and in this context architects and the representatives of neighbouring disciplines have an unprecedented common task. We have to realise that in and of itself architectural and engineering knowledge in the classic sense is unsuitable for tackling today’s challenges, in fact, due to their routine-like nature, the resulting answers often conceal the real issues rather than shedding light on them. The solution is sought to be found in the relationship between engineering expertise, artistic architecture and common-sense vernacular architecture.
We are convinced that architecture has to be interpreted in a broader cultural context to understand this new situation, otherwise we will not be able to pinpoint the relevant issues and recognise the vital features of this era, let alone find the right answers. This has far-reaching consequences in creative work and education, too. We need to foster a dialogue taking into account the social aspects of architecture and highlighting the factors of proportionality and appropriateness. The staff and students of the now 70-year-old Department of Public Building Design wish to shape this dialogue through their own means.
Budapest, 15 September 2016
Mihály Balázs DLA
Head of Department