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Model Festival
International exhibition on architectural models
2008 -

Model Festival

It is no exaggeration to say that the most significant architectural exhibition of the last years was put on show in the heart of Budapest by KÉK in 2008. The theme of the exhibition focusing on tender models inspired 60 offices from 20 countries to participate in this large scale event organized in KÉK’s centre at Servita square.

The 2010 Architectural Model Festival investigated the relationship of designer practices and cultural infrastructure. Museums and art institutions have been at the forefront of recent urban development programs, establishing new nodes in the global network of cities. This trend has also shifted the role of such establishments from sites representing static national and local identities to open and activist public platforms inviting discourses on the cultures and identities of modern democracies. The main topics of the festival explored this process through introducing current issues of Hungarian institutions and their architecture, and by raising internationally new, so far undeveloped issues. These themes also developed links between shared discourses of the architectural model as a genre and the museum as a platform.

The third architectural model festival looked at the role of modeling in thinking about urbanity. While architectural models generally represent spatial concepts, modeling in urban design has also been used in innovative ways to understand processes, data and change. The 2013 edition thus looked at modeling at different scales and in various media to reveal how cities work and to help designers and city dwellers work together in shaping urban spaces and processes. The program included the rarely accessible 1:500 wooden scale model of Budapest, guided urban tours to models in different parts of the city as well as workshops and symposia investigating models in decisionmaking as well as visualizing and imagining urban life.

Nóra Somlyódy

Nóra Somlyódy

Independent journalist. She studied English and Communications at the Pécs University and received a master’s degree in history at Central European University (CEU) in 2001. She edited the online architecture journal www.epiteszforum.hu between 2004 and 2006. From 2004 on she has been publishing investigative reports on urban development issues and Hungarian cultural politics. Between 2006 and 2010 she was co-worker of the political-cultural weekly Magyar Narancs. She is author of the investigative book on the 2010 capital of culture program in Pécs („A Balkán kapuja? - “The Gate of Balkans?” Budapest, Kalligram, 2010). From 2011 she has been an independent journalist. She works as the coordinator of SozialMarie, a Central-European programme supporting social innovations, launched by the private foundation Unruhe. Presently she lives in Finland with her family.

Samu Szemerey

Samu Szemerey

Architect and urbanist interested in design as inquiry. His works investigate the relationship of contemporary culture, accessible technology and the human environment. He is a founding member and curator of KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center. He has taught, published and lectured internationally. As a consultant and strategist he works with cities, institutions and private clients. He has directed workshops, research projects and curated exhibitions and public programs. From 2014 he also works with Design Terminal as advisor in urbanism. His ongoing PhD research focuses on networked technologies in urban space. He is based in Budapest.

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