Introduction to Section 5: Import Cultures/Export Innovations in Architecture + Urban Design

By Bert de Muynck
An important and often overlooked aspect of today's architecture is the concept of mediation. With an enormous range of possibilities for image making and the ubiquitous demand on architects to 'make a difference', it seems as though the work of mediation has been sidelined. Mediation gathers knowledge and experience through a process of transformation and adaptation. The culture of construction has became a commodity where one size fits all. This self-inflicted architectural amnesia among professionals has many surprising results – great buildings are erected and designed in absence of any cultural legitimation, providing architects a plethora of possibilities. This global euphoria with neo-internationalism has frequently been controversial for local inhabitants, producing a dynamic tension in which local creativity precipitates on a global scale.