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- Open House Worldwide Festival

NOV 2020

Open House Worldwide (OHWW) is pleased to announce the full programme of the  network’s first collaborative event on its relaunched and redesigned website and visual identity.

The festival will run as a non-stop 48 hour livestream, broadcast from the Open  House Worldwide website, and features contributions from six continents and  more than forty cities from the network and beyond. 

The festival will begin at midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Saturday  November 14th, with an introduction by George Kafka, OHWW coordinator, and a digital gathering of representatives from different cities in the network. The rest of the festival is divided into one hour slots and organised into thematic clusters  which seek to address the most important issues facing architecture and urbanism  today.

Thematic Clusters 


Highlights of the housing cluster include a presentation of Sonnwendviertel Ost, a  cooperatively designed neighbourhood in Vienna, a focus on the urbanisation of  informal neighbourhoods in southern Buenos Aires and a discussion on low-income  housing in Lagos. In addition, a new documentary by the Canadian Centre for  Architecture (CCA), titled What it Takes to Make a Home, will be screened. 

Infrastructure and Mobility 

Green transport and 21st century masterplanning are central to the Infrastructure  and Mobility clusters, with events looking into the adaptation of the Cerda  expansion to the contemporary needs of Barcelona, a progressive take on the car  park as typology and a walk through centuries of history at Palma’s harbour. A  special event curated by Mexico City-based gallery, Proyector, features ten young  architecture practices making visible the otherwise hidden infrastructural systems  in our cities. 

Climate in Crisis 

In the age of Fridays for Future, Open House Worldwide is proud to centre the  voices of young people in discussions on the climate crisis and architecture. Youth Manifesto!, a panel of 15-18-year-olds coordinated by Open House Dublin and  filled via an open call, will hold the discipline of architecture to account. Other  highlights of the Climate in Crisis clusters include an exploration of three European  houses exhibiting novel approaches to designing with the climate in mind and an  exploration of the Santa Catarina river in Monterrey. 

The Social Life of Cities 

The newest members of the Open House Worldwide network, Open House Taipei,  open the social life clusters with an investigation into everyday life in the city  during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Open House Seoul lead us in thinking about  how our relationships to domestic spaces have changed under lockdown.  Elsewhere, movements for urban social justice are highlighted in a discussion led  by Open House New York and the meaning of an “Open City” is dissected through  the lenses of gender and disability. 

Public Spaces 

Travel beyond your lockdowns with the Public Spaces clusters, exploring  everything from Athenian street art to the Chicago riverside, via the City of London  and the Sao Paulo work of Lina Bo Bardi. A special event curated by Julia King and  Akil Scafe-Smith looks at the role of young people in shaping public spaces in  London. 

Heritage! and Worldwide Design

As with Open House events all over the world, the OHWW festival also celebrates  wonderfully designed spaces and places. Gorgeous sets of films commissioned by  Open House cities guide us through some of the architectural highlights of Dublin,  Vilnius, Prague and more. In addition, a discussion hosted by Open House Brisbane  focuses on the emerging vernacular architecture of Minjerribah island and the team  at Open House Tallinn takes us to the hulking modernist ruin of the Linnahall,  recently used as a major location in Chritopher Nolan’s Tenet. 


Open House is a largely volunteer-run set of organisations and the OHWW festival would be incomplete without them. For the Worldwide festival, volunteers from  across the world have been matched up to record online conversations about their  cities, their Open House festivals and more. Extracts from these conversations will  be shown between the main festival events.  
The Open House Worldwide festival is sponsored by UAP, a Brisbane-based urban  arts company. 
Phineas Harper, director of Open City, the London-based charity which administers  the Open House Worldwide network says: “Open House exists to make cities  everywhere more open, accessible and equitable with chapters all over the world  from Santiago to Taipei. In this challenging year, the entire Open House community  is coming together to stage a collective online festival with an unprecedented  programme broadcast from all of the cities in our network.”
Iris Kaltenegger, director of Open House Vienna and member of the Open House  Worldwide festival coordination team says: “For cities to thrive in the future we  need courageous and integrative planning processes. Open House is renowned for  its ambition to foster exchange and to initiate dialogues. This festival brings  together pilot projects and aspects from around the globe, responding to essential  questions in a time of major changes.” 
Chohao Victor Wu, CEO and curator of Open House Taipei, the newest member of  the Open House Taipei network whose first festival takes place 28-29 November  says: “It is a great beginning for Taipei to be part of the Open House Worldwide  community. We live in an era where cities no longer operate solely on their own. In  joining the Open House Worldwide network, we hope to share resources and  knowledge with and learn from other participating cities, as well as converse about  immediate challenges we as humans face with the built environment.” 
Visual Identity 
The new graphic identity and website for Open House Worldwide has been  designed by Lisbon-based studio V-A. The design’s colours, shapes and  typography are designed to reflect the open, festive and ever-growing nature of  the OHWW network. 
Open House Worldwide is the coordinating body of the Open House organisations  around the world. There are currently 43 cities in the Open House Worldwide  network. The Open House concept was founded by Victoria Thornton in London in  1992. The Open House Worldwide network was founded in 2010 and today has  members in five continents, reaching hundreds of thousands of people every year.  Open House Worldwide is administered by Open City, a charity registered in the  UK. 
Contact: George Kafka, Open House Worldwide coordinator