Ischgl, Austria, 2012-02-15 -
From February 2nd-5th, the World Architects‘ Masters 2012 (WAM Open) have taken place in Ischgl (Austria). This event harks back to an initiative of ap35 (Ulm, Germany) that has organized the WAM Open for the second time now. The World Architects‘ Masters consider themselves to be an international networking platform and have declared it their goal to make architects and cutting-edge companies meet and talk in a laid-back atmosphere. Apart from the Ski World Championships, the first Architecture Corporate Foresight (ACFx) conference was held on February 2nd in the Pardorama, a building by architect Manfred Jäger (2005) located high above the clouds in Ischgl.
During two whole days of skiing fun on February 3rd and 4th, Architects from 11 countries were given the opportunity of competing against each other in parallel slalom and giant slalom. At the same time, they had lots of opportunities to get together with representatives of several innovative companies that have been sponsoring the WAM Open 2012 this year: Admonter. Eine Marke der STIA Holzindustrie GmbH | Freyer & Ploch GmbH | Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG | Heinrich Schmid GmbH & Co. KG | Häfele GmbH & Co. KG | Höller KG | Jeld-Wen Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG | Lindner AG | and the Object Carpet GmbH.
Looking into the Future
The WAM Open took their course in the evening of February 1st , when the first group of participants as well as all the speakers of the conference were greeted in the Wildererhütte in Ischgl with “Glühwein” and a nice dinner after an inspring night walk through snow-clad mountains. On Febrary 2nd, Andreas Pfetsch, executive director of ap35, opened the first architecture conference “Architecture Corporate Foresight” (ACFx) conference. Under the motto“Minds of Tomorrow”, 15 internationally renowned speakers ventured to take a look into the future of Architecture. In the first panel called “Trend Research”, Sebastian Raßmann (TrendOne), Tobias Mayer (Airbus) and trend forecaster Gert van de Keuken (Trend Union) dealt, not surprisingly, with the phenomenon of trends and asked, what can we say about the future when considering results from trend research and/or trend forecasting. In the second panel, “Interaction, Design & Media”, Harald Katzenschläger (Dream Academia), Steve Rogers (Google UX EMEA), Sam Kronick (University of California) and Robert Miles Kemp (Variate Labs, Los Angeles) took as a starting point the fact that our globalized world has become one big interactive meeting place in which people, objects as well as buildings have begun to ‘talk’ to one another. Under the heading „Architecture Thinking“, which announced the third panel, Wolfgang Kessling (Transsolar), Astrid Piber (UNStudio), Andreas Huber (Lindner KG) and Chris Bosse (Lava Architects) dealt with the questions of how Architecture conceives of Tomorrow’s building strategies: what direction is our world moving towards, and what possibilities does Architecture have to refer to these developments in an anticipating way? In the last panel, „Urban Design & Megacities“, the world’s growing urbanization was the central point of attention. Here, Assaf Biderman (SENSEable City Lab), Sebastian Finckh (Jürgen Mayer H. Architekten), Alexander Rieck (Fraunhofer Institute für Industrial Engineering) and Jakob Lange (BIG Architects) commented on this global development with recent examples from the studios and/or institutes they work for. After this long day of inspiring presentations and discussions, the first day of the WAM Open 2012 was brought to an end with a 3 course menu in the „Alpenhaus“ on a mountain top called Idalp, 2.300 meters high above Ischgl. For a digestive, most dinner guests chose to participate in a night tobogganing tour: at -20 °C, a large group of exhilarated participants found their way down the mountain, a jolly ride that took them more than 20 minutes!
Skiing fun at -24 °C Whereas the WAM Open participants could register for the parallel slalom and giant slalom competitions already on February 2nd, on February 3rd and 4th the World Championships finally took their course. Dressed in layers and layers of thick clothing to withstand the cold, architects both male and female partook in the parallel slalom and giant slalom races, had lots of fun and could also boast of some really good results. On both days, the skiers were supplied with „Glühwein“ and hot soup on the racing track; in the evenings, dinner parties were given in the Silvretta Center, located in the middle of Ischgl. Both days culminated in award ceremonies, during which the winners of various disciplines were honoured. The results of the first day, during which the architects competed in parallel slalom, were as follows: in Women’s Snowboard, Sandra Brandenburg won, Heidi Wolf made it to first place in the category Women’s Ski, Agilolf Bachner won the Men‘s Snowboard competition, whereas Moritz Wolf turned out to be the winner of the Men’s Skiing Competition. In the team competition, Alpstein could take the winner trophy home. After the competition on Saturday, during which the racers could test their abilities in giant slalom, the results were as follows: Ulrike Schneider won the Snowboard Competition, Katharina Schmidt made it to first place in the category Women’s Ski. Agilolf Bachner proved himself to be an insurpassable snowboarder by again becoming the winner of the Men’s Snowboard competition while Felix Wolf won the Men’s Skiing contest. As far as the team competition was concerned, in this case Wolf Planung turned out to be the winning team. In the overall ranking, Sandra Brandenburg took possession of the first place in Women’s Snowboard, whereas Heidi Wolf won the overall Women’s Skiing competition. Not surprisingly, Agilolf Bachner was the winner of the Men’s Snowboard contest while Sebastian Blank could boast of being first in the overall ranking of the Men’s Ski category. In the team competitions, Alpstein could once more take a winner trophy home by being first in the overall ranking. After the award ceremonies, whoever felt like it could visit one of Ischgl’s most iconic clubs, the “Pacha”, and have a good time during the “Racer’s Night” and/or “Winner’s Night”. Taken as a whole, the World Architects’ Masters 2012 have been visited by more than 200 people. Because of the appealing mix of intellectual challenge, unbridled skiing fun and a very varied evening program with lots of inspiring highlights, the WAM Open have offered all participating architects, speakers and sponsors the opportunity to get together in a very laid-back atmosphere – an opportunity all participants were ready to avail themselves of.