International
Federation for
Housing and
Planning

All problems can never be solved

The artist Jozef Wouters and the ‘Bureau des Architectes’ worked for three weeks in the modernist district ‘Cité Modèle’

Le Cité Model

For the world exhibition in Brussels in 1958 Renaat Braem and his team build a neighbourhood for the future with high-rise buildings and state-of-the-art interiors and facilities for that time.Due to financial problems the neighbourhood wasn’t finished on time. Instead a beautiful maquette was showing off for the international spectators.

Thinking for the future

Renaat Braem and his fellow modernist architects believed in the power of design as a tool for problem solving. Starting from an ideal reality, models for the future were created and realised in the whole of Europe.

Today, the modernist developments of the ‘50s are more and more criticised. They don’t seem to work properly, confronted with new standards, challenges and evolutions.What does this tell us about problem solving in planning? The ideal reality wasn’t that ideal as thought, but isn’t there something to learn from the problem solving reflex of the modernist? How far can you go as a creative professional in solving a problem?

All problems cannot be solved

In the exhibition ‘all problems can never be solved’ this process of problem solving in today’s society is explored.

  • Does planning without government means the end of a clear vision for the future?
  • What is the responsibility of the creative professional in a society where everybody calls himself an expert?
  • Which role do you have as a designer in a neighbourhood where only the next day counts?

For weeks ‘le bureau d’architectes’ under supervision of artist Jozef Wouters settled in the Cité Model in Brussels. Together with the residents they looked after problems and tried to solve them. What sparked was a discussion far away from the actual problem solving. Isn’t it enough to show a desire?

Quicker than thought the utopia of the Cité Model came into play. Not the question if it was right or wrong but what the power of the pure idea for creative professionals is? The problem definition itself and the visualisation of desire became the core of ‘le bureau d’architectes’. In the following exhibition 33 maquettes witness this search.