Some weeks ago we* submited an abstract to Conditions magazine call for submissions. Unfortunately there was any time left to develop it…

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Remembering the editorial of opening issue – “Our concern is how to interpret the contemporary situation and how to maneuver and act upon the present ensuring that architecture becomes really evolutionary” – we propose seeking CONDITIONS for EVOLUTION.

The word EVOLUTION refers us to a gradual process. According to, evolution is “a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development”, ie, a natural process of continuity and never one of rupture.

Nevertheless, and contrary to this meaning, most present-day architectural production – associated with the consumerist spirit of our society – has been based on a relentless pursuit of INNOVATION, that what is admittedly unheard of, never before seen, or, in short, new…

Now that the crisis storms most of the Western world, we question if it is time for a revision of this architectural production and if we may return to laying the groundwork through what we may call, praising and without complexes, TRADITION.

Introducing, as ready references, the names of British Fretton, Caruso St. John, and Chipperfield (and “their” Common Ground), the Swiss Markli and Zumthor (and the Analogue Architecture of the ETH Zurich, through Rossi), and the Portuguese Távora and Siza, we propose to explore the complex binomial TRADITION/INNOVATION to envisage an EVOLUTION, questioning: could the resource to tradition be operative, today? How can innovation come from tradition? Is tradition a sound foundation for the evolution of architecture?

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*Carlos M Guimarães, Joana Couceiro, João Crisóstomo, Manuel Montenegro


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