In 2004, the year of the enlargement of European Union, New Trends of Architecture, originally a joint EU - Japan project, was relaunched as a new initiative: a project linking the vast European and Asia-Pacific regions.
In 2001, New Trends of Architecture was founded by a group of cultural and press counsellors to Japan of the fifteen EU member states, European cultural institutes, and the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan with the aim of creating opportunities to share ideas and experiences between Europe and Japan through organizing annual exhibitions and symposia for promising architects in Europe and Japan, to be held in Tokyo and in the European Cultural Capitals. Since then, two exhibitions have traveled to Tokyo, Porto, Rotterdam, Ghent, Salamanca, Bordeaux, Lisbon and Madrid. Through these exhibitions, 40 European and Japanese architects have experienced fruitful encounters and exchanges with a variety of people in each city.
The basic concept behind this project was inspired by the EU idea of the European Capital of Culture. Europe respects its cultural diversity, valuing the cultures of each region while unifying the continent in political and economical terms. It is trying to build networks not between countries but directly connecting cities to cities and cities to the wider world. Learning from the European experience, we wished to expand our New Trends of Architecture project from its original EU-Japan format to include the rest of Asia and the Pacific region as well.
Now, New Trends of Architecture has been restructured to be biannual and will launch a long journey to European and Asia-Pacific cities. The perspectives and works of the 10 European and 10 Asia-Pacific architects, selected by the Commissioners Mr. Dominique Perrault and Prof. Hiroshi Hara, are expected to bring inspirations and stimulations to each city.
We are delighted that Lille and Cork, the European Capitals of Culture, as well as Hong Kong, Japan and Melbourne, have undertaken this project and worked together to make it a reality. We hope this international project will be developed into a richly collaborative platform dynamically connecting Europe and Asia-Pacific through the composite art form we know as architecture.
"New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Asia-Pacific" Committee
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