AID - acceptance - intervation - destruction

1 Oct – 1 Nov 2009

“In addition to its true meaning, emphasizing help to and support for the Czech industrial heritage, that has doubtless come to be quite urgent over the past few years, the name AID is an acronym for three strategies and trains of thought most frequently applied in the course of conversion, namely, acceptance, intervention, and destruction,” explains Exhibition Curator Petr Vorlík. Coauthor Tomáš Šenberger notes: “Conversion is almost always associated with intervention in the original building substance, but the extent of intervention ensues from the conditions of conversion, character and form of building protection and by and large also the inner attitude (aggressiveness) of the author.”

The AID Exhibition, a part of the 5th International Biennial, Vestiges of Industry was organized by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage of the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT) in conjunction with DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, ČVUT Faculties of Architecture and Civil Engineering, the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (VŠUP), FUA TU Liberec, and other organizations. Students have come up with original conversions of many buildings that either await further uses or face demolition. The projects on display include the long-debated Nuselský mlýn, Braník Icehouses, Florian Schmidt Textile Mill in Krnov, railway station in Ústí nad Orlicí, or Český Těšín Malt House.

The exhibition of students’ projects to give a new lease on life to industrial heritage marks the peak of the 5th International Biennial, Vestiges of Industry 2009. “The projects raise new challenges inspired by current debates on endangered industrial buildings,” says Benjamin Fragner, one of the chief organizers of the biennial. “They perceive the limit situation of the decaying industrial age that we experience as a spent industrial compound turns into an endangered cultural monument. They attempt to come to terms with the heritage that we have yet to fully understand and that we touch with reluctance. The architectural visions presented should help us understand, grasp and reappraise this heritage.”

The Vestiges of Industry Biennial is jointly organized by the ČVUT Research Centre for Industrial Heritage and the ČKAIT & ČSSI College for Technical Monuments in conjunction with the Czech ICOMOS National Committee, National Monument Institute, and the Ecotechnical Museum. In cooperation with the British Council, we are scheduling a conference under the keynote: Industrial Heritage in Professional-Amateur Vacuum. The 5th International Biennial, Vestiges of Industry is financially supported by the International Visegrad Fund (IVF). Complete information about the program of the Vestiges of Industry Biennial 2009 is available on