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4(36)/2013
doi:10.5277/arc130407

Jacek Kotz, Anna Nowel-Śmigaj
Poverty and wealth. Attempts to define the problem and dialogue with a student of architecture – author of the project 

    This work analyses selected invigilated examination-papers performed by second year students of the department of architecture during their master’s degree course in the academic year 2011–2012. Depictions entitled “Poverty (and) wealth”, carried out within confines of Monumental architecture subject, have been considered in a broad contextes of social exclusion and marginalization. Societal exclusion and inclusion possess their metaphorical equivalences in the form of spatial images, valorized as oppositions occurring between the internal and the external. This, in turn, leads us towards primeval and anthropologically conceived category of border, moderating aforementioned oppositions in, at least, social and spatial aspects. This category, according to Edmund Leach, Vladimir Toporow and Stefan Czarnowski, constitutes a widely understood point of transition between them. Classes related to this subject consider the category of the border, expressed in a perspective of its spatial and societal working.
    As one of the basic reasons of social marginalization coming into being is poverty, that is why this article has been enriched by contemporary social changes profile and, what follows, difficulties with identification of the modern polis. Sociologists of the city such as Richard D. Alba, Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift observe that social exclusion which concerns among others physically disabled and homeless (as we read in the document issued in 2003 by Task Group for Social Reintegration, drawing up National Social Integration Strategy for Poland) may lead towards separation and spatial deterioration of the excluded. The young man’s dialogue with the contemporary world’s social changes seems therefore essential, because it may lead, to the realization how the reality co-originates their image of the world, value system and attitude towards people they are going to serve as architects.

Key words: monumental architecture, poverty, wealth, border, the work of architecture students

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