Wonderland – platform for European architecture is a network fostering the exchange of experiences, information and knowledge between young European architecture and planning practices, based in Vienna, Austria. Throughout its 11 years of existence, wonderland established new formats, which bring emerging practices together in various locations to address dilemmas of the discipline, both at the local as well as the international level. Blind Dates matched architecture offices and organisations along a defined theme and helped them identify parallel issues and challenges in their practices. Project Spaces, site-specific workshops selecting teams through competitions and encouraging them to work together on a local problem, brought new perspectives in local planning and sometimes inspired decision-makers to rethink their strategies.
These frameworks offered by wonderland helped young practitioners experiment with new tools, test new uses, and learn new skills about cooperation, participation, strategy making and process design. But most importantly, they served as seismographs of the current state of emerging architectural practices, revealing the convergence of ideas and professional strategies among young offices. If these events highlighted these new perspectives and ambitions, wonderland’s research went beyond this in identifying patterns and statistical evidence of how young practices operate; with two recent publications, Underconstructions and the Manual for Emerging Architects, wonderland offered practical guidelines to those venturing into the field. http://www.wonderland.cx