In the fine tradition of discourse that accompanies international building exhibitions, the FORUM IBA meets IBA created a public platform to exchange views and reflect on the qualities that constitute the IBA “brand” and how it should be developed in future.

In cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) IBA Hamburg staged its first FORUM IBA meets IBA event on June 4 and 5, 2009 - it took the form of a public international congress on the future of international building exhibitions. The aim of the congress was to assist the transfer of experience stored in the “IBA brand” and make a vital contribution to the building of an “IBA meets IBA” network. It was hoped that international building exhibitions, a special instrument that belongs to a specifically German tradition, would make a contribution via the FORUM to European planning and building culture/Baukultur. Experts from home and abroad met to discuss processes and strategies behind earlier, current and planned international building exhibitions, what cross-effects can be observed, and to talk about comparable formats in other European countries.

The proceedings of this congress are documented in “Network IBA meets IBA - On the future of international building exhibitions.”

"IBA meets IBA" FORUM 2013


On 22 and 23 March 2013 IBA Hamburg launched the FORUM IBA meets IBA which attracted international participants and marked the opening weekend of the presentation year, 2013. Over 700 experts - politicians, academics and practitioners - took part in the discussion round.

On the first day, the congress focussed above all on specific solutions for the future of cities proposed by IBA Hamburg, whereas on the second day, debate centred around the planning processes and structures that IBA Hamburg had based on the recommendations of the memorandum “On the future of international building exhibitions”. Six years into IBA Hamburg’s term, the time had come to compare the plans and (built) reality with each other and subject the framework conditions that were put in place, such as the “state of exception”, to a critical review. Prof. Jörn Walter, Chief Planning Officer of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, clearly described what opportunities these special urban development processes offer the Elbe Islands. Numerous speakers representing past and present IBAs, including Prof. Dr. Rolf Kuhn, formerly managing director of the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land, Dr. Martin Jann, managing director of IBA Basel and the Senate of Berlin’s chief planning officer Regula Lüscher, gave their views on using an IBA as a planning instrument. Experts from outside the IBA process, such as Prof. Richard Sennett of New York University and London School of Economics, as well as Advisory Panel members Prof. Dr. Christophe Girot, head of the Institute of Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich and Prof. Saskia Sassen, Columbia University/New York, stressed the international dimensions of IBA Hamburg.

International building exhibitions constitute unique instruments for successful planning policies and urban/regional development; having no fixed agenda, rules or standardized criteria, it is necessary to maintain a discourse on ways to assure quality throughout the process. Using a lecture, debate and commentary format, the FORUM IBA meets IBA created an atmosphere for discussion that produced an intense, critical, forward-looking exchange between the 35 national and international speakers and the audience about the opportunities and risks inherent in an “international building exhibition” when viewed as both instrument and field for experiment.


You may listen here to some short statements from selected speakers on the FORUM IBA meets IBA:


Prof. Richard Sennet | Professor of Sociology and History, New York University, and


Prof. Saskia Sassen | Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociololgy, Columbia University



Dr. Marta Doehler-Behzadi | Head of the Baukultur Department, Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development 


The forum is sponsored by:

Federal Ministry
of Transport, Building and Urban Development



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The "IBA meets IBA" Forum is sponsored by:                             Nationale Stadtentwicklungspolitik [National Urban Development Policy]

The Documentation entitled “Network IBA meets IBA – The Future of International Building Exhibitions” can be ordered on the website of the Jovis Publishing House

Brochure about the development of Germany’s building exhibitions since 1901. (PDF 0,8MB)