Lecture Series

January – December 2017
Werkstatt-Atelier H0.38.2

A lecture series presented by
the Faculty of Design,
Peter Behrens School of Arts,
Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences

Hochschule Düsseldorf
Entrance Josef-Gockeln-Str. 9
40474 Düsseldorf

Supported by Jour Fixe and funded by
QVM / Qualitätsverbesserungsmittel.

Curated by Prof. Gabi Schillig,
Räumlich-Plastische Gestaltung

Between January and July 2017 the lecture series SPACES OF MANY DIMENSIONS will bring together a diversity of theoretical positions and artistic perspectives. Its title refers to the book ‘Flatland’ by Edwin A. Abbott, describing the life of a square in two dimensions, extending the imagination towards the existence of a third and fourth dimension and beyond. His satire reveals the boundaries of an absolute knowledge and opens up a new perspective on the ‘relativity of reality’, (Paul Watzlawick).

The lecture series intends to initiate a dialogue on the topic of those manifold spatial dimensions: How can we generate spatial concepts that lie beyond the understanding of our existing design tools and methodologies, in order to design intricate social and atmospheric spaces? What is and what will be the role of the human in contemporary and future spatial design processes? What are possible (utopian) perspectives that embrace the existence of different realities, dissimilarities, enabling inclusiveness as well as social and ecological dimensions of space?

A lecture and workshop by Prof. Beatriz Colomina and Prof. Mark Wigley, curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennal will mark the beginning of the lecture series in January 2017.

Wednesday, 11.01.2017, 18.00h / Lecture
Thursday, 12.01.2017, 11.00h / Workshop

Beatriz Colomina
Princeton University
Mark Wigley
Columbia University, New York
Are We Human?
Notes on an Archaeology of Design

“The question ‘Are We Human?’ is both urgent and ancient. Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley offer a multi-layered exploration of the intimate relationship between human and design and rethink the philosophy of design in a multi-dimensional exploration from the very first tools and ornaments to the constant buzz of social media. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outside space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Colomina’s and Wigley’s field notes offer an archaeology of the way design has gone viral and is now bigger than the world. They range across the last few hundred thousand years and the last few seconds to scrutinize the uniquely plastic relation between brain and artifact. A vivid portrait emerges. Design is what makes the human. It becomes the way humans ask questions and thereby continuously redesign themselves.” (summary text / ‘Are we Human? Notes on an Archaeology of Design’ published by Lars Müller Publishers, Zürich, in collaboration with Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts)

Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley were the curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennal ‘Are We Human?’ in 2016. Wigley is a theorist, critic, historian and Professor of Architecture and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University’s GSAPP, New York. Colomina is an architecture theorist, curator, Professor and founding Director of the Media and Modernity Program at the Princeton University School for Architecture.

Wednesday, 26.04.2017, 18.00h / Lecture

Johan Bettum
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main
Initial Notes for a Spatial
Choreographic Paradigm

The history of architecture appears largely as the history of form: Decorated and non-decorated form, the form of decoration itself, tectonic form - to mention some of its variants. There are historical forms and now, of recently, “strange” forms. However, any version of architectural form is only one part of the story; its assumed converse, space, being another. While contemplating or entering architectural form, we occupy space. Yet, its nature remains as evasive as it was when the latter-day concept of space first emerged in architectural theory at the end of the 19th century.

This lecture sets out the problem of space based on a contemporary idea of saturation - a phenomenon both material and immaterial. It pursues a hidden structure underlying our experience of spatial constructs via works of art and architecture and identifies an emerging subject compelled to move and be moved as if caught in dense, choreographic meshwork.

UPDATE: Leider muss der Vortrag von Tomás Saraceno im K21 krankheitsbedingt diesen Mittwoch 17.5. kurzfristig entfallen. Wir bedauern das sehr! Ein neuer Termin ist in Planung - vermutlich im Wintersemester 2017_18. Wir werden Euch rechtzeitig informieren.

Due to illness unfortunately we have to cancel the talk with Tomás Saraceno in K21 this Wednesday, May 17. We sincerely regret this! However we will try to postpone the talk to the coming months, most likely it will take place during the winter semester. We will inform you in time.

Tomás Saraceno
Studio Tomás Saraceno, Berlin

Aerocene is an open-source, multi-disciplinary project that foregrounds the artistic and scientific exploration of environmental issues. In the wake of the Anthropocene, the project promotes common links between social, mental, and environmental ecologies.Inflated only by air, lifted only by the sun, carried only by the wind, towards a clean and sustainable future.

Tomás Saraceno’s oeuvre could be seen as an ongoing research, informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences, astrophysics and engineering; his floating sculptures, community projects and interactive installations propose and explore new, sustainable ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment. In 2009, Saraceno attended the International Space Studies Program at NASA Ames. The same year he presented a major installation at the 53rd Venice Biennale, and was later awarded the prestigious Calder Prize. He has held residencies at Centre National d’Études Spatiales (2014–2015), MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (2012–ongoing) and Atelier Calder (2010), among others. His work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions, and is included in the collections of MoMA, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin; among others. Saraceno lives and works in and beyond the planet Earth.

Date to be announced soon.

Sir Peter Cook
Crab Studio, London/Archigram

Date to be announced soon.

Eric Ellingsen
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago / Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin / Species of Space


Hochschule Düsseldorf
University of Applied Sciences
Peter Behrens School of Arts – Fachbereich Design
Georg-Glock-Straße 15
40474 Düsseldorf

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