With this year’s Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) has honoured three outstanding Swiss cultural practitioners: the curator Adelina von Fürstenberg, conceptual artist Christian Philipp Müller and architect and author Martin Steinmann. For the second time, The Prix Meret Oppenheim will run in parallel to Art Basel, together with the Swiss Art Awards 2016 exhibition. At this time, an exhibition with portraits of the winners will be on show, and a Prix Meret Oppenheim 2016 publication will also launch, which comprises interviews between Samuel Schallenberg and Adelina von Fürstenberg, Philip Ursprung and Christian Philipp Müller, and Daniel Kurz and Martin Steinmann. The Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim was initiated in 2001 to honour artistic and architectural creativity. The awards distinguish artists, architects, curators and researchers, whose methods and approaches have exerted a lasting influence on our perception and have stimulated cultural dialogue in Switzerland and beyond.
no1: Product designer Sebastian Herkner was selected for Das Haus, the project space for young designers and architects. The ‘open house’ structure was a statement on both our tendencies towards isolated modern living culture and on the current global issues of the refugee and housing crisis. However, instead of it being an overly-political message, Herkner began the dialogue through topics of hospitality, in order to communicate ideas of inclusivity and openness. no2: Herkner’s design interest is well suited to a curiosity about the domestic sphere, and this is something that was explored in his recent collaboration with Colombian-German interiors brand ames, which also launched at imm. The designer worked with several small local manufactories in the countryside of Colombia to create ames sala, a line of modern interior accessories connected to traditional Colombian life. no3: Frankfurt-based brand e15 engaged visitors on another important issue – the impact of copyright infringement on the design world. This was expressed in the 20th anniversary display of their iconic BACKENZAHN stool, a design classic that is included in museums and collections all over the world. In a poignant and playful installation, e15 exhibited replications of the stool over its 20-year existence, stressing the international market for copied products and the necessity for original design. And this idea was brought to life further, with many of the Chinese exhibitors, showing replicated products throughout the fair. no4: Design was also transferred into the art sphere with two exhibitions outside the fair. Berlin-based brand NEW TENDENCY were focused on nurturing emerging talent in their collaboration with Milan and Barcelona-based journal apartamento, where they selected three designers to make an edition of their famous CLICK shelf. At contemporary art gallery Ruttkowski;68, Mike Meiré (Cologne), Nathalie Du Pasquier (Milan) and Ill-Studio (Paris), showed their takes on the shelf. At Kölnischer Kunstverein, designs by Jasper Morrison were shown on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the A&W Designer of the Year award. The survey highlighted Morrison’s long-standing commitment to innovative, globally consciousness design. This example for younger designers to follow was supported by Morrison selecting Swiss designer Michel Charlot for the A&W Mentor Prize.
What is design? A 3D-printed prosthetic hand, or a chair inspired by the structure of bone? A new exhibition format at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg investigates core questions of the multifaceted contemporary discourse on design with a radically formalized approach. The exhibition series DESIGN DISPLAY opens up spaces for discussion on political and social dimensions of design by posing provocative questions. A 20-meter long, 2.40 meters high, triangular glass display was produced to stage two arrangements of objects in comparison to each other. Each exhibition runs for four months and is accompanied by the magazine ON DISPLAY with essays and interviews, available both in print and online. The first exhibition deals with innovative production methods by juxtaposing a low-tech, 3D-printed prosthetic hand with the Bone Chair, an aluminum cast chair that was computer generated by adopting bionic principles. www.designondisplay.de
Following the two major exhibitions “Return of Landscape” in 2010 and “Culture:City” in 2013, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste is now working on their next project coming up in spring 2016 titled, “Demo:Polis”. This exhibition is dedicated not only to the future of public space but the right to this real, physical space. While the Internet simulated a virtual public sphere, its promise was disappointed by Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon’s revelations. In contrast to this, people are again voicing their views with relative anonymity by demonstrating in real public spaces. Today, social media and real public space are the new framework for self-determination. Neo-liberalism has made the real public sphere a target for commercial interests: from advertising, sponsored events and the sale of publicly owned property, almost every public privilege and property have been sold. As cities grow denser, building projects encroach more and more on public space, an issue in which citizens demand to have a greater say in. As an ambitious endeavor on a highly complex issue, always close to failure – just like the constant fight over the right to setting the rules for the meaning and use of public space – “Demo:Polis” will include an exhibition, a catalogue and a series of conferences and parliaments, bringing together multiple approaches and working principles.
Known for her avantgarde and constantly good taste, entrepreneur Nicole Hogerzeil has established herself as trustworthy style pioneer. Hogerzeil presents her favorite labels such as Dries von Noten, Marni, Isabel Marant, Common Projects and Perret Schaad in her new store SCHWARZHOGERZEIL on Torstrasse — taking the best and new designers from her two former stores. The layout of the 150 m2 space was conceived by the interior designer Sylvester Koziolek, who combines 1940s Parisian charm, inspired by Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, with modern elements such as neon lighting and unique objects. The dominating, dark blue tones are echoed in the walls and the furniture, complementing the 14 meter long collage and curved lamps inspired by Royére. Keeping the same sense of individuality that Hogerzeil has assembling her clothing, Koziolek has created an environment to match her elegant assortment.
The centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019 is still a few years ahead, but preparations are already taking place around the globe, demonstrating the ongoing relevance of its avant-garde ideas. „project bauhaus“ – an international initiative by designers, curators and researchers from Europe, the USA and Asia – was recently founded in order to conduct a lively debate on the currency of the Bauhaus. In the five years leading up to the anniversary, „project bauhaus” aims to take critical stock, offering a new question each year, beginning in 2015 with the question: Can design change society?
During an international symposium accompanied by a pop-up exhibition this September in Berlin, „project bauhaus“ provides an open forum to debate this question by placing valid positions in the context of historical models. It puts into question, if the aspiration of the Bauhaus and the classical avant-garde to positively change society through design has been validated – and takes a closer look at goals, roles, design methods, and the social construct in which designers are embroiled today. The participants of the symposium include: Gui Bonsiepe, Lilet Breddels, Bureau d’Etudes, John Grin, Boris Groys, Dorothea Hauser, Reinhold Martin, Philipp Oswalt, Planbude Hamburg, Christian Salewski, Tomás Saraceno, Bernd Scherer, Lara Schrijver, Luigi Snozzi, Margarete Vöhringer, Karin Wilhelm, Zones Urbaines Sensibles a.o.
Pop-up Exhibition: 3 – 20 September 2015 / Opening: 2 September, 7 p.m.
Symposium: 18 + 19 September 2015
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
“We are architects, but we also like architecture”, says Daniel Zamarbide, one of the two founders of BUREAU A, a recent – and unusual – transplant to the Portuguese capital, especially while the number of emigrants from the country continues to rise.
We met with BUREAU A in their new space, a bright and huge old flat located on Rua dos Anjos in central Lisbon, to learn about what brought them to this capital on Europe’s periphery – and what keeps them busy these days. Earlier this summer, Swiss architectural duo Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide moved their office BUREAU A from Geneva, the heart of Swiss Romandie, to Lisbon. The move wasn’t prompted by business or personal reasons, nor did they develop a passion when visiting the city, as one might suspect. Daniel hadn’t even been to Lisbon before…
It was more of a decision to step out of our comfort zone, in response to the number of highly qualified young Portuguese architects applying for a position with BUREAU A, and because of an interest in Portugal’s traditional craftsmanship, still highly regarded and increasingly preserved. Why not move your studio and come to your collaborators, instead of having them come to you?
What is your story?
We founded BUREAU A in 2012 as a multidisciplinary platform, aiming to blur the boundaries between architectural research and related projects. With a team of seven in Lisbon and one still in Geneva, we’re seeking to expand our activities to diverse programs, ranging from architecture and landscape design to scenography, installations, and self-developed initiatives. You may remember our mountain shelter, a wooden cabin concealed inside an artificial rock and transported to a remote site in the Swiss Alps, which paid tribute to the central character in the novel Derborence by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. Or our intervention in the streets of Hanoi, where mounted a seven-storey mobile performance space and street kitchen on a tricycle. More recently, we finished our Fountain2015 project – a pissoir for a public space in Zürich made out of Portuguese marble.
What is keeping you busy these days?
We are working on more than 10 international projects simultaneously, besides different teaching and lecturing positions, lots of traveling and – very relevant to our work – the constant consumption of architectural culture and history. Leopold is in Paris right now, for our involvement in PerformanceProcess, a project that marks the 30th anniversary of the Swiss Cultural Centre (CCS) in Paris, opening this September. We have been invited to create the spatial design for a 12-week performance programme where each week is dedicated to a different artistic concept. Another project keeping us busy is one that will bring us to Germany: the exhibition Orientations. Young Swiss Architects, a project by the Swiss Architecture Museum, presented by the M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Are you looking to explore any unusual architectural forms?
Oh – we’re obsessed by waterfalls, which will be relevant for a challenging commission by the arc en rêve – centre d’architecture in Bordeaux coming up soon…
As for Lisbon, where BUREAU N first arrived five years ago but BUREAU A is still finding their way around, Daniel tells us that being a foreigner new to the city has formed his working process: “Still working as a tourist – without being one.”
We will keep in touch with BUREAU A, in the hopes that we can collaborate very soon – a joint venture may be in the cards…
The Swiss Design Awards are Switzerland’s leading national design competition organized annually by the FOC (Federal Office of Culture) since 1918. Coinciding with Art Basel and Design/Miami, the annual Swiss Design Awards exhibition provides a representative overview and a unique insight into contemporary Swiss design practice: products and objects, fashion and textile design, graphic design, photography, scenography and mediation (curating and criticism). The winners of the Swiss Design Awards will be offered their choice of either a money prize of CHF 25,000, an internship in a renowned office or a studio residence abroad.
Launched in 2007, the Swiss Grand Award for Design, given by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, highlights annualy the work of well-known designers that exemplify the quality and relevance of Swiss design practice nationally and internationally. With its selection, the Federal Design Commission underscores the outstanding and pioneering significance of this year’s award winners, who have played a key role in fueling cultural creativity in Switzerland: whether through the development of the legendary Haas Unica font, a seminal contribution by Team’77 to typeface design in Switzerland; Lora Lamm’s innovative revolt within Milan’s male-dominated design world of the 1950s and 1960s; or Luc Chessex’s interrogation of the power and veracity of images, together with one of the largest collections of photos from the Cuban revolution.
Displayed in the form of a conceptual installation, Berlin-based architect duo Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase AAS presents Assembling, selected and assembled design objects from the Jacksons extensive collection of 20th-century designs. A natural extension of their spatial practice and influence within the ‘Galerienhause’, which AAS designed in 2007, the assemblage, created at the invitation of Paul and Carina Jackson, renegotiates and ultimately reassembles how we perceive and dissect objects and space. The collection of objects, ranging from traditional and minimal furniture to reconfigured objects, confronts the notion of ‘assemblage’ in relation to the history of modern furniture design, and explores the relationship between space and object from the perspective of an architect. Among the featured objects are Robert Wilson’s “Hamletmachine Chair” (1987), Rodolfo Bonetto’s Sistema Flu lamp (1980), and Stig Lindberg’s “Snurrand” reversible vase candlestick (1950). Accompanying the exhibition is a publication designed by Frederic Teschner, featuring an essay by Hehl Rainer, which will be launched on the occasion of the opening of Assembling.