For once, the latest project on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein is not a building: in front of the VitraHaus, a perennial garden designed by Piet Oudolf invites guests to wander around and lose themselves in nature. Oudolf’s projects are known for their wild and untamed appearance, which (ironically) could not exist without meticulous planning. Throughout his projects, the Dutch designer strives to achieve a balanced composition: a community of plants – as he calls it – with distinct strengths and weaknesses, various flowering periods and life cycles. A garden that, in the end, can be enjoyed all year long.
Today, museums are fittingly encouraged to reevaluate the focus of their work, given it is also their collections that shape relevance, status, and success of artists and designers. With the new collection presentation at the Vitra Schaudepot, the museum is exploring the role of women in furniture design while also questioning the museum’s own practice. “Spot On: Women Designers in the Collection” seeks to strengthen awareness of female designers’ works and to give them an equal voice in public discourse. Featured designers are Inga Sempé, Reiko Tanabe, Matali Crasset, and Gunjan Gupta among others.
Alessia Pegorin and Antonia Insunza are As A Ceremony. Both architects by trade, they design interiors, luminaires, and light itself. Practicing extensive research and considering the users’ well-being as much as the potential impact on the environment, the designers implement their holistic approach into all their projects. Unique objects and interiors, reflecting on design conventions and the meaning of light within urban life, are one of the results.
Although now is not the first time that we need to reinvent our work environment, we might find ourselves asking what it is we expect and need from our offices today. Vitra’s answer is the Club Office. Usually, clubs are formed by like-minded people who get together to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and create. The Club Office shares the same spirit: it is a place of social belonging and identification, inviting people (back) to the heart of the organisation and once again bringing them together. By combining office elements with a hospitable atmosphere, the club fosters moments of serendipity and helps shape collective knowledge, while still offering flexible workspaces and meeting areas.
Amplifier, a site specific work by Bettina Pousttchi, draws on Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s 19th century architecture of the Berlin Concert Hall. A frontal view of the portico reveals five photographically printed columns between the six familiar Ionic columns. Unlike the historic ones, Bettina Pousttchi’s columns extend beyond the first pediment, leading directly to the portico’s higher second pediment. By altering the familiar dimensions, the installation changes the real perception of the building, creating a new experience of its own.
A waking dream, a mysterious garden, a walk-in-score – ˈʊmˌvɛltn̩ is all of that. In cooperation with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, composer Mark Barden and visual artist Julian Bonequi recorded 500 soundtracks and merged them with an interactive sound and VR experience. Surrounded by 200 vibrant plants and creatures, the sonic landscape unfolds as one moves throughout the space. Unlike live concerts, virtual experiences can easily be accessed remotely, leading the Konzerthaus to send VR equipment “on tour” around Berlin, straight to peoples‘ doorstep.
How can motion picture best present a discourse on labour? Set against the architectural backdrop of Berlin’s reform settlement Siemensstadt, the online film series, KINO SIEMENSSTADT – The complex of Labour, explores this very question through a ten-week online series. Together with the accompanying exhibition Anette Rose, Techno Textiles at Scharaun Project Space for Art and Architecture invites artists to reflect on the subject of ‘work’ through film and video set in the local context of Siemensstadt as a working-class neighbourhood.
The German contribution to the 17th Architecture Biennale tunes in from the year 2038 to tell the story of a world, in which everything, though imperfect, has been made better in a profound way. Based on the collective knowledge from international experts across the fields of architecture, art, ecology, economy, philosophy, politics, science and technology, 2038 illustrates, through a series of films, an emergence from crises into a world of radical democracy and viable solutions for co-existence.
On the occasion of the 17th Gallery Weekend, 49 Berlin galleries presented high-calibre exhibitions, featuring both established and up and coming artists to a local and international public. Despite all odds, the presentation was accessible both on-site and online through an all-encompassing digital format, which allowed Gallery Weekend exhibitions to be fully explored remotely for the very first time. Bureau N was involved in the realisation of the online double including a web journal, commissioned features with galleries and art-world persona, Instagram TV exhibition previews and the moderation of live tours across all participating galleries.
In times of social distancing and spatial boundaries, can we give up human control and embrace a biocentric perspective in its place? LIFE by Olafur Eliasson entangles the Fondation Beyeler with everything that is usually kept outside: microorganisms, non-human species, the weather, the climate. Space has been made for others as bright green water, infused with uranine, now floods the exhibition halls. Inside, delicate floating plants coexist with the park’s insects, bats and birds. Emerging in March and fading away in July, the artwork can be experienced from sunrise to sunset, for there are no fixed opening or closing hours.
More than thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Vitra Design Museum presents the first overview of post-war design in the two Germanies. “German Design 1949–1989: Two Countries, One History” offers a comparative selection of design from East and West Germany and explores ideological and aesthetic differences as well as parallels and interrelations between East and West. Exhibits range from iconic pieces of furniture and lamps to graphic, industrial, and interior design to fashions, textiles, and personal ornaments.
Berlin boasts a unique concentration of noteworthy buildings from the 1980s. At the time, radical new concepts, colourful diversity and a certain aesthetic randomness challenged previous ideas of living in the modern city. Widely labelled “postmodern”, it drew on structural typologies and stylistic devices from the past and tested alternative urban lifestyles. The exhibition ANYTHING GOES? BERLIN ARCHITECTURE IN THE 1980s at Berlinische Galerie explores what and who shaped these buildings and visions developed for the divided city in the last decade before the fall of the Wall.
The exhibition TIEFSCHWARZ shows the influence the DJ duo, composed by the brothers Ali and Basti Schwarz, had on the electronic music scene of Stuttgart and beyond. Shaping the nightlife of the 1990s, their clubs On-U and Red Dog became the epicentres of the creative, art and gallery scene. More than two decades later, StadtPalais – Museum für Stuttgart welcomes them back home and revisits their influence on the city’s subcultural history.