Stephan Petermann: The Latest Architecture and News
OMA founder Rem Koolhaas has joined his colleague Stephan Petermann and artist Wolfgang Tillmans in calling for ideas on re-branding the European Union, at a time when the EU is experiencing increased pressure from the rising tide of far-right nationalism. Working with a group of artists, creatives, and communications experts from across Europe, the “Eurolab” team will present the outcomes of their initiative at the Forum on European Culture on June 3rd, 2018.
Eurolab argues that, although the EU is a project aimed at peace, cooperation, and solidarity, it has failed to present itself as a progressive, positive organization to European citizens. As support for nationalism and the far-right grows across Europe, Eurolab will embark on a 4-day fact-finding mission to investigate why the voices of European unity are been drowned out by the voices of European division. Going beyond the identification of issues surrounding disdain for the EU, Eurolab seeks to help re-brand the organization, asking “how can cooperation and solidarity be communicated to a large audience in a fresh and compelling way?”
With the objective of developing new solutions to the societal challenges of tomorrow, the RISING Architecture Week 2017—held in Aarhus, Denmark, between the 11th and 15th of September—consisted of a series of events, exhibitions, and the RISING Exchange Conference, focuses on how architecture and construction can help to rethink existing paradigms.
We had the opportunity to visit the city and to talk with Jan Gehl, Pauline Marchetti, Ruth Baumeister, Daan Roosegaarde, John Thackara, Jacques Ferrier, Stephan Petermann, and Shajay Bhooshan, some of the speakers who contributed their visions on these issues. Thinking about a future in which different actors will be relevant in the process of addressing such challenges, we took the opportunity to make them question themselves: Are architects really needed?
Every time you put any brick down anywhere, you manipulate the quality of life of people. (...) If you just make form, it's sculpture. But it becomes architecture if the interaction between form and life is successful.
– Jan Gehl.
Check all their answers in the video above, and see some pictures of their lectures in the Official Facebook of the event.
Now at the halfway point of the six month long World Expo in Milan, in which 145 countries are participating in a concentration of national spectacle surrounding the theme of "feeding the planet," Rotterdam's Nieuwe Instituut (HNI)—the centre for architecture in the Netherlands—is exhibiting an altogether more reflective display of national civic pride.
Rotterdam, which was blitzed and decimated during the Second World War, is a place well suited to host an exhibition whose underlying theme centres on the fragile, often precarious notion of national self-image. Following the war Rotterdam was forced to rebuild itself, carving out a new place on the world stage and reestablishing its importance as an international port. Now, seventy years later, Rotterdam is a very different place. In demonstrating just how delicate the construction of a tangible national identity can be this latest exhibition at the HNI offers up a sincere speculative base for self-reflection.