Laufen Symposion 2016

Thursday, June 16, 18:30 h

co-moderated by ANH-LINH NGO & SANDRA OEHY
rsvp required until Friday, June 10th
Venue: Laufen Forum, Wahlenstrasse 46, CH – 4242 Laufen
Free shuttle transfer from/ to Basel SBB 17:30 / 21:00


“Architecture during Art” is a recurring night of thought-provoking conversations to coincide with Art Basel, established by Laufen Bathrooms AG. This year’s Symposion was developed in cooperation with Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, , Sandra Oehy, curator of the Swiss Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016 and Anh-Linh Ngo, editor in chief of Arch+.


The current reality is that the field of architecture demands intensive exchange between research and architectural practice, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration among architects, engineers, art experts and specialists in digital production possibilities. The task of architects time and again must be to provide food for thought and to set themselves new frontiers that change received notions of and about architecture.
How do architects navigate in this field of knowledge? How can we understand design as a process that overcomes the notion of artistic authorship and that takes the unknown as the starting point for exploring uncharted territories?


is a practicing architect and assistant professor for digital building technologies at the ETH Zürich. Dillenburger was finalist of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program 2015. His projects include the Digital Grotesque installation at the FRAC Archilab 2013 exhibition. He recently exhibited work at the Design Exchange Museum Toronto and the Art Basel / Design Miami. His credo is, that architecture has to explore digital technologies in design and fabrication in a most radical and open way, in order to shape richer, more expressive and stimulating built environments in a totally new manner.
The advancement of CNC production methods such as 3D printing is happening hand-in-hand with the increased computational power needed to calculate these high-resolution forms. For the first time, geometric complexity is no longer an impediment, but through its malleability it offers opportunity. Architecture is now at a critical moment: Material can be synthesized and customized, and bits can be rendered to reality. Digital production methods are at the threshold of enabling the materialization of complexity at a full scale and an ultra-high resolution. Instead of using these technologies to mimic former details and concepts, architecture has to explore this new paradigm in a most radical and open manner.
 has been teaching as Professor of Architecture and Design at ETH Zürich since 2009. He recently received international praise for his proposal for a commercial tower building in Zhengzhou, China, and a large scale social housing development project in Brazil. The conceptual stringency of Kerez’s designs becomes apparent in his «house with one wall», a two-family home in Zurich-Witikon formed from a single slab of concrete. Kerez seeks to enable a new spatial experience that can only be brought about by architecture. An approach essentially apparent/manifest in his project “Incidental Space” for the Swiss Pavillion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibion – La Biennale di Venezia. «Incidental Space».
Although, technologically speaking, more is possible today than ever before, architectural freedom has been greatly limited by a monumental level of regulation. In this context, the project «Incidental Space» by the architect Christian Kerez is intended as fundamental research. Its aim is to investigate the possibilities — technically, as much as in our imagination — of how to think, build and experience architecture differently to challenge frontiers and change received notions of and about architecture.
is one of Brazil’s most prolific architects and has designed buildings across the country over five decades, with more than 420 built projects. Ohtake’s conceptual ideas are in particular the use of sculptural shapes and bold colour to create surprise. “To give room for the unexpected to happen,” The extreme sculptural forms and bold colours of São Paolo’s iconic Hotel Unique epitomize Ohtake’s work. One of the most meaningful projects of his career is right at the heart of Heliópolis, the city’s largest favela, with more than 120,000 inhabitants. The “Redondinhos”, government-funded residential buildings in Brazil’s second largest favela, were designed by Ohtake after he had worked with the community for several years. He demonstrated a sensitive, community-oriented approach to new architecture in low-income neighbourhoods.


author, and editor of ARCH+, Journal for Architecture and Urbanism. 2015 Co-founder of the international initiative „projekt bauhaus“, Curator of the Symposium „Landscapes of Surprise“ in Hyderabad, India. Curator of the traveling exhibition „Post-Oil City“ in cooperation with the German Institute for Foreign Relations. Initiator and Curator of „The Making of Your Magazines“ as part of ARCH+’s contribution to the magazine project of Documenta 12 (2007); Since 2012 curator of the event and publication series ARCH+ Features.
 The art historian curates «Incidental Space» an exhibition by Christian Kerez at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia and has co-curated the German contribution for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014. From 2010 to 2013, she was Co-Director of Van Horbourg, an artspace for contemporary art in Basel and in Zurich. Oehy has realised group and solo exhibitions with artists including Armin Linke, William Forsythe, Stan Douglas, HR Giger.

Laufen has been supporting the ARCH+ issue RELEASE ARCHITECTURE – INCIDENTAL SPACE. Co-edited by Sandra Oehy & Christian Kerez. It gives a theoretical background to the presentation at the Swiss Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.