HafenCity Lectures


Holcim Forum, HafenCity Universität
Überseeallee 16, 20457 Hamburg

Architecture has been related to urban, cultural, and technological practices, and to societal and spatial developments. Relations exist not just to frame the discipline through its relatives or its others; relations constitute the spatial, temporal, and conceptual contexts that make architecture possible in the first place.
How is architecture co-constructed through its relations today? In four sessions during a one-day event, Martí Franch Batllori, Jenny B. Osuldsen | Jean-Philippe Vassal, Jesko Fezer | Bettina Steinbrügge, Nikolaus Hirsch | Frank Barkow and Joerg Fingerhut, will discuss this question from different perspectives.
The event will be held in English.

Session 1
Martí Franch Batllori and Jenny B. Osuldsen in conversation with Antje Stokman

The first session discusses the relation between architectural design tactics and natural ecosystems: in the age of the Anthropocene, human interventions need to be considered as forces of nature, while at the same time natural processes are heavily influenced by anthropogenic influences. Therefore, to imagine and design new forms of interconnectivity, interaction and conversation between humans and nature serve as a basis for revealing new types of in-between, novel, and hybrid landscapes to enhance human well-being and quality of life.

Martí Franch Batllori is the founder and principal of “EMF landscape architecture”. EMF is an interdisciplinary practice of independent experts in the field of urban and environmental design, practicing internationally. EMF explores hybrid ways between ecological systems and cultural constructs to inform projects and build up new realities. Since 2001 Franch teaches in ETSAB Barcelona, and has been visiting teacher at ENSPV Versailles, RMIT Melbourne and LU Lund. His work has been internationally published and awarded with LILA – Landezine International Landscape Award 2016, ASLA American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award 2012, European Landscape Biennal – Rosa Barba Prize 2012 and 2010, among others.

Jenny B. Osuldsen is a landscape architect and one of six partners of Snøhetta. At the same time, she is a professor of landscape architecture at the Norwegian university of Life Sciences at Ås, and at Lund University in Sweden. Snøhetta began as a collaborative architectural and landscape workshop, and has remained true to its trans-disciplinary way of thinking since its inception. Today, Snøhetta has grown to become an internationally renowned practice of architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture and brand design. Comprised of two main studios, in Oslo, Norway and New York, USA, the practice currently has more than 180 employees from 30 different nations operating in 7 cities in 6 countries. A definite relationship between multiple disciplines is a driving force in all of Snøhetta’s work. This is demonstrated over the company’s long history that the disciplines of landscape and architecture should be worked together without division from the earliest stages of designs.

Session 2
Jean-Philippe Vassal and Jesko Fezer in conversation with Christoph Heinemann

If the right to the city is not only a claim but a consistent reality, architecture must respond by supporting various modes of appropriation and creating spaces open to diverse lifestyles. Relating to the everyday of urban practices can take many forms and is articulated through very different approaches. The session will open a discussion on architectural qualities and strategies in an urban space that is understood as a space of negotiation.

Jean-Philippe Vassal is an architect and principal of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, which he co-founded with Anne Lacaton in Bordeaux in 1987. After graduating from the School of Architecture, Bordeaux in 1980, Jean- Philippe Vassal spent five years in Niger as an architect and town planner. Lacaton & Vassal received several awards, among them the Grand Prix National d’Architecture in France in 2008 and the International Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2009. Jean-Philippe Vassal has been visiting professor at institutes such as the Architecture School of Versailles (2002–2006), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPF Lausanne; 2010–11). Since 2012 he teaches design and urban development at Universität der Künste Berlin.

Jesko Fezer is professor for experimental design at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. As an architect he carries out projects in co-operation with ifau – institute for applied urbanism, is co-founder of the bookstore Pro qm and part of the exhibition design studio Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik. Fezer is co-editor of the publication series “Studienhefte für problemorientiertes Design” and of “Bauwelt Fundamente”, member of the Hamburger Kunstkommission and of the DGTF-board. His research interests vary from designmethodology to the politics of design.

Session 3
Bettina Steinbrügge and Nikolaus Hirsch in conversation with Mona Mahall

Addressing the various ways in which architecture and art relate as critical practices, the session is set up to discuss their potentials to propose ideas and actions for our radically transforming society. The aim is to open up a conversation about those models, methods, dreams, and histories that enable architecture and art to re-imagine the (social and political, institutional and ideological) spaces we share.

Bettina Steinbrügge is director and curator of contemporary art at the Kunstverein in Hamburg and a professor for Art Theory and Curatorial Practice at the HFBK Hamburg. Her recent shows include the exhibition Women between Buildings by Nicole Wermers and Bruchstücke / Fragments by Rayyane Tabet. Steinbrügge studied art history, English philology and comparative literature in Kassel. She worked as a researcher and educator at the University of Lüneburg and the Haute École d’Art et de Design in Geneva. As an editor and writer Steinbrügge publishes regularly on topics related to contemporary art. Her numerous publications and lectures include monographic texts on the work of Jeanne Faust, Seb Patane, Sofie Thorsen, Mark Wallinger and Liz Craft. Currently her academic work is focussed on the areas of knowledge/education, museum concepts in the 21st century, forms of artist criticism and above all on the intersection of art and film.

Nikolaus Hirsch is a Frankfurt-based architect, editor and curator. He was the director of Städelschule and Portikus in Frankfurt and currently teaches at Columbia University in New York. His realized projects include the award-winning Dresden Synagogue (2001), Hinzert Document Center (2006), Cybermohalla Hub (Delhi, 2008-12), Do We Dream Under The Same Sky (with Rirkrit Tiravanija), Museum of Immortality (Mexico City, 2016) and currently the conversion of the National Gallery in Prague. Hirsch curated numerous exhibitions at the Portikus, the Folly project for the Gwangju Biennale (2014), Real DMZ (2015), and Wohnungsfrage at HKW (Berlin, 2015). Hirsch is the co-founder and editor of the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg Press and e-flux Architecture.

Session 4
Joerg Fingerhut and Frank Barkow in conversation with Matthias Ballestrem

The last session investigates the relation between architectural practice and the experiment as a scientific method: cognitive sciences are using experimental studies to analyze how architecture affects our behavior and the constitution of our environment. Conversely, as an iterative process of testing ideas and their materialization in the built environment, architectural design itself becomes an experiment.

Joerg Fingerhut is a philosopher working at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain in a group on “Consciousness Emotions and Values” on how cultural artifacts (architecture, images, film) co-constitute our mind. He is also conducting empirical research in the field of aesthetic psychology and embodied cognition. He was member of the “Functions of Consciousness” research group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of the Sciences and Humanities, Art & Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University (2012), and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart (2012–2015).

Frank Barkow studied architecture at Montana State University and Harvard University; has held teaching posts at, among others, the Architectural Association in London, Cornell University, Harvard University and Royal College of Art in London. Since 2016 Visiting Professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture. In 1993 Regine Leibinger and Frank Barkow founded Barkow Leibinger, an American/German architectural practice based in Berlin and New York. Recently completed buildings include a “Smart Factory” in Chicago, the Fellows Pavilion for the American Academy in Berlin, the HAWE Factory Kaufbeuren and the Tour Total office high-rise in Berlin.