Talks


Balkrishna Doshi
OPENING TALK (EN) | 29 March 2019
6 pm, meeting point: Vitra Schaudepot


Balkrishna Doshi is regarded as India’s most important architect and was distinguished with the renowned Pritzker Prize in 2018. In conjunction with the opening of the Vitra Design Museum exhibition »Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People«, Doshi will discuss his work and ideals. His talk focuses on the connection between modern architecture and Indian building traditions as well as sustainability and the aim to conceive architectural structures that are adapted to the desires and needs of their inhabitants. The discussion will also offer insights into the fascinating career of this nonagenarian – from the beginning of his studies at Sir J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai in 1947, to his years in the Paris studio of Le Corbusier, to the activities of Doshi’s own architectural firm Vastushilpa, which he still runs today. The event will be moderated by Swiss art historian Philip Ursprung.

Free admission, registration: events@design-museum.de

Ahmedabad and Chandigarh: India between heteronomy and self-determination
TALK (DE) | 25 April 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


Between the 1950s and 1970s, after the end of British colonial rule, both Louis I. Kahn and Le Corbusier completed major architectural projects in India. Le Corbusier created an urban plan for Chandigarh, the new capital city in the state of Punjab, while Kahn built the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. How did the design of such important buildings come to be entrusted to Western architects in a nation that had just gained its independence? Ita Heinze-Greenberg, Professor of Modern Architectural History at ETH Zurich, examines the activities of Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn in India from the perspective of constructing a national identity.
Free admission

Mario Botta – Expanding on Modernism
TALK (FR/DE) | 9 May 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


Swiss architect Mario Botta is regarded as one of the most important exponents of postmodern architecture. He is known for such prominent buildings as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995) and the Museum Jean Tinguely in Basel (1993–96). As co-founder of the Academy of Architecture at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio, he has taught and influenced generations of students. Geometric shapes and sculptural compositions, which emphasize the sensuous qualities of space and materials, are intrinsic characteristics of Botta’s architecture.

Free admission, registration: events@design-museum.de

Christoph Niemann – Illustrating the Everyday
OPENING TALK (DE) | 23 May 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot

Christoph Niemann is a prize-winning German illustrator, graphic artist, and author. His works, which often encourage us to take a fresh look at our environment, regularly appear in major magazines and newspapers, including »The New Yorker«, »The New York Times«, »TIME«, »Newsweek«, and »ZEIT Magazin«. In his lecture, Niemann talks about contemporary illustrative art and presents his work. After  the talk, we invite you to attend the opening of the exhibition »Living in a Box: Design in Comics and Cartoons« at the Vitra Schaudepot.
Free admission

Saving Slums through Architecture? The Potty Project
TALK (EN) | 6 June 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


The architect and urban researcher Julia King conceived the »Potty Project« as an infrastructure initiative in India’s Savda Ghevra community. This project shows how practice-based research can contribute to marked improvements in hygienic conditions in India’s slums, thereby improving the inhabitants’ quality of life. The »Potty Project« unites various elements of the sanitation value chain: from toilets in private homes to waste water systems to recycling facilities. King was recognised as »Emerging Woman Architect of the Year« by the »Architects’ Journal« and »The Architectural Review« for this exemplary project.
Free admission

Thomas Kröger – Urbanity and Emptiness
TALK (DE) | 27 June 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


German architect Thomas Kröger is one of the most interesting proponents of a freshly provocative counterposition to the quest for greater urbanity. In the regions of Uckermark and East Frisia, he remodels farmhouses, renovates old structures, and erects new buildings to create places where people can find rest and shelter from the hectic pace of city life. Kröger describes his work and presents his best projects. He also explains how his designs for urban sites differ from those in rural areas. This event is part of the series »archithese kontext«, a cooperative project.
Free admission

Farshid Moussavi – Architecture and Micropolitics
TALK (EN) | 11 July 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


Farshid Moussavi is an architect, principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, and Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously, she was co-founder of the Londonbased »Foreign Office Architects«. In 2011 Moussavi established her own architectural practice, with which she has completed important international projects, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (2012) as well as residential complexes in Nanterre and Montpellier. Moussavi’s approach is characterized by openness to change and commitment to the intellectual and cultural life of architecture.
Free admission

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg – Better Nature
OPENING TALK (EN) | 19 July 2019
6 pm, Vitra Design Museum Gallery

The artist and designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg explores the relationship between humans and nature and how they interact in design processes. Working together with scientists, engineers, artists, historians  and social scientists, she researches the design of living matter. In conjunction with the opening of her exhibition »Better Nature« at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, Ginsberg discusses her work at the  interface of design, art and biotechnology – offering fascinating insights into a topic of great relevance now and for the future!
Free admission

Andres Lepik – Social Architecture
TALK (DE) | 29 August 2019
6:30 pm, Vitra Schaudepot


Architecture shapes the society in which it emerges. Its social relevance is especially evident in the responses to such problems as political or ecological migration, overpopulation,marginalization, and slum formation. Andres Lepik, Director of the Architekturmuseum München, was a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he realised the influential exhibition »Small Scale, Big Change« in 2010. In this lecture, Lepik presents building projects in the Global South that improve the living conditions of local populations – requiring minimal financial investment, but all the more personal initiative and creativity.
Free admission