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Cersaie 2015: Conferences and Seminars
Reinventing the city

Thursday 01 October - 10.00 a.m.
Galleria dell'Architettura - Gall. 21/22

With Markus Bader - RaumLabor Berlin and Fulvio Irace


Markus Bader More

Markus Bader



There was once a society that believed the future would bring better living conditions to everyone. There were people, utopian thinkers, who thought about the big questions of the city. Today only a feeling remains, half desire, half melancholy, reminiscing of those architects who wanted to live in a better society and who had dreamed of better places. Such an era is now over. Here begins my work.
raumlaborberlin is a network, a collective of 8 trained architects who have come together in a collaborative work-structure. We work at the intersection of architecture, city planning, art and urban intervention. We address in our work city and urban renewal as a process. We are attracted to difficult urban locations. Places torn between different systems, time periods or planning ideologies, that can not adapt. Places that are abandoned, left over or in transition that contains some relevance for the processes of urban transformations. These places are our experimentation sites. They offer untapped potential which we try to activate. This opens new perspectives for alternative usage patterns, collective ideals, urban diversity and difference.
For our projects, we form tailored teams of interdisciplinary experts. City residents are also specialists. No one knows better in each respective situation than those who have to deal with the places on a day to day basis. Thus we can gain valuable information about the history, fears, desires, existential needs, as well as deficits, that exists like an invisible network over every spatial situation. We forge active alliances between local actors and external experts. Thus we discover new areas of action and open new fields of experimentation, whose possibilities we test and examine collectively.
We call this “research-based design.” We are committed to dealing with places 1:1, discovering and using what we find within the conditions of the site. In the process of doing, we learn more through active design about the site of investigation and find new methods that are open to appropriation and upgrades the existing. We do not solve problems, rather we initiate processes that give actors the opportunity to know, understand and use the city and its dynamics, as well as its possibilities.
An architecture in which it is possible to merge space with individual experience can uncover new qualities and leads to new images of the city created in the minds of its users. New options and possibilities appear on the horizon of places or buildings, were nothing seemed possible before, because they appeared finally defined, were given up or simply forgotten.
Examples for this practice are projects like “Der Berg” (2005), a spacial installation in the former Palace of the Republic in Berlin; the “Eichbaumoper” (2009), an urban laboratory for the recapture of a neglected traffic junction in public space; “Moderato Cantabile” (2008), a festival centre in Graz or “Open House” (2010), a vertical village as a generator for an open society in South-Korea; “The KNOT” (2010), a laboratory for artistic production, dialogue and presentations in public space.
On an abstract level of city planning we have specialized in dynamic master planning. Activation through use is our central approach. Multi-facetted usage of public space a driving force for the development of vibrant, contemporary and adaptive neighborhoods. We try to invent new user-based applications and involve the urban actors as early as possible in the transformation processes.
City-planning projects are e.g. “Kolorado Neustadt” (2003-2006), scenarios for a new urban diversity in the shrinking city Halle-Neustadt, the “Rahmenplanung Dachauer Str.” in Munich (2009) or the “Aktivierende Stadtentwicklung Flughafen Tempelhof” in Berlin (2007-2008) and the collaboration for the concept of an “IBA Berlin 2020″ (2011).
raumlaborberlin also works in the field of urban interventions. We transform urban spaces into something completely different, far from all expectations and visions. We move programmatic narratives into urban spaces, install new atmospheres and create a sense of new potential. Through the participation of local actors in cooperation with experts from all creative disciplines, new fields of action are discovered, tested, and projected into the future.
Examples for this approach are the “Kitchenmonument” (since 2006), an ephemeral and interventionist object for the creation of temporary communities in Duisburg, Liverpool, Warschau, Munich, Berlin or Eindhoven; the “Hotel Neustadt” (2003) a theater festival in Halle/Saale; and again the “Eichbaumoper” (2009) a opulent opera in a run-down public space by the motorway A40 in between Mülheim and Essen.
Architecture is an experimental laboratory for a moment related to the participatory work practice in urban areas. Architecture is understood not as an object, but rather as history, a layer of the history of the place. As architects, artist we are more of activists, because we operate within the city. Architecture is a tool, in the search for a city of possibilities, the city of tomorrow!

Arturo Franco More

Arturo Franco

Biographical notes
La Coruña 1972. Graduated in Architecture from the Escuela Politécnica in Madrid (ETSAM) in 1998, with the maximum score. Since then, he has demonstrated equal commitment to architectural criticism, teaching, research and practising the profession. For 10 years, he worked as art critic for the Spanish daily ABC, at the same time providing an analysis of the contemporary architecture scene for a number of national and international publications, as well as directing radio programmes, debates, congresses and seminars on the present and future of the profession. Since 2008, he has been editor of the review of the Official Order of Architects of Madrid (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid), a publication with a 90-year history, ushering in the Fundamentos phase. He is currently a Senior Fellow in the Department of Architectural Composition at the Escuela Politécnica in Madrid, and a visiting lecturer at the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca. He has given classes and conferences on his works in cities in Spain such as Madrid, Toledo, La Coruña, Logroño, Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia, and abroad, such as Paris, Lisbon, Brussels, Quito, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo, Funchal and Buenos Aires. His work as an architect has received first prizes from the Madrid City Council, the Order of Architects of Madrid and Galicia, the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport, and he has been a finalist for Awards such as the Premios Piedra Natural, Arquia, FAD, ENOR, Saloni, as well as the Swiss Architecture Awards. His most significant works – among them the various projects carried out in the former Matadero (slaughterhouse) in Madrid – have earned him a place on the lists of most successful young Spanish architects drawn up by the daily El País, the Fundación Caja de Arquitectos, the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport (JAE), Architectural Digest and 2G, as well as on the list of the top 25 architects under 50 drawn up by the Swiss University of Mendrisio. His work has been widely published in reviews and magazines of international renown, such as Domus, Arquitectura Ibérica, Diseño Interior, Detail, 2G, Arquitectura Viva, Architectural Digest, A+T, Tectónica, China Architecture and Design, Bauwelt or Wallpaper, to mention but a few.

Fulvio Irace More

Fulvio Irace

Architect and Professor of history of architecture, Milan Polytechnic
Biographical notes
Fulvio Irace is a full professor of “History of Architecture” at Milan Polytechnic, where he holds the History of Contemporary Architecture chair at the Faculty of Civil Architecture and the Faculty of Design; he is also a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, and a member of the board of teachers for the PhD course in “History of Architecture and Town Planning” at Turin Polytechnic.
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Vico Magistretti Foundation and is on the board of trustees of the Piano Foundation.
In 2008-2009 he was a member of the jury for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Triennial and curator of the Architecture and Territory sector.
One of the founders of the national association AAI (Archivi di Architettura Italia – Italian Architectural Archives), he is one of the promoters of the “Architecture and Design” section of CASVA (Centro alti studi e valorizzazione delle arti – the Centre for Higher Studies and Valorisation of the Arts) of the Municipality of Milan.
Architectural editor for the publications “Domus” and “Abitare”, he has worked with the most important national and international magazines in the sector, and in 2005 was awarded the Inarch Bruno Zevi Prize for architectural criticism. Since 1986 he has been an opinionist in the field of architecture for the Sunday Supplement of “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
Attentive to the historiographies of Italian architecture between the two World Wars, to which he has dedicated much work through various exhibitions and publications, more recently his studies have concentrated on contemporary Italian architecture, and the figure of Renzo Piano, the subject of various monographs and an important exhibition at the Milan Triennial.
In the field of criticism and historical methodology he is the author of the following works:  Dimenticare Vitruvio, 2001 and 2008;  Le città visibili: Renzo Piano 2006; Divina Proporzione, 2007; Gio Ponti, 2009.
He has curated a number of architectural exhibitions.



Video interview

Markus Bader
Fulvio Irace
Arturo Franco
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