Design Cultures_

Design Cultures
Urban Research and Design Methods in Europe and Asia

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibitions ‘Mind Landscapes’ by Studio Zhu-Pei, Beijing and ‘Augmenting the Invisible’ by Jakob + MacFarlane, Paris at Aedes Architecture Forum.

The discussion will introduce both architecture offices and their approach to design. Each of the offices base their design strategies on research in the urban context and topology as well as on traditional concepts to find a contemporary expression for their respective space-production. While both teams were partly educated in the US, the Chinese office Studio Zhu-Pei uses traditional tools like sketches, physical models and ink drawings in the context of a rich cultural history, the office of Jakob + MacFarlane uses high-end digital technology and computer augmented layers to create their projects and connect them to the site. The presentation of both approaches will be followed by an expert discussion on similarities and differences between the two design cultures in the context of architecture education and their respective social realm. More information on the exhibitions here.

Hans Jürgen Commerell, Director, ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin

Zhu Pei, Studio Zhu-Pei, Beijing
Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane, Jakob + MacFarlane, Paris

Followed by a discussion with
Li Xiangning, Professor in History, Theory and Criticism, Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shanghai
Zhou Rong, Assistant Professor, Tsinghua University Architecture School, Beijing
Raymund Ryan, Architecture Curator, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Francis Rambert, Director, IFA (French Institute of Architecture), Paris

Moderated by
Eduard Kögel, Research Advisor and Programme Curator, ANCB, Berlin
Aric Chen, Lead Curator for Design and Architecture, M+, Hong Kong

After the talk, at 6.30 pm, we cordially invite you to attend the Exhibition Opening at Aedes Architecture Forum next door.


The exhibition presents the first monographic exhibition of Jakob + MacFarlane in Germany. The multidisciplinary and multicultural architecture studio, founded by Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane in 1997, is one of the most experimental offices operating based in Paris, France. Projects like ‘Frac’ in Orleans, Restaurant ‘Georges’ at Centre Pompidou, ‘Orange Cube’ and ‘Euronews Headquarters’ in Lyon or ‘Conservatory of Music and Dance’ in Noisy are results of their unique mode of architectonic form-making, in which the firm developed, through exploration of digital technology – both as conceptual tool and as means of production – a distinctive, individualistic signature that simultaneously redefines local context.

The studio’s approach is a permanent attempt to reinterpret the context of a project. Each of their interventions witnesses an extreme interest and research for the site in order to develop a richer project response. Through this process a meaning, sense and resonance to the work is given and at the same time it creates an architecture that is open to a changing and evolving world.

Their projects are resulting from their unique design-approach to reinterpret the projects context, its gridlines, topologies or physical streams and transfer them into digital form where it can be manipulated. Thus, this piece of tangible becomes part of the original matrix of the project.

Jakob + MacFarlane’s practice is situated precisely at this intersection of the digital and the physical, between the projective and the experienced. It is both the result of an iterative dialogue between the topographies of everyday experience in the physical and the terrains of the digital as an invitation to an ongoing conversation about this relationship.

“Augmenting the Invisible” shows through normative representations as well as augmented means eight projects illustrating the characteristic and powerful architectural work of Brendan MacFarlane and Dominique Jakob: Georges Restaurant at the Pompidou Center, Paris (2000), the Docks of Paris – Cité de la Mode et du Design Paris (2008), Les Turbulences FRAC Centre in Orléans (2013),  the Orange Cube – Lyon (2010), Maison Boulogne – Paris (2016), Herold Social Housing – Paris (2008), Conservatory of Music and Dance – Noisy le Sec (2017) and Frederic Malle Perfume Shop, Paris (2016).

Through its creativity and rigor Jakob + MacFarlane has achieved a worldwide reputation, having received the International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum in 2014. Furthermore, they were nominated for the Mies van der Rohe European Architecture Award in 2015. Their projects have been exhibited in various museums around the world, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the SFMOMA in San Francisco, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Venice Biennale in 2002, 2008 and 2016 and the Museum of Architecture in Moscow.


Jakob + MacFarlane, Paris

1 April – 18  May 2017


Friday, 31 March, 6.30pm

Aedes Architecture Forum
10119 Berlin

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