Rolf Jenni, Tom Weiss of Raumbureau and Jan Kinsbergen
Friday 10 February 2012, The Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow

 event video / event poster 

Present-day architectural debate and production in Switzerland is dominated by a tendency to indulge regressive traditional imagery. Hidden within a deeply rooted culture of consensus and in unquestioning accord with the demands of the market, conventionalist values are established in order to resist the equalizing power and the uncertainty brought by globalization. Thus current architecture epitomizes a morally motivated suspicion toward anything experimental or radical. In opposition, Rolf Jenni, Tom Weiss and Jan Kinsbergen share the conviction, that architecture is itself the frame within which alternative forms of life and visions for the society are revealed and debated. They push the boundaries of convention because they believe that it has always been radical disciplinary thinking that advances architectural production. Their critique is not limited to Switzerland. It is an analysis of a general culture of relativism that regards the individual creative endeavor as a reoccurring spectacle, rather than a means to progress.

Mackintosh School of Architecture
Mackintosh Architecture Students Society

Mackintosh School of Architecture
Mackintosh Architecture Students Society

Rolf Jenni and Tom Weiss established Raumbureau in 2008. They studied architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Biel (Prof. Ralph Thut) and urbanism at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam (Prof. Elia Zenghelis). They teach at the ETH Studio Basel and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. In their practice they explore the field of architecture and its relationship with the city and the territory by means of a common and rational architecture.

Jan Kinsbergen studied Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, received his degree in Architecture in 1993 (Prof. Hans Kollhoff), worked for Steven Holl Architects in New York 1994-1999 and in 2000 established his own firm in New York and 2002 in Zurich. He has had teaching appointments at GSAPP Columbia University and ETH Zurich. His work has been nominated for several awards and has been exhibited and published internationally.