Panel discussion | Laurent Stalder, Mario Carpo, Adrian Forty and François Charbonnet
Saturday 28 June 2014 | Cass Faculty of Architecture London
This panel discussion is a compliment to an exhibition called ‘Young Swiss Public’ curated by James Payne – senior lecturer at the Cass School of Architecture. Currently, there is a consensus that the role of the architects as the director of the process of making buildings, or the sole author, is largely outdated. Many UK architects bemoan the marginalisation of the architect in the construction industry and look to Switzerland and Swiss architects as a glorious remnant of a past golden age. In academia, particularly in the US but increasingly in Europe too, the shift in the position of the architect has been explained as an inevitable change driven by developments in the way that buildings are produced, in particular the ‘digital turn’. The development of a more collaborative approach to design management and construction is often understood as a progressive move associated with an age which places greater value on process and equity than individual intellectual property. A century ago we were told that the process of mechanisation would transform the role of the artist and the architect and yet it gave rise to the ‘Modern Masters’. Is talk of ‘marginalisation’ defeatist or necessary?
Laurent Stalder graduated from the ETH in 1996. From 1997 to 2001 he was assistant at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at the ETH where he was awarded his PhD in 2002. In the same year he became an assistant professor for architectural history at the History Department of the Université Laval in Québec. In 2006 he took up a post as assistant professor for architectural theory at the gta Institute, where he has served as associate professor since 2011.
Mario Carpo graduated from the University of Florence in 1983 in architectural history. He was a doctoral researcher at the EUI from 1984 to 1987, an assistant professor at the University of Geneva, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2009, and Vincent Scully visiting professor of Architectural History at Yale University since 2010. His research focuses on the relationship between architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology.
Adrian Forty is professor of Architectural History at The Bartlett, University College London. He is the Programme Director of the MSc programme in Architectural History. Forty’s interest lies in architecture’s role in societies and cultural contexts and includes work on the design of consumer goods; on language and architecture; and on architecture, and collective memory. He has published widely since the 1980′s and has become an important figure in architectural history and culture.
François Charbonnet is co-founder along with Patrick Heiz of the architecture studio Made in, based in Geneva, Switzerland. After graduating from the ETH Zurich he collaborated with Herzog & de Meuron and OMA, Rem Koolhaas before setting up his own office in 2003. In addition to his practise, he is a frequent lecturer and has been a visiting professor at the EPF Lausanne (2010-2011), the ETH Zurich (2011-2013) and the Accademia di Archittetura, Mendrisio (2014-2015).