To mark the retirement of founding director Dietmar Steiner, the Architekturzentrum Wien is taking a look at sixty years of international architecture history while making current, inspiring movements for change palpable.
“In the End: Architecture. Journeys through Time 1959 – 2019”
October 6, 2016 – March 20, 2017
Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien,
In a globalised world with continually renewing technological and digital possibilities, the rapid developments of recent decades have plunged architecture as a creative discipline and a social phenomenon into a crisis. Large offices with global operations, star architects, industry 4.0, ever more standards to be met, and the legal and economic weakening of the profession are impacting increasingly on the role of architecture.
In the midst of the discussion on the crisis, which appears to be paralysing what is happening in the architecture sector, new and initially hardly perceptible undercurrents started to attract attention — with socially engaged, historically aware or regionally anchored approaches — and breathing new life into the discipline while counteracting the ostensible stagnation. The proponents of these currents — initially met with derision as niche phenomena or flashes in the pan — have long taken over the theoretical debate.
The dissolution of CIAM in 1959 marked the ‘failure’ of the modern movement which plunged architecture into a profound crisis. From this starting point the exhibition meanders through history, making stops where Dietmar Steiner underwent his own personal architectural socialisation process: via stations dedicated to critiquing functionalism, soft urban renewal, New Urbanism and the Revision of Modernism, signature architecture, the bottom-up movement and global business we journey through time to the year 2019, where the cult film Blade Runner shows a magnificently bleak backdrop of Los Angeles in the future.
The stations of architecture history are closely linked to the biography of Dietmar Steiner and reflect the impact of world events in architecture, in Austria. These stations are contrasted, by the curators, with contemporary positions that engage with ecological, social, legislative, contextual, and theoretical aspects of architecture, the diversity and innovative power of which show that architecture is far from at an end. Just as the failure of the modern movement in the postwar years stimulated architecture to take a new direction, the current stakeholders in the profession are also trying to overcome a crisis and in doing so often are deliberately or unintentionally referencing historical situations.The dialogue between the two levels of the exhibition is intended to show that every ‘End’ harbours a critical new beginning.
20th VIENNA ARCHITECTURE CONGRESS
In the End: Architecture. Journeys through Time 1959 – 2019
From 18–20 November 2016 the Az W is holding the 20th Vienna Architecture Congress, for which the key architecture theorists and architects of recent decades are gathering at the Az W for a large, intergenerational exchange of knowledge about those days, today and tomorrow. This event will constitute a profound level of commentary to the exhibition ‘In the End: Architecture’.
Participants: Wiel Arets, Barry Bergdoll (requested), Richard Burdett, Petra Čeferin (requested), David Chipperfield (requested), Jean-Louis Cohen, Peter Cook (requested), Irina Davidovici, Marco de Michelis, Nathalie de Vries, Roger Diener, Marc Dubois, Oliver Elser, Angelika Fitz, Anna Heringer, Jacques Herzog, Andreas Hild, Steven Holl, Ulrike Jehle-Schulte Strathaus, Gabriele Kaiser (requested), Elke Krasny, Rob Krier (requested), Wilfried Kühn, Anne Lacaton, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Bart Lootsma, Peter Märkli, Vedran Mimica, Akos Moravánszky, Maroje Mrduljaš, Shane O’Toole, Juhani Pallasmaa, Wolf Prix, Bruno Reichlin, Sami Rintala, Ullrich Schwarz, Martin Steinmann, Stephan Trüby, Jean-Philippe Vassal, Georg Vrachliotis, Wilfried Wang, Ana Maria Zahariade, Mirko Zardini