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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Scale of Things Public Lecture Series: Small Scale, Big Change: the social turn in contemporary architecture

23rd January 2017, 18:15 to 19:15, Ken Wade Theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Professor Andres Lepik (Technical University Munich)


In recent decades architecture has achieved the public image of an elitist discipline: designing and planning for an extremely small fraction of the global population, for those who have the means and the power to afford their services. But there is a new generation of practitioners using their expertise and knowledge to address the needs and expectations of communities in need, not only in developing countries but also in the highly industrialized ones that confront increasing inequality. Working in slums and favelas, engaging with future users, concentrating on the real needs and working with participation, the resulting projects are often only small in scale but have a strong impact. Not only on the life and education but also in giving back social relevance to architecture in general. A series of exhibitions and publications in recent years aim to spread the knowledge about these projects and to raise the awareness of the public about the ethic dimension of architecture.

Andres Lepik studied art history graduating with a PhD. on „Architectural Models in the Renaissance“. From 1994 he worked as Curator at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin where he presented the exhibitions „Renzo Piano“ (2000), „Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Berlin“ (2001 with MoMA) and: „Content. Rem Koolhaas and AMO/OMA“ in 2003. From 2007 to 2011 he was Curator at the Architecture and Design Department in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presenting the exhibition „Small Scale, Big Change. New Architectures of Social Engagement“ in 2010. In 2011/12 he was Loeb-Fellow at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard University. In 2012 he took the position as Professor for Architecture History and Curatorial Practice, and Director of Architecture Museum of Technische Universität Munich. In 2013/14 inMunich he presented „AFRITECTURE. Building Social Change“, „Lina Bo Bardi 1OO“ in 2015 and most recently „World of Malls“ in 2016.

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