Lecture date: 2015-03-12
The present perfect blurs the gap between past and present. Everything is up to now—nothing is left behind. The present perfect stands for an expression of unfinished time. Unfinished time started in the past and continues into the present. There is no quarantine period between historical facts and contemporary truth. Architecture is a form of presence, yet its history always plays a key role in both its production and interpretation. At best its history is told in the present perfect tense by means of projective speculation to establish a strong, yet individual, and ad hoc connection between then and now.
Alex is looking for such strong – sometimes constructed – genealogical, idea-based, and conceptual connections between the past and the present by talking about a couple of his projects addressing collective form through the attempt of an alternative historical approach. Among them the project of the German Pavilion at the 14. International Architecture Biennale in Venice, his recently published book ‘The Western Town – A Theory of Aggregation’ and his work on Urban Rules.
Alex Lehnerer, an architect and urban designer, currently holds a position as assistant professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Prior to that he was based in Chicago, where he was a professor at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. He received his PhD from ETH Zurich and his MArch from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Together with his partner Savvas Ciriacidis he is leading the Zurich based architecture practice CIRIACIDISLEHNERER. In 2014, the two were the general commissioners of the German pavilion at the 14. International Architecture Biennale in Venice.