Lebbeus Woods (October 20, 2003)



Chris Genik introduces Lebbeus Woods.

Woods presents two projects that challenge preconceived notions of what architecture should look like, what it should do, and how it interacts with other architecture.

Woods begins with a look at John Martin’s depiction of the Tower of Babel to argue that civilization is inherently excessive, messy, and artificial. He uses this to explain his approach for the exhibit design for the “Seven Hills: Pictures and Symbols of the 21st Century” exhibit at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2000. In his design for the display structure he tries to blur the line between the artifacts and the architecture since both are the artificial products of man.

The second project looks at the circus and other areas where extreme performance is on display. Woods presents a speculative project for Vienna that tests the limits of what is structurally possible. He proposed several pieces inside the Ringstrasse that would exist alongside architecture from previous centuries, and provide a critique of the conservatism of that built environment in the 21st century.

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