Luc Merx, Christian Holl – Opulent Decay: The Contingency of Design

Lecture date: 2011-03-14

Rococo Relevance is a research project that explores the potential of history as a reference for contemporary design. Merx and Holl are not searching for general historical rules but for the exceptions that question the existence of those rules, for that part of history that has been ignored until now. They use aversion as an indicator of habits and taboos that restrict our exploration of the possible.  
Since they don’t believe in a ‘truth out there’ that can be found and discovered, they search for radical subjectivity and the potential of multiple meanings within the architectural discourse. In their research they reflect on today’s architectural practice, its restriction through myths or dogmas, and on personal relation to the world that surrounds us. 

Luc Merx is interested in the borders between architecture, design and art. He founded his practice, Gagat International, in Rotterdam in 1999. In 2003, a grant from the Netherlands Foundation BKVB provided him with the opportunity to study the parallels between late baroque architecture in Southern Germany and the influence of computers on modern architecture.

He has taught at several schools, including the Universities of Technology in Eindhoven and Darmstadt and is currently a professor at the University of Technology in Kaiserslautern as well as head of the Maastricht Building Academy.

Christian Holl studied art in Stuttgart and Münster and architecture in Aachen, Florence and Stuttgart. He was editor of db deutsche Bauzeitung 1997–2004. In 2004 he founded frei04 publizistik together with Ursula Baus and Klaus Siegele. He has published several books, and works as a freelance editor and critic. He was assistant professor at the Institute of Urbanism at University of Stuttgart 2005–10 in teaching and research. He is curator at the Weissenhof gallery for architecture in Stuttgart. Since 2010 he has been managing director of the association of German Architects BDA in Hessen


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