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ole scheeren: spaces of life at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

December 10, 2022–June 4, 2023

The ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe presents ole scheeren: spaces of life, the first major solo exhibition of the internationally famous architect Ole Scheeren's work from December 10, 2022 to June 4, 2023.

The exhibition addresses the fundamental question “How do we wish to live?” and is based on Ole Scheeren’s ongoing work to conceive new architectural prototypes for the future. The exhibition’s installations and digital applications center on the architectural experience.

Ole Scheeren, born in Karlsruhe, Germany, has been running his own office since 2010, with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin, and London. He is well-known throughout the world for his unique high-rise structures, stacked skyscrapers, and residential projects. Scheeren’s buildings, true to his credo “form follows fiction,” engage the thoughts, fantasies, and emotions of the people who live and work in them beyond their simply technical and utilitarian architecture. In this regard, his architecture is distinguished by the hybrid fusion of previously distinct domains, such as living and working, public and private, culture and commerce, allowing for new connections and contexts. Scheeren constructs composite constructions in this manner that resemble self-contained cities within cities, where the surrounding environment becomes an inseparable component of the building itself. The residential complex The Interlace in Singapore, recognized for its natural urban living environment with an interplay of private, communal, and semipublic spaces, is an outstanding example of this concept. The Interlace received the Urban Habitat Award from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago in 2014 for its “groundbreaking contribution to the urban realm and social sustainability” and was named World Building of the Year 2015 at the World Architecture Festival.

The exhibition ole scheeren: places of life will highlight Scheeren’s view of buildings as living organisms and biophilic systems. Furthermore, the exhibition inquires into the role of buildings as urban actors in the identity of cities, as well as the resonance architecture has in social media and other areas of society—architecture Scheeren’s represents a counter-concept to the usual hierarchic, upwards towering city buildings in order to create new spaces for life.

These concepts are explored in the exhibition through four distinct elements: object, process, context, and consumption. Augmented reality elements bring large-scale models (objects) to life. Archival information (architectural plans, movies, architectural models, and so on) is arranged in thematic presentations that connect Ole Scheeren’s defining fundamental principles to his architectural work (process). Furthermore, about 100 3D printed architectural models are embedded in an interactive timeline that contextualizes and connects the projects in their time and location (context). These features are accompanied with social media content pertaining to the representation and consumption of architecture in the digital era (consumption). This multimediality allows for a holistic knowledge of Ole Scheeren’s buildings as well as the underlying themes of social harmony and cohesiveness, which are critical global difficulties of our times.

The exhibition ole scheeren: spaces of life is a collaboration between the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the OS Archive, in partnership with KME Karlsruher Marketing and Event GmbH, City of Karlsruhe.

Please find here further information about the exhibition.

Curated by: Peter Weibel

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Lorenzstr. 19
76135 Karlsruhe
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm

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