MEETING ARCHITECTURE Part 2: Reinier de Graaf – The British School at Rome
Tomorrow, Wednesday 11 December 2013, sees the second part of Meeting Architecture, the British School at Rome’s new programme curated by Marina Engel, with a talk by dutch architect Reinier de Graaf.
“More often than not the word architecture is used in its metaphorical rather than its literal meaning. Why is it that so many disciplines resort to architectural terms to describe their strategies, concepts and ideas? Does Architecture and the way of thinking that comes with it have a validity beyond making buildings?”
Dutch architect, Reinier de Graaf will refer to his work directing AMO (the celebrated OMA think-tank) and will analyse the particularities of architectural thinking and its potential relevance for other creative domains. De Graaf will also discuss the nature of “collaboration” between some of these different disciplines and will characteristically take an unconventional look at some of the main themes in Meeting Architecture. His lecture will cover a range of projects, both historical and contemporary.
One of themes of Meeting Architecture is the crossing over of boundaries between different creative processes and an extraordinary example of this can be seen in the work of AMO, the counterpart to OMA’s architectural practice. While OMA remains dedicated to the realisation of buildings and masterplans, AMO operates in areas beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture, including media, politics, sociology, renewable energy, technology, fashion, curating, publishing, and graphic design.
AMO has worked with Universal Studios, Prada, the EU, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Heineken, Ikea, Condé Nast and Harvard University, produced exhibitions at the Venice Biennale (on the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg) and Venice Architecture Biennale (on preservation, and on the development of the Gulf), and guest-edited issues of the magazines Wired and Domus. Recent projects include a plan for a Europe-wide renewable energy grid, a 720-page book on the Metabolism architecture movement (Project Japan, Taschen, 2010) and the educational programme of Strelka, a new postgraduate school in Moscow.
Partner at OMA, Reinier de Graaf joined the practice in 1996 as project director for De Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ largest building, which is currently under construction. In 2002 he became director of AMO, the think tank of OMA, and produced The Image of Europe, an exhibition illustrating the history of the European Union. He led several OMA projects in the Middle East, and in 2009 led the competition-winning design for Rotterdam’s Stadskantoor. De Graaf is also working on the Commonwealth Institute redevelopment in London. He is responsible for AMO’s increasing involvement in sustainability and energy planning, which has included the publication in 2010 of Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe with the European Climate Foundation and The Energy Report, a global plan for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, made with the WWF.