The Universität der Künste (University of the Arts, UdK) Summer School is a one-week workshop hosted by the Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. It engages interdisciplinary participants from all over the world who have a passion for architecture, and are interested in debating its impact. Students will research and design around the definition of HYPER COMFORT, with the aim to produce a physical installation that will be displayed at the final presentation in the famous glass hall of the Neue Nationalgalerie, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Summer School’s programme will be led by the French architect Stéphanie Bru (BRUTHER) in cooperation with Eveline Jürgens (UdK) and the French-German architect Hans-Walter Müller. All together and in confrontation with the iconic museum architecture the workshop participants will transform the space and jointly build inflatables made out of recycled plastic sheeting. These aerial constructions will be set aloft for the public on Saturday, 10 September 2022, from 4 to 8 pm.
The Summer University 2022 is planned as a think tank around the definition of HYPER COMFORT, taking the space of the Neue Nationalgalerie into account. During a one-week workshop, we propose to question the physical scale, which is a particular interest for the operative dimension of architecture, whether it is in relation to the resistance of a material, structural efficiency, climatic norms, or – in a more prosaic way – to cost reduction.
Keeping the body in its comfort zone is the secret motto of our daily environment. As soon as a door is crossed, as soon as an interior is walked through, the environment must be tamed, air-conditioned, sanitised. Everything is done so that we don’t even feel like we are breathing, or sweating, physical efforts are blurred, our security is assured. Our bodies are cut off from climatic, acoustic, light and safety variations, even though these are ultimately restricted in our latitudes. One focus is the comprehensive reflection on the potential of an architecture supported by air. The growing awareness of the importance of air and the dangers of its pollution or contamination have led, over the last thirty years, to a renewed interest in this impalpable but vital agent. Although, air has always been an essential element of architecture and urban planning, it was during the 20th century, especially from the 1960s on, that engineers and building physicists began to manipulate its characteristics. This research has left its mark on standards for indoor comfort and on the insulating and structural performance of this element, but has not led to a more global reflection on the potential of an architecture of air. We intend to reflect on the constructive properties, the fleeting or mechanical dimension of air, no longer considered a simple substance or element, but also a medium and a source of energy. Who hasn’t been surprised when entering a shopping centre, feeling like wearing a jumper, even in the middle of August? These impromptu contrasts say something about the fragmentation of contemporary space. Without ourselves necessarily realising it, we spend our time crossing thresholds, sometimes clearly visible, sometimes less so, but always subject to a form of control. This is because the control of flows (air, sanitary, circulation) is ultimately the first issue that architects must address.
SAVE THE DATE: On Saturday, 10 September 2022, from 4 to 8 pm, the aerial constructions, some of which can be entered, will be set aloft for the public ‒ vividly brought to life by lighting effects and original recordings of architect Mies van der Rohe. Accompanying the spacious light and sound installations, other installations and films on the subject HYPER COMFORT by students of the Bru/Jürgens design studio at the UdK will be shown in the hall and on the terrace.
Participation is free.