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up up - stories of johannesburg's highrises

location: johannesburg south africa, 2015 - 2016
context: book
collaboration with nele dechmann and nicola ruffo photography: mpho mokgadi, graphic design: gregor huber, ivan sterzinger, publisher: hatje cantz & fourthwall books

idea: the publication presents a selection of mundane skyscrapers as contemporary witnesses to profound shifts in the political history of the metropolis.

book launches: 16.4. kunstgriff zurich, 12.5. fourthwall johannesburg, 23.5. aa bookshop london.

puka puka

location: zurich switzerland, 2015
context: outdoor venue for theater neumarkt
collaboration with meier/franz

idea: puka puka is a coral atoll as well as a temporary island in the formal industrial heart of zurich. through a hidden door, the exotic bar is connected with the dark back space, which offers a variety of theater evenings and discussions. by folding down the walls of the ephemeral house, a bigger audience can enjoy the happenings on stage.

[images 1-2, 7-10: goran basic, 3-6: johannes dietschi]

model apartment

location: mels switzerland, 2014

context: commission by michael meier and marius hug architekten
collaboration with meier/franz

idea: an old textile factory is converted into fine living units. based on their drawings, the architects commission us to build a scale model of two apartments. the walk-in 1:1 models are built of industrial chipboard, supported by wooden stands.

bollard factory

location: freiburg germany, 2014

context: festival, politik im freien theater
collaboration with meier/franz

idea: we build a temporary concrete casting factory. our aim: to reproduce the original freiburg bollard.
fellow enthusiasts assist us in casting the 520kg piece of street furniture.
sympathisers and opponents are invited to the factory – object of discussion is the humble bollard, and its role in perceptions of public space.

[images 1-7: gunnar meier, 8-9: maurice korbel]

office flx labs

location: zurich switzerland, 2014
context: office furniture commissioned by flx labs

idea: when the web design agency flx labs moved into a new space, they needed a conference table, a small kitchen, movable office plants, storage space and sound absorbing panels. we design these objects, focusing on the combination of materials and the flexibility of the furniture.

bar theater neumarkt

location: zurich switzerland, 2014
context: new bar for the lobby area of theater neumarkt

idea: turquoise metal frames, fireproof industrial cement boards and onyx marble from verona are combined to make up the new bar of theater neumarkt. reducing the existing bar counter by one third, we make space for a seat shaped like mini amphitheatre.

and tomorrow, innocence will build

location: zurich switzerland, 2014
context: discussion panel
collaboration with hannes mayer and theater neumarkt

idea: we curate the setting in which three fast rounds of discussion take place amongst six strongly opinionated voices. these thinkers have come together to debate current architectural practice. presenters: nele dechmann and axel humpert. guests: nemanja zimonjic, kevin dröscher, christian scheidegger and jürg keller, céline guibat, johann reble, fredi fischli and niels olsen.

[images: theater neumarkt]

stairs to the balcony

location: zurich switzerland, 2014
context: stairs for literaturhaus zurich

idea: we are commissioned by the literaturhaus zurich to invent a set of space-saving stairs which will give access to a balcony with fantastic views over the city and the river. narrow steps, supported by a subtle wooden structure, link the workspace under the roof with the outside.

grand prix neumarkt

location: zurich switzerland, 2014
context: praxis neumarkt - glückliche tage, theater neumarkt and das magazin

idea: a weekend of activities, organised by the theater neumarkt: «happiness is a practice». the theater has invited artists and thinkers to engage the public by sharing their personal views. we believe that happiness is… a soap box rally down the bumpy pavement of the old town.

house of switzerland

location: nomadic, 2014 -
context: temporary pavillion, housing a variety of uses
collaboration with spillmann echsle architects

idea: for the federal department of foreign affairs we design a mobile structure for switzerland together with spillmann echsle architects. in various factories around the country the modular elements of our house get produced and go on their journey to the first destination in russia.

[images production: demetris shammas and achilleas xydis]

on site, in print

location: warsaw poland and zurich switzerland, 2013
context: learning from warsaw
collaboration with kunstverein zurich, cca warsaw, roland früh and maria jeglinska

idea: we build an archive for roland früh's contribution to «learning from warsaw». a collection of printed matter and typographic scraps, found by various visitors and invited artists. six wooden pieces are stuck together to form the structure of the archive, which mingles the functions of storage and display.

motel basel

location: basel switzerland, 2013
context: wildwuchsfestival
collaboration with meier/franz and florian stirnemann

idea: the «motel basel» is a festival centre, a bar and a stage reminiscent of the symbolic buildings in las vegas. the motel, in conjunction with food-selling vans and cars modified by invited artists, is a temporary venue for spending the evening. it also serves as point of information during the festival.

grassland gutleutmatten

location: freiburg germany, 2013
context: gutleutmatten 2013, theater freiburg
collaboration with meier/franz and club real

idea: in the fall of 2013, excavators will transform an unassuming field in the neighbourhood of haslach into a large building site. we have been invited to activate the space before trucks and shovels turn the soil. we also want to dig and construct - we create six installations, to be appropriated by theater groups and pedestrians.

palais de haslach

location: freiburg germany, 2012
context: finkenschlag, theater freiburg
collaboration with meier/franz

idea: a former restaurant, the «finkenschlag» has become an important cultural venue in the neighbourhood of haslach. we have been invited to add a temporary space to amplify the existing building - we build a brutalist palace facade, welcoming artists and neighbours with grandeur.

activate saanen

location: saanen switzerland, 2012
context: site study for saanen

idea: the mountain village of saanen has recently undergone numerous significant changes, such as the pedestrianisation of the village centre. we open a «kiosk of complaints» for saanen's inhabitants, to facilitate discussions about the future of the village. we collect villagers' utopias and grievances. we organise a joint dinner and seat everybody around the 2x7m table.

30 jahre sind genug [boat building workshop]

location: zurich switzerland, 2012
context: 30 jahre rote fabrik
collaboration with meier/franz and florian stirnemann

idea: the «rote fabrik», zurich's cultural centre by the lake, turns 30. in celebration, the entire building is barricaded. however, to those in the know, the building can be accessed through secret entrances and by unusual paths - for example by boat. we help potential burglars to construct a prefab vessel and sneak in by floating across the lake.

[images 1,4: gunnar meier]

congress of change

location: freiburg germany, 2012
context: veraenderungs kongress, theater freiburg
collaboration with michael meier

idea: we have been invited to design a stage which can host discussions about 'change', and its effect across various disciplines. we decide to build a stage over the formally arranged seating area in an existing theatre, recreating an arena. to allow real time discussion and interaction between participants, we have come up with a system where text messages sent by the audience are instantaneously displayed on a large billboard.

the merging engine

location: mazama usa, 2011
context: mazama art residency

idea: in the outskirts of mazama, we experiment with an «exercise in frustration». we make people build with irregular shapes which neither fit nor stand. we provoke and cause vexation, merging individuals through collective action and emotion.

link: mazamaresidency.org

street golf korea

location: manan-gu, south korea, 2010
context: seoksu art project residency
collaboration with riikka tauriainen

idea: the korean neighbourhood of manan-gu is a type of urban space in jeopardy: soon it is to be demolished and replaced by high rise residential towers. our golf course incorporates found architecture like small bumps, pipes and curves in the street, and takes the golfer on a walk through the small alleys to experience the potential of an organically grown city.

beispiel belgrad

location: belgrade serbia, 2009
context: site study

idea: we leave behind all prejudice and arrive in a new place. we let ourselves drift; we observe and collect. we publish our own newspaper, a printed version of our first impressions. it is a subjective view on the potentials of belgrade, mixed with thoughts suggesting another way to perceive our daily surroundings.

revolutions parameter

location: bern switzerland, 2009
context: theaterfestival «aua wir leben»
collaboration with michael meier und konsortium und konsorten

idea: the animal kingdom knows about the new noachian flood and god permits the animals the decision whether humans may board their ark. the choice falls against humanity, and the decision is communicated at a press conference. we side with the animals, helping them to construct revolutionary spaces.

kaukasische ping pong fabrik

location: zurich switzerland, 2008-2009
context: independently managed space for happenings and interventions
collaboration with riikka tauriainen and michael meier

idea: for two years we have run a space known as «kaukasische ping pong fabrik» [caucasian ping pong factory] . we develop the recurring evening of the «video kitchen» which quite literally is a melting pot for our ideas. we also organise a grand prix, build a sauna and a sauna-cinema and expand our minds with countless discussions.

 

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