Art & Architecture Summit London

RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

4 October 2019

Art & Architecture Programme



Amy Sherlock, Deputy Editor, frieze; Curator, Frieze Academy Art & Architecture

Opening Conversation: What Else Can Art Be? Theaster Gates In Conversation

Theaster Gates’ work has long been rooted in creating spaces for communities and cultures that are politically and economically marginalized or under threat. In long-term, ongoing projects – many of them rooted in the economically deprived South Side of Chicago – Gates has used the economies, institutions and materials of art as a force for urban regeneration and cultural preservation. In conversation with Elvira Dyangani Ose (director, The Showroom, London).

Virtual Worlds: Design Beyond The Physical, presented by RIBA

Technological developments are beginning blur the boundaries between virtual and physical space. How can we use VR to re-imagine the ways in which we design and use our built environment? Conversely, how can we design these new and limitless virtual spaces to best utilize their potential? Architectural designers Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg of Space Popular will be in conversation with artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Daniel Birnbaum (artistic director, Acute Art).

Coffee Break

New Spaces

Architects present some of the most interesting and innovative recently completed international museum projects.

Chasper Schmidlin & Lukas Voellmy (Schmidlin Architekten & Luvo Architekten, Zurich) – Muzeum Susch, Switzerland
Francesca Torzo – Z33 Kunstencentrum, Hasselt, Belgium
Tom Emerson (6a Architects, London) – MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK

Lunch Break

Panel Discussion: Insta-tutions? How Social Media Is Changing Exhibition Design

How are traditional arts institutions responding to the phenomenon of Instagram museums? How much does the selfie influence what artworks are installed and in which kinds of space? Does this democratize the art-viewing experience or do we see more but look less?

Anthea Hamilton (artist, London)
Sam Jacob (architect, London) 
Ralph Rugoff (curator, Venice Biennale 2019)
Moderated by Orit Gat, critic

Performing Architecture: Elizabeth Diller discusses The Shed 

A telescoping shell that can expand and contract to create standing, seating or open space for an infinite variety of uses, The Shed is a responsive, future-proofed setting for live performance and time-based artworks. Elizabeth Diller (DS+R, New York), discusses the challenges and possibilities of this unique structure with Catherine Wood (curator, international art, performance, Tate, London).

Coffee Break

Where Do We Go from Here? Tomás Saraceno in Conversation

In 2015, a fully solar-powered craft designed by the artist Tomás Saraceno lifted seven passengers into the sky for over two hours as part of his ongoing ‘Aerocene’ project, which explores the possibility of flight without carbon fuels. In his sculptures and installations, spanning the macro level of the cosmos to the micro level of a spider’s web, Saraceno draws on approaches and collaborators from the fields of science, technology and philosophy to help us rethink our relation to the natural world and to one another. He discusses the future of materials with Manijeh Verghese (head of public programmes, Architectural Association, London; curator, British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2020).

Closing Keynote: Between Nature and Architecture: Sou Fujimoto

From his smallest project – an all-glass public toilet set within an enclosed garden in Ichihara City, Japan – to his open, scaffold-like design for the 2013 Serpentine Pavilion, and the recently opened abre blanc, a mixed-use tower that seems to grow from the ground in Montpellier, France, Sou Fujimoto’s (Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo/Paris) designs seek to incorporate nature. In this lecture, he discusses what architects can learn from natural forms.

Closing Remarks


*Timings and content are subject to change