An unprecedented set of new collaborations have been forged for the historic exhibition Is This Tomorrow? to probe, confront and imagine what the future might hold. We bring together a selection of these leading practitioners including artists Rana Begum, Mariana Castillo Deball, Cecile B. Evans, Simon Fujiwara, Amalia Pica and Jacolby Satterwhite alongside architects 6a, Rachel Armstrong, Andres Jaque, David Kohn, Tatiana Bilbao, mono office and Marina Tabassum to share their visions of the future. Also joining the conversation are key thinkers and curators on art and architecture, Jes Fernie, Ellis Woodman and Gonzalo Herrero Delicado.
This one day symposium invites thinking across scales – from the human to the global and the planetary. From considerations of future homes and daily life to possibilities for environmental change, we explore how art and design provides new models of thinking through our shared frameworks.
Ticket price includes entry to the exhibition.
11.30 Welcome and Introduction
11.45 – 13.00
Cécile B. Evans and Rachel Armstrong
mono office (Zhao Liqun, Miguel Esteban Alonso, Pablo Alfonso Resa Abad)
Chaired by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, Architecture Programme Curator, Royal Academy of Arts
13.00 LUNCH BREAK (1hr)
14.00 – 15.15
Rana Begum and Marina Tabassum
Mariana Castillo Deball and Tatiana Bilbao
Chaired by Ellis Woodman, Director, Architecture Foundation
Amalia Pica and 6a (Tom Emerson, Stephanie Macdonald and Owen Watson)
Chaired by Jes Fernie, Independent Curator and Writer
16.15 BREAK (15 mins)
16.30 – 17.45
Simon Fujiwara and David Kohn
Jacolby Satterwhite and Andres Jaque
Chaired by Lydia Yee, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery
6a architects, established in 2001 by Tom Emerson (b. 1970, France) and Stephanie Macdonald (b. 1966, UK) in London, UK combines a culture of making and innovation with humanity and playfulness in its contemporary art galleries, educational buildings, artists’ studios and residential projects. Co-directors Owen Watson (b.1985, UK), and John Ross (b. 1981, UK) joined the practice in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Recent projects include the new MK Gallery, Milton Keynes and the South London Gallery Fire Station; Cowan Court, a 68-room hall of residence at Churchill College, Cambridge; and new photography studios for Juergen Teller, shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2017. The practice is currently completing projects in Melbourne, New York and Hamburg. Tom Emerson is professor of architecture at ETH Zurich and in 2018 was awarded the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize. Stephanie Macdonald was one of four nominated internationally for Women in Architecture Award 2018.
Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation, established in 2003, Madrid, Spain and New York, US by Andrés Jaque (b. 1971, Spain) works at the intersection of architecture, research and activism. Their work connects through inquiries and subversions of bodily and geopolitical realities. Projects include art spaces, such as CA2M; experimental residential buildings, such us Plasencia Clergy House, TUPPER HOMES, IKEA Disobedients or House in Never Never Land; temporary installations, such as PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society; performances such as Superpowers of Ten; and public artifacts, such as Escaravox and COSMO PS1. The practice has been awarded the Frederick Kiesler Prize and the Silver Lion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2014. Andrés Jaque is the Director of the Advanced Architectural Design Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Phd Architect (ETSAM), Alfred Toepfer Stiftung’s Tessenow Stipendiat (Hamburg) and Graham Foundation Grantee.
Rachel Armstrong (b. 1966, UK; lives in Newcastle, UK) is Professor of Experimental Architecture at Newcastle University. Her work focuses on establishing the conditions for a ‘living’ architecture that couples the computational properties of the natural world with building structures and infrastructures. She is Director and founder of the Experimental Architecture Group (EAG) whose work has been published, exhibited and performed at international biennales, and Coordinator for the Living Architecture project, which is an ongoing collaboration of experts from universities in the UK, Spain, Italy and Austria. She has written a number of academic books including Soft Living Architecture: An Alternative View of Bio-informed Practice, 2018; Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship, 2016; Vibrant Architecture: Matter as a Co-Designer of Living Structures, 2015; and the forthcoming Experimental Architecture: Prototyping the unknown through design-led research, 2019; and Liquid Life: On Non-Linear Materiality, 2019. Her fiction books include Invisible Ecologies, 2019 and Origamy, 2018.
Rana Begum (b. 1977, Bangladesh; lives in London, UK) blurs the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her visual language draws from the urban landscape as well as geometric patterns from traditional Islamic art and architecture. Light is fundamental to her process. Her works absorb and reflect varied densities of light to produce an experience for the viewer that is both temporal and sensorial. Recent solo exhibitions include Space, Light, Colour, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham, 2018; A Conversation with Light and Form, Tate St Ives, 2018; The Space Between, Parasol Unit 2016; and Rana Begum, Delfina Foundation, London, 2010. Recent group exhibitions include Frieze Sculpture Park, London, 2018; Actions. The image of the world can be different (part 1), Kettle’s Yard, 2018; Tribute to Sol Lewitt, Gemeente Museum Den Haag, 2016, as well as the 11th Gwangju Biennale, 2016. She was awarded the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize and Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture in2012.
Tatiana Bilbao Estudio,established in 2004, Mexico City, Mexico and Basel, Switzerland by Tatiana Bilbao (b. Mexico, 1972) is well known internationally for its use of traditional Mexican construction techniques, for creating sculptural effects that merge geometry with nature, and for a collaborative approach towards its clients. Bilbao has been visiting professor at Yale School of Architecture in 2014–15, professor of Design at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in 2005 and Visiting Professor at the Universidad Andrés Bello, in Santiago, Chile in 2008. She was advisor for Urban Projects at the Urban Housing and Development Department of Mexico City in 1998–99. Current projects include a mixed use building for the University of Monterrey, Mexico. Past projects include the Tamayo Museum Pavilion Rufino, Mexico City, 2013; a sustainable housing study for Mexico, 2015, and a project for the Botanical Garden Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, 2004–16.
Mariana Castillo Deball (1975, Mexico; lives in Berlin, Germany) takes a kaleidoscopic approach to her practice, mediating between science, archaeology, and the visual arts and exploring the way in which these disciplines describe the world. Recent solo exhibitions include To-Day, February 20th, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art, Savannah, 2018; Pleasures of association, and poissons, such as love, Galerie Wedding – Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin, 2017; ¿Quién medirá el espacio, quién me dirá el momento?, MACO Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, 2015 and ‘What we caught we threw away, what we didn’t catch we kept’, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland, 2013. Recent group exhibitions include Statues Also Die: Contemporary reflections on heritage and conflict in the Middle-East, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2018; Alors que j’écoutais moi aussi David, Eleanor, Mariana, etc., La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, 2017; El Orden Natural de las Cosas, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, 2016; and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2014.
Cécile B. Evans (b. 1983, US; lives in London, UK) works in sculpture, video and video installations, internet platforms, and performances. Starting with the relationship between human beings and machines, Evans focuses on the value of emotions in contemporary society, exploring today’s forms of human subjectivity, the representation of social roles and the idea itself of the body and mortality. Recent solo exhibitions include AMOS’ WORLD: Episode One, mumok, Vienna, 2018; Cécile B. Evans, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, 2017; Cécile B. Evans, Museum Leuven, 2017; and Cécile B. Evans, Tate Liverpool, 2016.Recent group exhibitions include Blind Faith: Between the Visceral and the Cognitive in Contemporary Art, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2018; Being There, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, 2017–18; and Äppärät, Ballrtoom Marfa, Texas, 2015–16.
Jes Fernie is an independent curator and writer. She works with galleries, architectural practices and public realm organisations on public programmes, commissioning schemes, exhibitions and residency projects across the UK and abroad. Working primarily beyond gallery walls, she is interested in an expansive idea of contemporary artistic practice, which encompasses dialogue, research, engagement and serendipity. She has worked with a broad range of organisations including Focal Point Gallery, Flat Time House, Tate, Peer, RIBA, Matts Gallery, ACE London and Lund Cathedral. In recent years she has lectured, mentored and carried out studio visits at Goldsmiths, Central St Martins, University of Essex, University of Leicester, The RCA, University of East Anglia, The Cass and Delfina Foundation.
Simon Fujiwara (b. 1982, UK; lives in Berlin, Germany) works across performance, painting, video, sculpture, and installation. In his work people, technology, images and objects are tools used to paint a compelling and fragmented portrait of the 21st century. Recent solo exhibitions include Hope House, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2018; Joanne, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, 2017; The Humanizer, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2016; Grand Tour, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2013; and Simon Fujiwara: since 1982, Tate St Ives , 2012. Recent group exhibitions include Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2015; Un Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2014; as well as the Sharjah Biennial 11, 2013; 9th Shanghai Biennale, 2012; and 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009.
Gonzalo Herrero Delicado is a curator, writer and architect based in London. He is Curator in the Architecture Department at the Royal Academy of Arts in London where he has curated a number of public programmes, projects and exhibitions including Invisible Landscapes (2018-2019), Futures Found (2017) and the upcoming Eco-Visionaries (2019-2020). Previously, he held different curatorial positions at The Architecture Foundation and the Design Museum, where he co-edited the book Fear and Love (Phaidon, 2016). He is a tutor at the Curating Contemporary Design programme at Kingston University and a regular contributor to a number of cultural magazines.
David Kohn Architects, established in 2007, London, UK by David Kohn (b. 1972, South Africa) is a London-based practice working internationally on arts, education and residential projects. Current projects include the refurbishment of the ICA, London, a new campus for New College, Oxford, an architecture faculty in Flanders and an apartment building in Berlin. Past projects include the Photography Centre at the V&A, London, 2018; Thomas Dane Gallery, London, 2013; The White Building, Hackney Wick, London, 2012; A Room for London in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner, London, 2011; and an award-winning restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2008.
mono office, established in 2017, Beijing, China by Liqun Zhao (b. 1982, China), Miguel Esteban Alonso (b. 1992, Spain) and Pablo Alfonso Resa Abad (b. 1991, Spain) is an experimental design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, urbanism and product design. The practice aims to incorporate both ethnographical approaches to aesthetics – emphasising the relationship between local communities, cultural development and craftsmanship – and techniques from scientific research. In doing so, they employ technologies of production from disciplines outside of their own. Despite its recent formation, current projects of the office include local culture based hotel prototypes, South China, 2018 and the transformation of an industrial textile warehouse complex into a cultural condenser for the city of Beijing in collaboration with Cano Lasso Arquitectos, 2018. Previous projects include Culture Complex, textile warehouse renovation competition, 1st prize, Beijing, 2018 and Floating Bookstore, Langyuan Vintage, CBD, Beijing, 2018.
Amalia Pica (b. 1978, Argentina; lives and works in London, UK) uses sculpture, installation, photography, live performance and drawing to explore the nuances of communication and the various forms that verbal or non verbal exchange may take. Recent solo exhibitions include please open hurry, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, 2018; (un)heard, Cc Foundation, Shanghai, 2018; ears to speak of, The Power Plant, Toronto, 2017; A un brazo de distancia, NC Arte, Bogotá, 2017; Asamble (performance), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017; and A ∩ B ∩ C (line), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2014. Recent group exhibitions include Darbyshire, Gander, Pica, Starling, Hayward Gallery, London, 2018; Double Edge, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, 2017; Un Nouveau festival /Expanding the Field of Play, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2015; Adventures of the Black Square, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015 as well as the 12th Shanghai Biennial, 2018; Manifesta 11, Zurich, 2016; and 11th Gwangju Biennale, 2016.
Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, US; lives in New York, US) is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses video, performance, 3D animation, drawing and printmaking to explore themes of memory, desire, and personal and public mythology. Recent solo exhibitions include Lundgren Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, 2018; Blessed Avenue, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, 2018; En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance, Performance in Progress, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2017 and How Lovely Is Me Being As I Am, OHWOW Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014. Recent group exhibitions include The Legacy of Architectonic Futurism, BANK, Shanghai, 2018; Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, 2016; Under the Clouds, Serralves Museum, Porto, 2015 and Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2014.
Marina Tabassum Architects, established 2005, Dhaka, Bangladesh by Marina Tabassum (b. 1969, Bangladesh) prioritises climate, materials, site, culture, and local history in order to counteract what she finds impersonal and confused in architecture globally. Tabassum is Academic Director of the Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements and won the Jameel Prize in 2018. She was previously partner URBANA which she founded in 1995. Recent projects include Wisdom of the Land, 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018; Independence Monument and Liberation War Museum, Dhaka, 2013; and Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka, 2012; and A5 Architects Residence, Dhaka, 2002. She was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2016.
Thursday 14 February, 7pm
The leading practitioner shares her vision of the future based on the newly commissioned project for the exhibition.
Exhibition opens 14 February
Is This Tomorrow? features experimental propositions from the chosen architects and artists, responding to issues we face in the 21st century from natural resources and migration, to technology and spirituality.
Whitechapel Lates: All exhibitions free from 6-9pm today!
Please note: Unfortunately, our lift is currently out of service owing to an operational fault.