Sick Architecture Talks II

Sick Architecture Talks II

Sick Architecture Talks II
Livestream 6–9:00pm CEST
June 21, 2022
Rue de l’Ermitage 55 Kluisstraat
1050 Brussels

Sick Architecture Talks II is a conference program accompanying Sick Architecture, an exhibition curated by Beatriz Colomina, Silvia Franceschini, and Nikolaus Hirsch at CIVA. Moderated by e-flux Architecture Deputy Editor Nick Axel, the second edition of Sick Architecture Talks continues on the program that accompanied the opening of the exhibition, featuring presentations by seven architects, artists, writers, and scientists.

Architecture and sickness are tightly intertwined. Architectural discourse always weaves itself through theories of body and brain, constructing the architect as a kind of doctor and the client as patient. Architecture has been portrayed as both a form of prevention and cure for thousands of years. Health is supposed to be the main goal of the architect, as Vitruvius already insisted in the first century BC. Yet architecture is also often the cause of illness, from toxic building materials to sick building syndrome. Architecture itself has become sick.

Every age has its signature afflictions, and each affliction has its architecture. The age of bacterial diseases, particularly tuberculosis, gave birth to modern architecture in the early decades of the 20th century, to white buildings detached from the “humid ground where disease breeds,” as Le Corbusier put it. In the postwar years, attention shifted to psychological problems. The architect was often seen as a kind of shrink; the house not just a medical device for the prevention of disease, but for providing psychological comfort, or as Richard Neutra put it, “nervous health.” The 21st century is the age of neurological disorders, with depression, ADHD, borderline personality disorders, burnout syndrome, allergies, and “environmental hypersensitivity” defining the contemporary experience of architecture and the built environment.

Meanwhile, pandemics have returned. COVID-19 is completely reshaping architecture and urbanism. The virus has exposed the structural inequities of race, class, and gender, provoking a call for social transformation and perhaps an architectural revolution. The exhibition, together with the online publication series Sick Architecture, offers a wider historical and conceptual frame for such conversations.

Sick Architecture Talks
June 21, 6–9:00pm CEST

6:00pm CEST, Introduction
Nikolaus Hirsch
Beatriz Colomina
Nick Axel

6:20pm CEST
An Fonteyne, “The Wild Beyond”

6:40pm CEST
Meredith TenHoor, “Care Beyond Biopolitics”

7:00pm CEST
Bart Marius & Arnout De Cleene, “Psychiatry and the Expanding City”

7:20pm CEST

7:40pm CEST
Ivan Lopez Munera, “Lands of Contagion”

8:00pm CEST
Eric de Thoisy & Marie Tesson, “Sick and/or Healing Architecture”

8:20pm CEST
Philippe Rahm, “How climate, energy, and health create buildings and cities”

8:40pm CEST
Laurent de Sutter, “Narcocapitalism: On the Architectonic of Anaesthesia”

Health & Disease, Covid-19
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