Architecture Department kicks off 'Outside Looking In' lecture series

January 24, 2012

Martin Kaltwasser, co-founder of Folke Koebberling / Martin Kaltwasser and guest scholar at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, will speak 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 in Penn State’s Stuckeman Family Building jury space. Kaltwasser’s talk kicks off the “Outside Looking In” lecture series.

Kaltwasser studied Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany before studying at the Technical University Berlin, where he received a degree in architecture. His work was exhibited recently in the 2009 Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo and Martha Museum.

In 2010, Koebberling and Kaltwasser worked alongside volunteers to create the Jellyfish Theatre, London’s first fully functioning theatre made entirely from recycled and reclaimed material. Kaltwasser’s talk “Hold It! The Art & Architecture of Public -- Space -- Bricolage -- Resistance -- Resources -- Aesthetics” will focus on the firm’s work intervening in “mundane” public spaces, which it uses to explore the transitory nature of the city. Each site-specific intervention uses hoarded refuse.

Kaltwasser offered this description of his lecture: “The public space is under siege -- the compulsion to consume, increased monitoring and continuously expanding individual motorization dominate the appearance of our cities. Since 1998, the two artists Folke Kobberling and Martin Kaltwasser have been implementing their concept of an artistic and architectural aesthetic of resistance to this appropriation. Their work presents alternatives to this consumer ideology -- through structural interventions, artistic statements, actions, and theories. The artists use streets, squares, bridges, parks and interior spaces as their areas of operation. The materials applied by them always consist of ‘urban resources’ -- such as litter, trash and donations. As a result, each work is based on communicative and social moments. Their strategies encourage emulation, distribution and multiplication, as they can be implemented with very simple materials.”

The “Outside Looking In” lecture series was conceived by the Penn State Department of Architecture’s Lecture Committee, which includes Assistant Professor of Architecture Rebecca Henn, Assistant Professor of Architecture Lisa Iulo, and Assistant Professor of Architecture Marcus Shaffer. Shaffer describes the lecture series as addressing the following:

“As the architectural economy that supports conventional architectural practices tanked, we began seeing a lot of interesting work on the periphery that was being produced by people who weren't necessarily calling themselves architects - The New York Times' recent “T Magazine” article on Daniel Arsham is a perfect example. We wanted to take advantage of this period of ‘conceptual expansion‘ to invite outsiders, wannabes, hangers-on, and peripheral people in to talk about their take on architecture. Additionally, there are architects who are putting a lot of creative energy into making things that aren't necessarily buildings. If the past is any indication of what we can expect in the present, then we are certain to see a lot of ‘new directions’ in architecture as people look for creative ways to reinvent themselves and the profession.“

Penn State’s H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is a leader in professional design education comprised of an interdisciplinary confederation of strong design disciplines: Architecture, Design, and Landscape Architecture.

  • In 2010, Koebberling and Kaltwasser worked alongside volunteers to create the Jellyfish Theatre, London's first fully functioning theatre made entirely from recycled and reclaimed material

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015