John Edwards Lecture 2011: Rem Koolhaas, OMA, in conversation with Nicholas Serota, Tate

Mon 12 December 2011 7pm

  • Rem Koolhaas, Mark Rappolt & Sir Nicholas Serota at Tate Modern for the 2011 John Edward Lecture
  • Rem Koolhaas, 2011 John Edwards Lecture
  • Rem Koolhaas speaking at the 2011 John Edwards Lecture
  • Sir Nicholas Serota Speaking at the 2011 John Edward Lecture

The AF’s headline event and trans-disciplinary meeting of minds this year sees Rem Koolhaas in conversation with Sir Nicholas Serota. An exciting opportunity to witness two of the most influential figures in contemporary culture meet to discuss architecture, art, the creative city, and more. The conversation will be chaired by Mark Rappolt, Editor, Art Review.

With building projects underway at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern, this is a time of architectural innovation for Nicholas Serota and the organisation as a whole. Tate’s plans will provide world-leading new spaces for art, performance and learning, beginning with the opening of the Oil Tanks in summer 2012. These developments respond directly to the changing position of the museum in a globally and technologically connected world.

“The forces that are changing the world are challenging the role of museums. Our world is different, even compared with 20 years ago: the advance of globalization, increasing cultural diversity, technological and personal mobility has had an impact on the world we address.”
- Sir Nicholas Serota, The Art Newspaper, 2010

With an aim to make Tate Modern an ever more dynamic arena for new ideas and thought, interdisciplinary collaborations and international perspectives, Serota will no doubt have much to discuss with Koolhaas, who has based his long and successful career engaging and giving form to these issues himself – through built projects and a prodigious published output.

Maybe, architecture doesn't have to be stupid after all. Liberated from the obligation to construct, it can become a way of thinking about anything - a discipline that represents relationships, proportions, connections, effects, the diagram of everything.”
- Rem Koolhaas, Content, 2004

Koolhaas’ OMA, a leading partnership practicing architecture and urbanism alongside radical cultural analysis through their research arm AMO, have long been at the forefront of new architectural ideas, concepts and form since the late 1970s and remain one of the most influential architecture practices working today. As OMA’s first UK buildings – Rothschild Bank’s headquarters, City of London and the Gartnavel Maggie’s Centre, Glasgow – complete simultaneous to the Barbican Art Gallery’s major OMA/Progress exhibition of the practice’s work, this is a time of celebration and reflection for Prizker Prize and Golden Lion winning Koolhaas.

OMA’s engagement with art spaces span their 1996 competition entry for the original conversion of Tate Modern’s Bankside site into a major international art gallery; the Prada Transformer (2009) – a radical changeable tetrahedron that proposed a new adaptable form for the art space of tomorrow; and research and design strategies for the Fondazione Prada, St Petersberg’s Hermitage Museum, and the Haus der Kunst, Munich.

The event will encompass architecture and art’s civic and social responsibility and effect, in a wide-ranging discussion of the contributions, and limitations, of both disciplines’ impacts upon a changing world.

Now a headline annual event which couples a global leading architect in conversation with a contemporary from a separate discipline, this year’s Architecture Foundation John Edwards Lecture at Tate Modern will provide a rare opportunity for the public to engage in a lively conversation between two of the 21st century’s most creative thinkers, both of whom are at the forefront of their respective fields.

Download press release here

Supported by:

Estate of Francis Bacon