Three Little Worlds: Klaus Toons

Tues 24 July 2012 7pm

  • Architecture's poisoned siren chants, courtesy Klaus Toons
  • “On Starchitecture” (April 2009). Designed for the installation “Be Kool” at the Harvard GSD (2009). Also featured in the exhibition “Dispatches of the GSD: 075 Years of Design” (Harvard GSD, Fall 2011). Published in (In)Forma nº 6 (2011) and Conditions Magazine nº 10 (2012).
  • In Conversation : Klaus Toons & Liam Young
  • In Conversation : Klaus Toons & Liam Young

Three Little Worlds and Jimenez Lai's Cartoonish Metropolis host celebrated architectural commentator and cartoonist, Klaus Toons, for a parallel exploration of the leaps of personal imagination, ideas and satire that the hand drawn graphic representation of architecture can offer. Opening with a talk on the evening of Tuesday 24 July 2012, the space hosted an 'exhibition within the exhibition' of Klaus's comic work, displayed within Bureau Spectacular's Three Little Worlds in the AF Project Space.

Klaus is a cartoonist and illustrator coming from Harvard's Graduate School of Design (GSD) who authors satirical and explorative cartoons about contemporary architecture, arch-celebrities and the city in Klaus: The Blog. Klaus has acted as editorial cartoonist for The New City Reader, exhibited his work in solo installations and bigger exhibitions, such as the comprehensive retrospective 'Klaus.Toon from NY to Portimao,' the collective show Eme3: Bottom Up, or the historic recount Dispatches from the GSD – 075 Years of Design. His cartoons have been featured in magazines such as Clog, eVolo, Harvard Design Magazine, (In)forma, MAS Context, and Project International, and occasionally in the OMA canteen (being a Harvard fellow, reportage on GSD Professor Rem Koolhaas has played a prominent role in Klaus' work).

KLAUS was born somewhere in Western Europe at some point in the mid seventies. For some years, he suffered from a syndrome called architecture, from which he has not yet recovered. Showing an early passion for drawing, he was introduced to comic books at a young age by his family and educators, to their later regret. As an illustrator, Klaus has always believed in the importance of having a distinctive style, which explains why he has been systematically copying the styles of the most distinctive comics artists, such as André Franquín. Only his complete lack of success in doing so has prevented him from being effectively sued for plagiarism. Klaus’s works in his blog show a clear improvement in this sense. (In the sense of working towards being sued).

Klaus: The Blog started as a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic review of the Harvard GSD unleashed by an especially surrealistic exchange between Ben Van Berkel and Prescott Scott Cohen, which rejoiced in presenting the visible heads of architectural intellectuality in their dialectic pajamas. However, due to Klaus’s lack of constancy, it soon evolved into a most uncertain terrain that tackled the most disparate aspects of architecture’s present, future and history, exploring obscure corners of architectural theory and contemporary issues with equal absence of any criteria.
– Klaus Toons

Klaus' other self, camouflaged as an architect and architectural scholar, publishes works and scholarly articles in art & architecture magazines such as Lars, Flow, GSD Platform, Aequus, Menhir magazine, URBES, (Dis)Courses, and in books such as Seeking the City: Visionaries on the Margins (2008), View on the GSD (2008), and Ecological Urbanism (2010). He is also currently putting together a jury for his PhD dissertation 'Futuropolis', an urban history of the future.