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The architect Ole Scheeren
Ole Scheeren © Felix Grünschloss

Experience has shown that architecture is difficult to present in exhibitions. Buildings are not transportable; plans and photographs can only give an approximate impression of rooms, materials and surroundings. What is special about the exhibition “ole scheeren: spaces of life” at the ZKM in Karlsruhe is that it tries to compensate for such deficits as best it can through the media. Peter Weibel, the artistic and scientific director of the ZKM, curated the show in close dialogue with Ole Scheeren. Until 4 June, it aims to illustrate the historical dimension of the architect’s work and at the same time give a stage to the sculptural character of his buildings in the sense of a spatial experience. In addition, the exhibition will show how the future of the digital is already reflected in Scheeren’s architectural work.

“Ole Scheeren’s architecture”, says Peter Weibel, is “the result that shows us how architecture in the age of the Anthropocene must no longer only design living space, but also living space through a new neighbourhood of nature and building complex. Augmented reality applications therefore give insight into the life inside these buildings, which are built terrestrial manifestos through their horizontal orientation.”

Ole Scheeren, born in Karlsruhe in 1971, has made a name for himself worldwide with innovative high-rise buildings, residential projects and hybrid art spaces. In 2010, he founded his “Büro Ole Scheeren” with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin and London. According to ZKM, his projects “shape the way we interact with our cities and create new social narratives through a bold vision of architecture as a highly connective and inclusive environment.” True to his motto “form follows fiction”, his buildings activated the imagination, fantasy and emotions of the people who live and work in them.

Scheeren’s projects are located in the exhibition in terms of time and space. To this end, around 100 3D-printed architectural models are lined up along an approximately 42-metre-long timeline. The “Media Dump” invites visitors to experience the media reception of Scheeren’s architecture via the flood of social media posts and pop quotes. Using augmented reality, visitors are transported into the urban spaces and interiors of the buildings on the large-scale models; and with “The Interlace”, one of Scheeren’s most famous buildings can be explored from anywhere. (All applications are based on Snap AR technologies and require the Snapchat app and a mobile phone).

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