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Five years ago, Christian Kerez taught a studio at the Harvard Graduate School of Design titled ‘Ornamental Space’. The studio served as a starting point to verify if an abstract term could trigger the design process. The concepts developed in the studio contributed to a competition entry for a cultural center in Beijing the following year. This lecture, ‘After Ornamental Space’ focuses on architecture and its medium, three-dimensional space, in an experimental way that opens up various approaches for defining and thinking about space. Working titles such as atomized space, incidental space, ornamental space, and fluid space, among others, are used to describe architecture in the most distant and abstract way, only with words, and deliberately without any images, models, or diagrams – purely by the effort of thinking.
Christian Kerez was born in 1962 in Maracaibo, Venezuela and obtained his degree in architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. After extensive published work in the field of architectural photography, he opened his own architectural office in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1993. He has been appointed as a visiting professor in design and architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich since 2001, as assistant professor since 2003 and as full professor for design and architecture since 2009. In 2012-13 he led the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University, Cambridge. For the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2016 he participated with the project “Incidental Space”.