Legacy Plus: International Dialogue One

EXYZT, STEALTH.unlimited, East
Tues 2 March 2010, 7pm

International Dialogue One:
EXYZT and STEALTH.unlimited, in conversation with East

Nicolas Henninger of Paris' EXYZT and Marc Neelan of Rotterdam and Belgrade based STEALTH.unlimited present their work and discuss successful international approaches to temporary architectural solutions in dynamic urban conditions; suggesting possible precedents for shaping the future of the Olympic Site and its surroundings in dialogue with East, the London-based architecture practice with active projects in the Olympic Fringe.

Founded by five architects, EXYZT’s manifesto proclaims it as a ‘platform for multidisciplinary creation’ whose aim is to challenge the view of architecture as an independent field of practice. Instead, they embark on experimental ventures expressed through a wide variety of devices, including architecture, video, cooking, graphic design and botany. The collective ‘conceive and organise each project as a playground in which cultural behaviours and shared stories relate, mix and mingle’. Their projects, which could be defined as participatory architecture, always strive to involve different constituencies of the local community in a social network that is invited to inhabit a temporary space. EXYZT were last seen in London through their Dalston Mill contribution to the Barbican’s Radical Nature exhibition last autumn, and Southwark Lido, their Architecture Foundation commission for the 2008 London Festival of Architecture. Other projects include Architecture du RAB, EXYZT’s first project of ‘architectural piracy’, as they refer to it, occupying a 335-metre-square abandoned plot near Parc de la Villette in Paris; LabiChampi, 2007, a micro urban farm in the abandoned Soviet military district of Karosta, Latvia, providing the neighborhood with an alternative resource, both of local food production and potential income; and their inhabitation and adaptation of the French Pavilion for the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Metavilla.

STEALTH shape opportunities where various fields of investigation meet and where thinking about possible future(s) of the city are mobilised. They consider space both a tool and an agency, and focus on innovative aspects of sometimes hidden, temporary or unplanned urban practices that challenge ways in which to create physical aspects of the city and of its culture. By creating devices that can take the form of a specific intervention in physical space, an occasion for exchange of knowledge, they produce test conditions to probe the shared authoring of urban space and culture. Recent work include's STEALTH's 2008 co-curation of the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial with the project Archiphoenix: Faculties of Architecture, and the completion, in collaboration with Marjetica Potrc, of the project Fruit and Energy Farms in a Public Square for a schoolyard in Knivsta, Sweden. in 2009 STEALTH curated Episode 2 of the Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual (T.I.C.A.B) - the first biannual’s contribution on city and urban transformation - and drafted The Constitution for the Interim - the time period beginning when the original function of a site or building is terminated and continuing until the site or building is redeveloped.

East is an award winning architecture, landscape and urban design practice established in London since 1995. East are interested in places, uses and the way they come about. Their work has come to be internationally recognised for a patient and innovative role in adjusting and improving the urban fabric and its uses. A careful understanding and documentation of places as they are found, their spatial relationships, colour, smell, materiality help East’s development and judgement of design. East are interested in responding to and influencing specific situations, not the pursuit of stylistic tradition. Beauty is always an ambition but it is never predetermined what beauty is.

Chaired by Joe Kerr, RCA

Image: Metavilla, French Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia, 2006. Courtesy EXYZT.

Supported by 

Design for London