round corners

Open House
Architecture and Technology for Intelligent Living

A travelling show by Vitra Design Museum and Art Center College of Design at Zeche Zollverein Essen
Opening: August 26, 2006

For a number of years, ever more refined and updated prototypes of "Intelligent Houses" have been produced around the globe in which companies and research institutions demonstrate how the computer can become an integral part of living spaces and thus make the home a networked environment. The miniaturisation of processors, the wireless transmittal of data and refined sensor technologies are opening up fully new possibilities for the way we live. Yet the potential consequences of these developments for architecture have been left unaddressed by these research and showcase homes. How will the new technologies change residential architecture in the near future?

For the exhibition "Open House: Intelligent Living by Design", the Vitra Design Museum together with Art Center College of Design in Pasadena invited eleven emerging architectural firms to develop visionary answers to this question. The architects are based in the USA, Mexico, England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Korea, Japan and Australia. Developed especially for Open House, their projects will be presented in the exhibition with room installations, models, photos and films. An accompanying empirical section of the exhibition provides comprehensive, graphically attractive international data on demographic and technical developments that are to shape our living environments today and in the near future.

The twelve current architectural visions are juxtaposed in OPEN HOUSE with historic houses of the future and urban development utopias from the 1920s up to the recent past. These include influential designs of the architectural avant-garde as well as visions of "Future Houses" once promoted by industry and business that today seem almost bizarre or whimsical. One sees that much of what used to be merely a distant vision of the future has today shifted toward the realm of feasibility. Hence, the exhibition also poses the question: How do we want to live?

The exhibition will be accompanied by a ca. 240-page catalogue in German and English editions in which the twelve architectural projects will be presented in detail. Further contributions will be provided by such authors as Beatriz Colomina, Hartmut Häussermann and Bruce Sterling.

OPEN HOUSE is conceived in cooperation with Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. The exhibition will be presented from August 26 until December 2, 2006 at the former coal cleaning building of the Zeche Zollverein in Essen. It is part of "ENTRY 2006: Perspectives and Visions in Design".

Curators: Susanne Jaschko, Jochen Eisenbrand and Gloria Gerace
  German press release by Ausstellungsgesellschaft Zollverein (485.0 KB)

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