The Blueprint curated diary: Owen Hopkins


Sir John Soane’s Museum senior curator Owen Hopkins selects this spring’s best shows and events


Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival
Until 1 September

The prize for the most hyped show of the year surely goes to the XXII Triennale di Milano led by MoMA curator Paola Antonelli. The theme is about as grandiose as they come: humankind’s ‘broken’ relationship to nature, which without the intervention of designers, the show contends, will ultimately lead to our extinction. The project comprises not just the main exhibition, but 27 installations by participating countries. Epic in extent, therefore, as well as subject, it will be interesting to see whether it delivers on its ambition, or, as is the risk with these types of subjects, ends up a sprawling mass of individual components. Across Milan, Italy

Irreplaceable Landscapes – An Architecture Exhibition by Dorte Mandrup
Until 26 May

Irreplaceable Landscapes – An Architecture Exhibition by Dorte Mandrup

Dorte Mandrup may not be the most famous Danish architect, but she might very well be the best. This exhibition at the Danish Architecture Center looks at two of her projects — Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe, Denmark and the Icefjord Centre in Ilulissat, Greenland — exploring how each of them is woven into their extraordinary landscape settings, culturally, materially and through their distinctive craftsmanship. Details are still scarce but it looks set to be a visual and material treat. It’s also an opportunity to check out the Center’s new home at the OMA-designed BLOX. Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen

Eric Parry: Drawing
Until 27 May

Eric Parry: Drawing

Drawing is what distinguishes architecture from simple building. This idea is the starting point for this exhibition of drawings by Eric Parry, which explores drawing as both a design tool, and as a way of engaging with the world in which buildings exist and which they play a part in shaping. Over 80 drawings — from quick sketches to highly resolved design drawings — are displayed across the labyrinthine spaces of the Soane Museum in an exhibition that reasserts the critical role and value of drawing in architecture. Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths
Until 7 April

Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths

Curated by Sylvia Lavin, recently appointed professor of architecture at Princeton University, this exhibition at the CCA poses something of a re-reading of postmodernism in architecture. It aims to look beyond the myth of architect as auteur — which postmodernism curiously left intact — and instead consider the ‘material evidence’ that documents architecture’s interactions with the wider world of finance, bureaucracy, regulation, institutions and the market. The exhibition contains some knock-out exhibits, notably drawings by Madelon Vriesendorp, and Michael Graves. Catch it before it closes. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

David Adjaye: Making Memory
Until 5 May

David Adjaye: Making Memory

The latest in a series of exhibitions in which the Design Museum invites designers to explore a theme of their choice ‘in public’, this exhibition sees David Adjaye tackle the role, meaning and form of the monument and memorial in contemporary society. The exhibition features seven projects by Adjaye that explore and embody these ideas in different ways, from the tiny Gwangju River Reading Room and Sclera Pavilion, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, one of the most significant architectural projects of recent years. Design Museum, London

Lake Verea: Paparazza Moderna
Until 7 July

Lake Verea: Paparazza Moderna

Lake Verea is Mexican artist duo Francisca Rivero-Lake and Carla Verea. This exhibition derives from their ongoing Paparazza Moderna project, which sees the artists taking photographs of houses designed by famous modernist architects. Multiple photographs are then arranged into what they call ‘architectural portraits’ of works by architects such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Rudolf M Schindler, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. The result is a subtle and poetic insight into the works of these architects and the roles they play in the modernist canon. Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein





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