1014 Fifth Avenue (at 83rd Street)
New York, New York 10028

NEW YORK (January 21)— The Goethe-Institut New York, a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institution, is pleased to announce “What Is Green Architecture?”, a new series of conversations, lectures and events exploring the cutting-edge developments in the field and their impact on contemporary life as well as implications for the future. The series will debut on Thursday, February 7, at 7:00pm, with a talk by noted Berlin-based architect Jürgen Mayer H. (jmayerh.de), in conversation with Andres Lepik. Admission is free, and no reservations are required.

Founded in 1996 in Berlin, Germany, J. MAYER H. focuses on works at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. Recent projects include the Town Hall in Ostfildern, Germany, a student center at Karlsruhe University and the redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Sevilla, Spain. From urban planning schemes and buildings to installation work and objects with new materials, the relationship between the human body, technology and nature forms the background for a new production of space. Jürgen Mayer H. is founder and principal of this crossdisciplinary studio. He studied at Stuttgart University, The Cooper Union and at Princeton University. His work was published and exhibited worldwide and is part of international collections like The MoMA (New York) and SF MoMA. He is the recipient of prizes including the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture (2003) and a Holcim Award Bronze (2005). Jürgen Mayer H. has taught at Princeton University, University of the Arts Berlin, Harvard University, Kunsthochschule Berlin, the Architectural Association in London and is currently teaching at Columbia University.

"’What Is Green Architecture?’ is a real question,” says Dr. Stephan Wackwitz, Program Director of the Goethe-Institut New York. “We want to show the American public what German and international architects, designers, artists, philosophers and politicians have to say about the practical task of creating a sustainable future through good design.” Adds Andres Lepik, Curator in the Architecture & Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art, “This conversation is more timely than ever given the rising consciousness in the U.S. about environmental issues in architecture and urban planning. Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for a ‘Green New York’ in 2030 (www.nyc.gov/2030) is a perfect local example. While green design may be a relatively contemporary trend in America, ecologically sound practices have been part of the education of architects and engineers in Germany since the first oil crisis in 1972.”

“What Is Green Architecture?” series curator and moderator Dr. Andres Lepik studied Art History and German Literature at universities in Augsburg and Munich, earning his Ph. D. in Rome on “Architectural Models in the Renaissance.” He has curated noted architecture exhibitions in the United States, Europe and elsewhere in the world, including solo shows highighting the work of Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas and Oswald Mathias Ungers at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and the German venue for The Museum of Modern Art’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Die Berliner Jahre 1907-1938 at Altes Museum. He is currently Curator in the Architecture & Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art, as well as author of numerous articles, reviews and books.

Future events planned in the “What Is Green Architecture?” series this spring include conversations with Matthias Schuler (www.transsolar.com) on April 1, Christoph Ingenhoven (www.ingenhovenarchitekten.eu) on May 19, and Matthias Sauerbruch (www.sauerbruchhutton.com) on June 16.

Inspiration for ‘What Is Green Architecture?’ stems partly from the forward-thinking desire of the Goethe-Institut New York to transform its landmark Beaux-Arts townhouse on Fifth Avenue into a showcase of sustainable design and interior architecture. Notes Dr. Wackwitz, “This building has been in need of an interior architecture and design overhaul for years now. For us this is an opportunity. Over the course of the next two years, we will have lectures and seminars at the institute, politicians will hold public debates, and internationally renowned architects and interior designers will discuss their solutions with the public and exhibit their designs. Philosophers will talk about ecology as a way of seeing the world. Historians will research the history of the building and find out how it can be preserved and made accessible to the public by way of an ‘ecology of the past.’ Artists will interact with the existing structure of the house with sculptures, performances, and research projects and will draw connecting lines to the surrounding townscape, to the museums, the Park, the fashionable shops, the schools, the historical architecture around it. Our dream is an answer to this question that can actually be built.”

The Goethe-Institut New York is a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institute, established to promote the study of German and German culture abroad, encourage international cultural exchange, and provide information on Germany’s culture, society, and politics. At its uptown Fifth Avenue location, several buzzworthy series will debut this spring, including “With God on Our Side: The Crisis of the Secular” and “KinoTalks” (new films and filmmakers). Downtown, Ludlow 38, a new art space created in collaboration with Kunstverein München, opens on February 8. For details on upcoming events and to join the mailing list, visit: www.goethe.de/newyork.
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Official Website: http://www.goethe.de/newyork

Added by LACerand on January 22, 2008