Matters of Engineering Design: AKT II
ROUND TABLE AND OPEN HOUSE ON THE PUBLICATION
Introduction: Cristina Steingräber
Talk: Hanif Kara
Impulse and Panel with Louisa Hutton & David Basulto
Moderation: Frank Barkow
The ArchiTangle publication “Matters of Engineering Design: AKT II” highlights how interdisciplinary collaboration in civil engineering can help respond to the daunting challenges facing our society today, including technological advancement, changing economic order and environmental stewardship.
AKT II, named for its three founders Robin Adams, Hanif Kara and Albert Williamson-Taylor, is an international engineering firm that unites the cultures of architecture and civil engineering. Since the firm’s founding twenty-five years ago, AKT II has made it its mission to redefine the boundaries of the discipline and its connections to fields such as philosophy, computer science, and geography. “Matters of Design Engineering: AKT II” is an engine for critical reflection on the scope, potential and limits of what AKT II defines as design engineering.
The book is organized into five discursive sections: Scale, Mutability, Attitude, Reverse Engineering and Construction Craft. An extensive selection of projects showcases the work of AKT II, which highlights a wide range of design challenges and processes. Common to all projects is a desire to explore and expand the notion of what civil engineering can mean. Interwoven with the projects are texts by authors* from a variety of disciplines that engage with the theoretical debates and social conditions that shape contemporary practice.
At the ArchiTangle Talk, Hanif Kara, co-founder of AKT II and editor of the book, will present his approach and the work of AKT II, followed by a discussion of questions from the audience with Lousia Hutton and David Basulto, who also contributed to the publication in a panel moderated by Frank Barkow.
Since the number of places is limited, we ask you to register in time (see below for registration). A limited number of signed copies of the publication will be given to registered guests.
About the authors:
Hanif Kara OBE is a civil engineer and Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is the co-founder and design director of AKT II, an engineering firm established in 1996 that uses a design-led approach to combine civil engineering with other disciplines that shape our built environment. Kara has earned an international reputation for his work with AKT II, his groundbreaking research and his teaching of interdisciplinary design.
Louisa Hutton is a British architect who co-founded the firm Sauerbruch Hutton with Matthias Sauerbruch in 1989 and has been based in Berlin since 1993. She has taught at the Architectural Association and was a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Schelling Architecture Foundation and was a commissioner of CABE and a member of the first steering committee of the Bundesstiftung Baukultur. Louisa Hutton is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects and the RIAI (Irish Institute of Architects). In 2014 she was elected Royal Academician. In 2015 she was appointed an OBE.
David Basulto is founder and editor-in-chief of ArchDaily, the world’s most visited digital architecture platform. Basulto has been a jury member for awards and design competitions in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, the Endeavor Foundation in New York, and the Academic Advisory Board of the Technólogico de Monterrey in Mexico. He was curator of the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Frank Barkow is an American architect and co-founder of Barkow Leibinger, an architectural practice he opened in 1993 with German architect Regine Leibinger. For the past 30 years the firm has focused on material based design with a particular interest in digital and analog tools and technologies and their role in the conception and construction of the built environment. Barkow has taught at Harvard GSD, Cornell University, Princeton University and EPFL in Lausanne among others.
Cristina Steingräber holds a PhD in architectural history and is a publisher. In 2019 she founded ArchiTangle, an independent Berlin-based architecture publisher with an affiliated tech startup focused on knowledge transfer and socially relevant projects in the field of architecture. Her previous positions include more than ten years as program director and managing director at Hatje Cantz, one of the world’s leading publishers of fine art, photography and architecture.
The event will take place in English.
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