Zumtobel and Aedes – the Austrian lighting specialist and Berlin-based architecture forum are celebrating 25 years of collaboration this year. What is the role of Aedes and what interfaces does it share with Zumtobel?
Architecture and light
In addition to its 40th anniversary, Aedes is also celebrating a quarter of a century of collaboration with the Austrian lighting specialist Zumtobel this year: a mutual exchange of ideas that began 25 years ago, with light in architecture at its very core. "Zumtobel worked closely with artists from the very beginning, demonstrating a high level of cultural awareness and a keen interest in conveying the role played by light in the design of living spaces," explains Commerell. A number of joint research trips and exhibitions then followed, featuring leading figures from the world of international architecture and design discourse, like the "Living the Nordic Light" exhibition, where the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta reflected its own roots and explored the relationship between space, landscape, architecture and people. Or the "Lighting the Global Workspace" study, a research project launched by Zumtobel and the Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB) in 2015: five teams from universities in Australia, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia investigated the ideal lighting for modern office environments.
Seeking out dialogue beyond one's own specialist field, demonstrating how light has a major influence on architecture, carrying out mediation work and opening up new lines of thought – these are the motivating factors shared by Aedes and Zumtobel, which form the basis of their long-standing partnership. "We want to build a network and create a space for the exchange of views on architecture and lighting solutions that goes beyond sales presentations," explains Daniel Lechner, Director Brand Management Zumtobel & Services. Together, they have also taken on the role of ambassadors on the international architecture scene to raise awareness of approaches taken by German architects and firms. Many of their research projects on themes such as "Architecture and Religion" or "Made in Germany, Architecture + Ecology" have been showcased around the world in travelling exhibitions run over a number of years in collaboration with the Goethe Institute.
The "Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment" was launched in 2007, which is curated by Aedes and presented every two to three years. This international architecture prize is awarded to pioneering concepts and developments that help to improve quality of life and sustainability in the built environment and contribute towards its design. "In the long run, simply awarding a prize to an innovative project just isn't sustainable enough for us or Zumtobel. Instead, we want to use this award to stimulate substantive discussion and provide an interface for a holistic approach. This begins from the very moment we select an interdisciplinary panel of judges," explains Commerell. "There needs to be discussion both internally and externally." For Zumtobel, entries from universities and architecture firms also give rise to thought-provoking exploration of sociological issues and offer up ways of addressing the development of social needs based on the theme of light in architecture. "The Zumtobel Group Award provides an exclusive insight into sociological processes and presents visionary concepts from established protagonists and newcomers alike," explains Daniel Lechner. The next award is set to be presented in September 2021. In the meantime, more exciting exhibitions are due to take place all over the world.
Arctic Nordic Alpine – In Dialogue With Landscape
From July 4th until August 20th, 2020 the exhibition “Arctic Nordic Alpine – In Dialogue With Landscape” is presented at the Aedes Architecture Forum, Christinenstr. 18-19, 10119 Berlin. The exhibition is dedicated to contemporary architecture in vulnerable landscapes, focussing on the influence interventions could have on regions with extreme climatic conditions. Arctic Nordic Alpine presents pioneering projects by the internationally renowned architecture and design firm Snøhetta, including the energy-efficient Hotel Svart in Svartisen, the Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Svalbard Island and the Museum Quarter in Bolzano. These buildings illustrate that architecture can make a significant contribution to the mitigation of climate change by promoting a more sustainable use of nature with innovative strategies and solutions – in dialogue with landscape. Conceived and designed by Snøhetta, also including proposals from students, the exhibition is shown at Aedes in cooperation with Zumtobel Lighting and AW Architektur & Wohnen magazine. On this occasion, Snøhetta is honoured with the prestigious AW Architect of the Year 2020 award.
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sun-Mon 1-5pm and Sat, 4 July 2020, 1-5pm
Photos: © Aedes, Jan M. Lillebø, Hans Scherhaufer, Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
Zumtobel. The Light.
Come and visit us in Hall 9, Stand 56.
Zumtobel. The Light.