(c) Yeon Joo Oh, (c) Suyoung Ko, (c) Haewook Jeong, (c) Soonam Lee, (c) Soubhi Baraghit, (c) André Zakhya

Narratives in Boundless Space


Narratives in Boundless Space – Cartographies of Venice (Studio 1) and Spatial Fabulations and Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality (Studio 2)


The Städelschule Architecture Class presents two exhibitions as part of Narratives in Boundless Space. The exhibitions comprises projects which have been produced by students of Johan Bettum in the Master Thesis Studio, Architecture and Aesthetic Practice, at the Städelschule Architecture Class.

In Mousonturm’s Studio 1, Cartographies of Venice is shown. These projects, eight in total, are all specific to Venice and based on on-site specific research.

In Mousonturm’s Studio 2, Spatial Fabulations and Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality comprise of eleven projects that each revolve around specific architectural interests and use Virtual Reality to offer challenging and entertaining architectural experiences

Cartographies  of Venice

Cartographies of Venice comprises of a series of dramatic reflections in virtual reality on Venice in the age of digital hyper-consumption of images. The exhibition counts nine projects which are presented on physical islands under hovering clouds – both digitally abstracted from the urban fabric of Venice. The projects respectively problematises specific aspects of how this exotic city has been and continues to be represented through an endless stream of photographic images.

Cartographies of Venice problematises this space of image consumption and uses the boundless realm of virtual reality for visitors to encounter novel and layered constructions of Venetian interiors and exteriors. The virtual reality environments comprise of a wall-less space that is saturated with parts and qualities which have been digitally transported from the immediate environments of Venice. Matching virtual reality engines with digital scanning, the projects superimpose the endless, historical repository of Venice with imagined environments. Hence, the projects suspend the visitors between past, present and future, in a constructed synthesis of inside and outside, between the simulated, ancient materiality of the floating city and the vibrant pictorial space of strange narratives.

Cartographies of Venice was part of Goethe Institute’s programme, Performing Architecture 2018. The projects invites its audience to enter site-specific virtual reality environments as a critical commentary on the 2018 Architecture Biennale as much as Venice as a tourist institution.


Spatial Fabulations and Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality

Spatial Fabulations and Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality comprises of eleven projects that explore various architectural themes spanning from urban narratives to active participation in architectural design in Virtual Reality. The projects engage with real time surveillance, personal and poetic narratives from foreign cities, the work of select architects – such as Bernard Tschumi and Oswald Mathias Ungers, to machine-driven and robotic processes as part of architectural design.

The visitors are invited on journeys that explore insides and outsides of buildings and cities, or to interactively produce or explore forms that are made possible by computers and their algorithms. Subjective experience or creative participation is fused with machinic processes that underlie the the contemporary production of architectural forms and our spatial experience.

The eleven projects are presented in a scenography of sculpted objects that are strewn across the floor of Mousonturm’s Studio 2. The objects appear as fragments and may or may not belong to a single whole. Yet, they make up a garden of strange objects, anchors or portals to virtual worlds.

Breaking Glass – Narratives in Boundless Space is a five-day event thematising Virtual Reality in relation to architecture and the arts. The programme is presented by the Städelschule Architecture Class in collaboration with Künstlerhaus Mousonturm.

The festival comprises of a conference, Breaking Glass II on May 4, accompanied by Narratives in Boundless Space, an exhibition and an evening of public talks. Students of Curatorial Studies at the Goethe University and Städelschule host the latter on May 3 and engage students at the Städelschule Architecture Class in conversation about the work exhibited at Mousonturm. The exhibition presents Virtual Reality projects produced by members of Städelschule’s Master Thesis studio, Architecture and Aesthetic Practice, and opens on May 1 and runs through May 5.