The Benno Premsela Lecture 2016 was given by artist Hito Steyerl. Her lecture was inspired by a text by architect George Nelson entitled A Problem of Design: How to Kill People. Respondent was Dutch Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade.
Nelson first presented his thesis in 1960 in an educational television series broadcast by an American aluminium manufacturer. By adding contemporary material, Steyerl sketches a provocative perspective on the interweaving of military power, architecture, design and art.
George Nelson: 'Designers create things for people. This means that to function successfully, to produce works of art, designers must have society's approval for what they are doing. Three areas of design which receive the unquestioning support of society are: design for fashion, design for homemaking and design for killing.'
Hito Steyerl is one of the most intriguing artists working today. With her penetrating films and texts, she positions herself in a debate that transcends the individual fields of art, philosophy, design and politics. She analyses prevailing social, cultural and financial concepts and speculates on the influence of digitisation on society. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid (2015).
Floris Alkemade is an architect and urban designer. He worked for eighteen years at Rem Koolhaas' office OMA, seven of them as a partner. In 2008 he founded his own practice, FAA, which works on large-scale architectural projects at home and abroad, including the redevelopment of the 600-metre-long Entrepôt Macdonald in Paris. Alkemade lectures at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Amsterdam. In September 2015 he was appointed Chief Government Architect.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
3 November 2016
Thursday Night Dinner: from 18:30
Lecture: from 20:00