Two early experiences inspired me to study architecture: a school trip to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (a ‘pop factory’ filled with art rather than factory workers!) and an exhibition on the Bauhaus that I saw in the late 1980s. From the very beginning, therefore, my encounters with architecture were closely related to art and exhibition spaces. This was also evident many years later, when I completed my degree with a study on the appropriation of art by architects and the use of architecture by visual artists, including a design for a centre of contemporary art.
At a college or school of architecture, students not only learn how to deal with space and land, they also develop an ability to understand clients’ visions and concerns. In this sense, building houses is similar to mounting exhibitions: both involve a consideration of multiple aspects, including history, audience, theory, form, function and finances. On this basis, the curator develops a suitable response for the particular context, i.e. one that is tailored to the individual circumstances, which can vary enormously. For example, I have curated projects in locations as diverse as an empty museum (4,500 m2) and a 20 m2 project space. The selection of works always reflects the given situation. A few years ago I was asked by the Berlin-based, artist-run space Autocenter to put together an exhibition. Rather than asking artists to supply existing works for the show, I invited them to create something in situ, and this led to the foundation – initially as an ironic gesture – of a summer academy. The work of running the academy is now being continued by another team, but the project illustrates my curatorial practice, which may take the form of a magazine, a radio programme or a table covered with cultural artefacts that visitors can read or touch. As a curator I am interested in photography, architecture, design and new media; I am fascinated by technology and how it is misused. Another major interest of mine is industry – not only in terms of the mass production of consumer and industrial goods, but also with regard to its impact on intellectual and artistic output. As an architect, I regard exhibitions above all as the transfer of an idea into a spatial domain.