Haus-Rucker-Co and Syd Mead at the B-Part Exhibition

Architecture, art, and science fiction in dialogue on the city of tomorrow in an exhibition: What perspectives can design, and architecture icons such as Haus-Rucker-Co and Syd Mead offer for the development of our cities or, more specifically, for the Urban Mitte Am Gleisdreieck? – Exhibition runs until February 8th, 2020.

Even those unfamiliar with the legendary designer Syd Mead know his work from milestones in film history such as Ridley Scott’s “Alien” series or the “Blade Runner.” For this one, the recently passed away “Visual Futurist” created the epochal-dystopian design of an urban mega-juggernaut in 1982. Yet this gloomy aesthetic seems rather untypical for Syd Mead, whose entire oeuvre has a bright and optimistic vision of the future.

The production design of the US-American industrial designer still has a lasting influence on current visions of urbanity. The exhibition “Syd Mead – Future Cities” at the O&O Depot is dedicated to him. Inspired by that, the plan was born in October 2019 to create a thematic link from the worlds of Syd Mead to Berlin and the Urban Center Am Gleisdreieck and to show selected works by the architectural rebels Haus-Rucker-Co in the B-Part Exhibition. The idea was developed during a meeting with real estate developer and investor Marc F. Kimmich (COPRO), curator Rüdiger Lange (loop – raum für aktuelle kunst), architect Markus Penell of O&O Baukunst and the curator of the “Syd Mead – Future Cities” exhibition, Boris Hars-Tschachotin.

O&O Baukunst has also made a significant contribution to the history of art and architecture. Starting in the 1960s, the founders Laurids and Manfred Ortner, as part of the Haus-Rucker-Co artists’ collective, developed fantastic future visions of playful-psychedelic optimism for the city of tomorrow. They wanted to give the classic houses a powerful jolt to make room for new urban spaces and ideas. They saw themselves as “house-madmen” – translated: Haus-Rucker – and moved eloquently and with enormous media impact between architecture and art. But at the beginning of the seventies, the colorful, light-hearted experimentation turned critical. With environmental destruction on the one hand and the nuclear arms race on the other, the optimistic lightness of the works changed into a life-sustaining urgency.

The drawings, collages, models, and photographic and film documents shown in the exhibition highlight precisely this theme by critically questioning our relationship to natural and urban spaces, in which artificial cultural and natural landscapes are brought together and intertwined.

The current cabinet exhibition on Haus-Rucker-Co in the B-Part Exhibition thus responds to both Mead’s cinematic visions of the future and the current transformation of the Urban Mitte Am Gleisdreieck. The B-Part Am Gleisdreieck is a temporary place where, as an experimental laboratory, research is conducted and new concepts are developed on future urban building and social forms, tomorrow’s mobility, and the future of the world of work.

In this way, the exhibition brings together diverse perspectives on the theme of the city of tomorrow. The Urban Center Am Gleisdreieck as a model of a city of the future, the work of visionary Syd Mead, and the artists’ group Haus-Rucker-Co meet in an exciting dialogue about architecture, art and science fiction. The focus is on the question: What are the conditions and possibilities of living and working together in the urban agglomerations of tomorrow?

The diverse ideas and prospects were vividly discussed at the opening on January 9th – in conversation with Manfred Ortner (Haus-Rucker-Co), Markus Penell (Urbane Mitte Am Gleisdreieck), Boris Hars-Tschachotin (Syd Mead – Future Cities) and moderated by the author and radio journalist Gesa Ufer.

The exhibition in the B-Part am Gleisdreick will run until February 8th, 2020 and is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 2 to 6 pm.

About B-Part Exhibition

The exhibition space B-Part Exhibition accompanies the future development of the Urban Center Am Gleisdreieck with artistic autonomy and thus simultaneously enters into a dialogue with the overriding themes of the overall project – forms of new work, mobility, culture, sport and a sense of responsibility – and creates synergies between artistic, cultural and social approaches. The creative director of the B-Part Exhibition is Rüdiger Lange (loop – raum für aktuelle Kunst).