“We live in the architecture of radio, which is infinitely more complex than any building. It is the architecture of the next generation”
- Mark Wigley
At the invitation of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Mark Wigley will give the tenth Benno Premsela Lecture on November 30, 2014. In his lecture architectural historian and theorist Wigley will discuss the architecture of information flows that traverse our living environment, as well as the effect they have on the design of that environment.
The mobile phone has become our inseparable companion. It is at our fingertips throughout the day and lies next to our beds during the night, in order to wake up with it again the following morning. People continuously move through a space of increasingly complex information flows, distributed over radio waves. According to Wigley, we should not distinguish between that visible and invisible space anymore, but rather see it as a combined environment, in which radio waves are even able to get the upper hand. "We live within the architecture of the radio, which is infinitely more complex than any building. It is the architecture of the next generation. At the same time, we are still making physical objects during our architectural studies (...). These objects can almost be regarded as monuments to an impossible dream of stability and security."
In his lecture, Wigley will address the question what the architecture of radio means for the way we give shape to the environment: the interiors, buildings and landscapes in which we operate. From the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut, he will borrow early 20th-century examples, when architects had high expectations of the influence of radio on architecture, and performed various experiments. In addition, he will also show examples of more recent date.
Over the years, Mark Wigley has written essays and books on the theory and practice of architecture. He is the author of Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (1998), White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (1995) and The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida's Haunt (1993). He has curated exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art and The Drawing Center in New York, the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Wigley studied architecture at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where he obtained his doctorate in 1987. He went to America and taught at Princeton University for twelve years. In 2000, he became a professor at Columbia University, where he subsequently became Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation from 2004 until 2014. Together with Rem Koolhaas and Ole Bouman, he co-founded the journal Volume in 2005.