Article and video of exhibition of our books, Domebook One, Domebook 2, and Shelter in Berlin (translated from the German). This is the same exhibit, that was at the Biennale Architettura in Venice in 2021, titled “There Are Walls that Want to Prowl” (a line from a poem by Richard Brautigan that was in Shelter.) The exhibit runs in Berlin until January 15, 2023.
For my adventures in Venice last year, see: lloydkahn.com/?s=venice
Actually, Lloyd Kahn is not an architect. Nevertheless, he builds houses himself and writes about how people can live in harmony with nature. A new exhibition at the German Architecture Center in Berlin shows its utopian power.
How would we like to live?
“In the early 1970s he was already dealing with the questions that still concern us today,” says critic Laura Helena Wurth: How do we want to live together, in small families, large communities and what can that look like? Do we want to live in homes treated as commodities, or more in tune with nature?
His first experiments with building forms and typologies resulted in “domes,” round tents. At the opening of the exhibition in Berlin, Kahn admitted his mistake from back then: “Domes don’t work.” One cannot add to these round, closed constructions. According to Wurth, we can learn from him for the way we build today, that we need flexible architecture that can adapt.
Kahn’s life consists of mistakes, he told the curators, and back then he made a mistake that he had to correct. So Kahn stopped printing his book Domebook 2 and published Shelter.
Don’t build for eternity
According to Wurth, Kahn’s architecture is one that also breaks down. And then evolves. The builder recedes behind it and the people who live in it come to the fore. “Sustainable does not mean that something has to last forever. If we build a house out of concrete today, the CO2 emissions will go through the roof.” A house made of wood could break down, but would have a much better ecological balance.
According to Wurth, however, this idea is difficult to implement in an urban environment like Berlin. It’s also about space. Nevertheless, there is an “uncanny utopian power” in these works by Lloyd Kahn.
The exhibition “There Are Walls that Want to Prowl” can be seen until January 15, 2023 at the German Architecture Center in Berlin.
- From: www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/there-are-walls-that-want-to-prowl-ausstellung-100.html
- Another link: Lukas and Leopold talking about the exhibit: www.resite.org/stories/venice-architecture-biennale-there-are-walls-that-want-to-prowl-lukas-feireiss-l