From 1986 to 2005 Peter Scepka, born in Vienna in 1956, was running his own fashion house under the name Helmut Lang, first from Paris and since 1998 based in New York. Not least due to numerous collaborations with contemporary and pop-culturally relevant artistic positions such as Jenny Holzer, Louise Bourgeois and Jürgen Teller, Helmut Lang succeeded in becoming one of the most influential pioneers not only of fashion but of the entire visual language of the turn of the millennium. His style, laconically described by Jenny Holzer as ‘a little mean and less-is-more’, formed a strong contrast to the opulence that dominated the 80s and laid the foundations for the anti-fashion of the following decades. The label’s proximity to the visual arts ultimately conditioned Helmut Lang’s departure from his own label in 2005, which by then had earned an unquestionable cult status, to pursue his own artistic practice as a sculptor.
The design studio is based on the thesis that there is a close relationship between all applied and visual arts, and that an engagement with various disciplines outside of architecture broadens the horizon of one’s own practice. The inherent fast pace of fashion implies a questionable relationship to urgent ecological issues on the one hand, on the other it requires a creative flexibility and spontaneity that stand in contrast to the precise and sometimes stagnant carefulness with which architectural designs are developed. The aim of the studio is to critically question these discrepancies and to extract a synergetic approach to enrich the participants’ position as architects.
At the beginning of the course, students examine recurring themes and design methods in Helmut Lang’s collections between 1986 and 2005 and acquire them through a process of hands-on investigation. While theoretical basics of scenography and the relationship between display and exhibit are discussed within the group throughout the semester, participants transfer the design methods observed in the collections to an architectural design of a small exhibition space in individual work. Later the group is asked to conceive and realize a concrete exhibition architecture and its displays collaboratively. The show will reflect the semester’s entirely analog work process through sketches, collages, and models.
The semester will be taught in English. Support meetings every Friday!
Kick-Off: Fri. 6th October 2023, 10.00 a.m., FOB Raumgestaltung und Entwerfen, White Cube, Stiege 3, 4. OG