Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

Patrik Schumacher opens Greenwich’s spring term lecture series

The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2016-2017 :: Patrik Schumacher :: Avant-garde and Mainstream between Art, Theory and Politics

  • Thursday 26th January 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]


The distinction between avant-garde and mainstream is constitutive of architecture’s evolution. Only by differentiating the avant-garde as a specific subsystem can contemporary architecture actively participate in the evolution of society. The distinction between avant-garde and mainstream is non-evaluative. Both sides of the distinction are necessary. The architectural avant-garde functions as the R&D segment of our discipline. The destiny and redemption of avant-garde production is mainstream proliferation. Avant-garde becomes mainstream.

Patrik Schumacher is a practicing architect, educator and architectural theorist. He is the principal of the Zaha Hadid Architects, where he has completed projects such as the Vitra Fire Station (1992) and the Stirling Award winning MAXXI centre of Contemporary Art in Rome (2010). Patrik was the founder of the Design Research Lab at the Architectural Association (AADRL). He has taught at a number of schools internationally, including Harvard and Columbia in the US, and the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Innsbruck University in Austria. He has written extensively on parametricism, a phrase he coined, which he argues is poised to become the global epochal style for architecture, urbanism and design of the 21st century. His books include The Autopoiesis of Architecture, Vol.1: A New Framework for Architecture andThe Autopoiesis of Architecture, Vol.2: A New Agenda for Architecture.


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