From Gareth Southgate’s World Cup waistcoat, to the Donald Trump Baby Blimp, the Whitechapel ‘fatberg’ and a 3D-printed gun – no sooner does an design object achieve media attention than museums seemingly begin lining up to add it to their collections. While museums have always collected contemporary objects, the collecting of objects that have a live connection to contemporary events is a growing and increasingly contested trend in museums of architecture and design.
In this series a variety of speakers reflect on the contemporary collecting practices they are involved in, exploring the motives that drive them, the contexts in which they operate, their results and impacts (both intended and otherwise), and the broader implications they have for the present and future of museums.
How much of a new departure is this type of collecting and how does it relate to ongoing contemporary collecting practices, for example in ethnography or oral history? In what ways does or can the practice reflect the changing nature of objects which now more than ever exist within complex systems and networks, digital or otherwise? What does this practice say about the changing role of museums in cultural and society?
Mariabruna Fabrizi and Fosco Lucarelli are two architects, professors and curators. Fabrizi and Lucarelli together founded the practice Microcities and the online magazine Socks-studio. They teach design studios and theory courses at the Éav&t, in Paris and at the EPFL in Lausanne. Lucarelli was 2017–18 Garofalo fellow at the UIC School of Architecture in Chicago; he is the recipient of a grant from the Graham Foundation; and he is a fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Fabrizi is currently head of the Architectural Drawing and Representation Department at the Éav&t, in Paris. Fabrizi and Lucarelli have been guest-curators at the 2016 Lisbon Architecture Biennale. Currently, they are members of the curatorial team for the Lisbon Triennale 2019. Their works have been awarded and exhibited in New York, Paris, Rome, Orléans, Seoul, Chicago.
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