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$H!T HAPPENS In Berlin: an innovative travelling exhibit curated by Juergen Mayer H.


May 29, 2011
by Canadian Architect

Why Berlin? Once an industrial center and later a city divided, Berlin’s walls fell years ago, and its gates have since remained open for experimentation. The city attracts artists and designers from around the world to its former factory buildings, transformed into studios and galleries. Berlin’s streets foster potential for what is new, perhaps more than any other place today. It has become an avant-garde capital for design in an unlikely locale, inviting international talent in the overlapping disciplines of art, architecture, industrial and product design.

The exhibition $H!T HAPPENS In Berlin explores the aesthetic and technical innovations of creatives in the city, showcasing both emerging and established designers. The unexpected is the norm; trials and errors, miscalculations and failures, experimentation and surprise – all result in ingenious design strategies.

The outcome of those experiments will be on view starting Friday, June 17, 2011 in the Toronto showroom of Relative Space & Floorworks after its well-received showing in New York’s NoHo Design District. Relative Space & Floorworks is located at 365 Dupont Street in Toronto. A custom video will be installed in the storefront of the showroom, with all creative content streamed 24/7 to showcase the upcoming exhibit of over 10 Berlin-based designers. More information may be found about individual participating designers at www.berlinhappens.com.

“We are interested in questioning conventions and common agreements, or things that we seem to take for granted. Through design and architecture – every scale and field in which we are working – we want to open the eyes of the viewer to be aware or critical, or discover what’s new and the potential of what is around us. In architecture, we play with scales and conventions of materials, and we blur ideas of tectonics and structure, therefore creating a sculptural quality or an atmosphere,” said Juergen Mayer H., who is also a visiting Professor of Architecture this semester at Columbia University.

Architect Juergen Mayer H., recipient of the Audi Urban Future Award and Relative Space principal Tyler Greenberg conceived of this event jointly. They invited a co-generational cross-section of designers, who in turn invited others to join in curating the objects for display. See what they have to say about the exhibit here. Simultaneous with the exhibit launch in NYC, Relative Space launched a dedicated online product site called RStoo.com featuring the Berlin designs on display in the Relative Space showrooms.

Juergen Mayer H. is the founder and principal of a cross disciplinary studio J. MAYER H. Excerpted from the 2011 documentary Juergen Mayer H. – Der Architekt der Kurven, “The buildings of J. MAYER H.are true eye-catchers – sculptural and spectacular…a glimpse into the architect’s methods introduces various examples of his work: the student canteen in Karlsruhe, an extension of the science park for children in Nordborg, Denmark and recent Metropol Parasol, the redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville, Spain. German architects of J. MAYER H. are constantly shifting the boundaries of architecture.

Each of J. MAYER H.’s buildings shares a fundamental concept: the separation of floor, wall and ceiling appears to have been lifted, everything blends into everything else.. Another unusual aspect is the mix of materials. The Metropol Parasol in Seville, his largest building to date, is made of polyurethane-coated timber. Some 3,000 individual pieces were custom made for this gigantic walk-in sculpture, all of them specially transported from Bavaria to Seville. This particular building, which houses an indoor market, a restaurant and an architectural museum, was opened in March 2011.

The hallmark of Relative Space is a dedication to sustainability and design that solves problems. Flooring, textile and cladding collection products within Relative Space are LEED-compliant and hypoallergenic. The company maintains a track record for sophisticated, contemporary design, working with acclaimed global architecture and design firms that include Clodagh, Ian Schrager Hotel Group, Thompson Hotel Group, Rem Koolhaas, Skidmore Owings Merrill, David Rockwell and Philippe Starck YOO.

Relative Space & Floorworks is located at 365 Dupont Street in Toronto. For more information, please call Robin Orbeta-Lacambra at 416.961.6891.


juergen mayer h.
juergen mayer h.


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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