The festival centre at this year’s steirischer herbst is being staged by the Italian architecture collective orizzontale as a retro-futuristic space station.
With Manfred Goger (AT) & Lahsen Lalej (AT)
In adapting the GrazMuseum as a festival centre, Italian architecture collective orizzontale are reaching for the stars: entitled “Spin-Off”, they are creating a retro-futuristic space station – command centre and bar. This intervention, that can also be seen as a metaphor, reflects the leitmotif of this year’s festival “Back to the Future”, looking both forward into a distant future and back to a time when outer space was still a place of boundless possibilities.
While the enthusiasm for space travel of the 1960s and 1970s has yet to lead to the colonisation of unknown planets, NASA technologies have often revolutionised life on earth – with countless by-products and secondary uses – spin-offs: today we take digital cameras, freeze-dried food, solar cells, and water-repellent fabrics for granted as part of everyday life and, at the same time, they are legacies of the race to the moon.
Using the museum building as orizzontale’s space (station) installation symbolises a reappraisal of the past and the future. Interactive displays show what was once seen as futuristic – with visitors able to try their hand at computer games from decades past or watch historical films from NASA’s archives. Also, a six-metre-high rocket will be positioned in the square outside the Dreifaltigkeitskirche as a temporary landmark, enabling communication from the walk-in rocket capsule with the command centre at the festival centre. And while a journey to hitherto unexplored solar systems is visualised in the GrazMuseum courtyard, inside the belly of the space station you can ponder what distant worlds may really hold in store for us over a galactic cocktail.
By and with orizzontale (Jacopo Ammendola, Juan Lopez Cano, Giuseppe Grant, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Roberto Pantaleoni & Stefano Ragazzo)
Commissioned by steirischer herbst
In collaboration with GrazMuseum
Project sponsors Steirischer Verband Selbstständig Wirtschaftstreibender, Industriellenvereinigung Steiermark, Gaulhofer Industrie-Holding, XAL, Synthesa & Attensam
Under the title of “Spin-Off”, orizzontale – a seven-member collective of Italian architects – is planning and designing this year’s steirischer herbst festival centre. Founded in 2010 in Rome, the group itself describes their work as “do-it-yourself” architecture. Their first public installation, “Le Orecchie di Giussano” was also shown in 2010. Over the next five years they presented more than 30 projects, their focus always on the use of urban space. Initially only active in Italy, their installation “Pop up device” (2013) took the group abroad for the first time within the context of the Barcelona EME3 Festival. During the same year, the project “La Nef des Fous” was selected for the “Yes We Camp” competition in Marseilles; in the following year the design of the “8 ½” mobile theatre was awarded the international prize of the Young Architects Program (“MAXXI 2014”). Although orizzontale’s creative focus has constantly expanded over the years and their creative work in the meantime now includes happenings (e.g. “Eco Agro Cult Urbano”, 2011) and workshops (e.g. “Red Carpet”, 2012), the group has never lost sight of the interactive character of its projects.