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The World Around, a new global forum for architecture and ideas, to launch in New York City

The World Around, a new global forum for architecture and ideas, to launch in New York City

XU TIANTIAN, DNA: URBAN ACUPUNCTURE. Image: The Songyang Story, 2019. Photo by Wang Ziling.

(NEW YORK) — The new global forum dedicated to investigating and discussing the “now, near, and next” of architectural culture, The World Around, will host its inaugural public gathering on January 25, 2020 at The Times Center in New York City.

The day-long conference curated by Beatrice Galilee, co-founder and executive director of The World Around, will bring together leading international practitioners and thinkers in architecture and associated fields including landscape, art, sculpture, film, game design, and planning. Speakers including Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop, Shumon Basar, Elizabeth Diller, Junya Ishigami, Bruce Mau, Emmanuel Pratt, and Marina Tabassum will engage in far-reaching discussions about the most vital current and upcoming building projects, the most significant developments in technology and the environment, and the most promising new ideas that are shaping our world to come. 

A new organization based in New York City, The World Around will present annual conferences in cities around the world, building on the model developed by Beatrice Galilee for the series In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2016 to 2019. In addition, The World Around is developing plans for activation events throughout the year, such as retreats, workshops, and smaller gatherings.

“We established The World Around to meet the need for accessible, mind-opening public discussions about our spatial environment, considered from the wideranging perspectives of today’s most influential practitioners and thinkers. We want to reflect on how new ideas in architecture are impacting lives, from urban planning to game design, from tech development to community-based projects. We also want to consider the broader forces that are sparking contemporary architectural culture, whether they’re art or activism, environmental studies or spatial research. By now, we all know that architecture is about bricks and mortar, steel and glass, but also about how we think, feel, live, work, play, and dream. That’s why we’ve dedicated The World Around to the audience with the most vital interest in the now, near, and next of architecture: everybody.” said Beatrice Galilee.

ALBERTO VIEGA, BAROZZI VEIGA. Tanzhaus Zürich by Barozzi Veiga, 2019. Photo by Simon Menges.
Founded in Barcelona in 2004 by Alberto Veiga and Fabrizio Barozzi, this impressive young office was awarded Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 2015 for their Szczecin Philharmonic building, as well as RIBA Award for International Excellence for the FIne art Museum in Chur. Barozzi Veiga will present the latest new project, the Zürich Tanzhaus, completed in 2019.

Discussions at The World Around forum will focus on:

  • Now: the most vital new buildings, places, exhibitions and projects of the year
  • Near: the visionary ideas of architects, designers, artists, and thinkers who are shaping the evolution of our cities
  • Next: major architectural projects and initiatives now under construction by New York-based architects around the world

Participants so far announced include Paola Antonelli (MoMA), Nick Axel, Shumon Basar, Josh Begley, Elizabeth Diller (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Eva Franch i Gilabert (Architectural Association), Catherine Ince (V&A), Junya Ishigami (Junya.Ishigami+Associates), Ibrahim Mahama, Bruce Mau (Bruce Mau Design), David OReilly, Caroline Priado Perez, Emmauel Pratt (Sweet Water Foundation), Cecilia Puga, Shohei Shigematsu (OMA NY), Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop (Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities), Something & Son, Marina Tabassum (Marina Tabassum Architects), Xu Tiantian (DnA), Alberto Veiga (Barozzi Veiga), and Michael Wang.

There will also be sessions exploring the possibilities and consequences of data technology, today and tomorrow, and the response of design leaders to a range of ecological challenges.

Botanical Farm Garden Art Biotop, 2018-Water Garden, Tochigi
JUNYA ISHIGAMI. Image: Botanical Farm Garden Art Biotop, 2018 / Water Garden, Tochigi. Photo by junya.ishigami+associates
Established by Junya Ishigami in 2004, junya.ishigami+associates gained international recognition following the competition of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology’s KAIT Workshop in 2007. The office was awarded Golden Lion for Best Project of the 12th Biennale in 2010 and just opened the Serpentine Pavilion. 

The World Around has been co-founded with the guidance and support of executive chairman Diego Marroquin. Among the goals of The World Around NYC, as he has helped envision it, are to showcase the role of architecture and design in solving some of today’s biggest problems, and to remove the intellectual barriers that too often separate architects from people in other fields, in order to create a more integrated network of people working and generating ideas within the business of the built environment.

Diego Marroquin said, “I am proud to play a role in establishing this new global forum as the logical evolution of the work that Beatrice Galilee began at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As someone who chooses to work at the intersection of investing and architectural practice, I am committed to supporting The World Around as both a matter of civic responsibility and intellectual and artistic adventure. My company, AREA Capital, is founding sponsor of The World Around for the same reason: because the realities of building the spatial environment need to go hand-in-hand with the most thoughtful and imaginative discussion of what we want that environment to become.”

About The World Around

The World Around was co-founded in 2019 by executive director Beatrice Galilee, executive chairman Diego Marroquin, and managing director Alexandra Hodkowski.

Beatrice Galilee is a New York-based independent writer, an organizer of events and exhibitions, and a researcher of practices and positions in contemporary architecture. From 2014 to 2019 she was the first curator of architecture and design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has led city-wide exhibitions and biennales in Shenzhen, Gwangju, Lisbon, Milan, Ordos, London, and New York. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art.

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Diego Marroquin is a private equity executive focused on real estate with a personal passion and professional investment in design and the built environment. He is the founder of AREA Capital. Prior to founding AREA Capital, Marroquin was employed for six years at RFR Holding, a real estate investment firm based in New York and Frankfurt where he focused on acquisitions, capital markets and development.

Alexandra Hodkowski is the Chief of Staff at AREA Capital and formerly has supported a variety of artists and organizations in operations, management, programming, archiving, and development. These have included Creative Time, the Queens Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and Headlands Center for the Arts. She is trained in art history and business administration and holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from New York University. She is also a co-founder of Head Hi, a hybrid community space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

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