June 13, 2006

Phillipe Rahm: Architect


Corporeal Space, Transmitting Bodies

REVERSE is a project dealing with a specialist inversion: the loss of information instead of receiving it. Its objective is to create spaces where data is lost where information diminishes, inverting the present-day system where data is distributed through electromagnetic projections in the cinema, on television and public announcements. In each case, the objective is not to receive information but to lose it, changing our state as receivers of information into that of transmitters of information. We estimate that the amount of information that we receive from our environment through our senses as being 10 bits to the power of 9.

REVERSE is an architectural and urban project that aims to produce negative information and a negative information environment--at least 10 raised to the power of -9. The field of action is the same: electromagnetic space, now however, the direction is reversed. Our bodies change from being to receivers to transmitters.

The infra-red beam directed to the cinema screen becomes cold and black. All bodies emit energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Our skin, at a temperature of between 33º and 36ºC emits infra-red radiation. If an object in our environment is colder than our skin, the heat our bodies lose in the form of radiation will be directed towards this colder object. Our body, placed before the screen becomes literally a projector of invisible information. This is the inverse state that we seek: changing from a passive to an active state, we become transmitters in a suddenly receptive environment.


Expo 01: A certain quantity of energy: our proposal for the Neuchâtel Arteplage [artbeach] at the 2001 Swiss National Exposition is designed to act solely on the quality of the air, as an architectural act performed on the raw material of architecture, which is space. Thus, there is no longer any recourse to shape, image, volume or surface. The aim is to work on the air itself, to alter its chemical characteristics and bring about a change in the physiological relationships between the human body and the environment.

Thus, architecture ceases to be a composition or opposition of heterogeneous elements such as figure and background, shape and surface, filled space and void, but becomes an internal change in what constitutes space, i.e., air as a physical medium. Space, improperly described as a vacuum, is recognized in its corporeality. The result is a reconquest of space as a quantity of air and air as matter, with its weight, density and physical and chemical characteristics, in which the human body is immersed.

Philippe Rahm (1967) studies at the Polytechnic school of Lausanne and Zurich. He obtained his architectural diploma in 1993. He was associated until 2004 with Jean-Gilles Décosterd into the Architects Office "Décosterd & Rahm, associés". He works currently in Lausanne ( Switzerland ) and in Paris ( France ). In 2002, he was chosen to represent Switzerland at the 8th Biennial of Architecture in Venice. He has participating in a number of exhibitions worldwide (Archilab 2000, SF-MoMA 2001, Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris 2001, Tirana Biennial 2001, Valencia Biennial 2003; Lisbon Biennial 2003, Graz Biennial 2003; CCA Kitakyushu 2004, Mori art museum 2005, Frac centre, Orléans, Centre Pompidou, Beaubourg 2003-2005) Philippe Rahm stayed at the Villa Medici in Rome (2000. He is Master of the Diploma Unit 13 at the AA School in London, professor at ECAL Lausanne, visiting professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Beaux-Arts of Paris in 2003, Mendrisio Academy of Architecture in Switzerland in 2005. He is currently working on several private and public projects like a house for artist Fabrice Hybert (France), a new restaurant for the ENSBA in Paris, an urban planning for the Vassivière area in France, and a Park in Austria.

Posted by jo at June 13, 2006 11:26 AM