Back to the Office: 50 Revolutionary Office Buildings and How They Sustained

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Join us for a conversation with Ashley Schafer, Ruth Baumeister, and Stephan Petermann about their latest publication, Back to the Office: 50 Revolutionary Office Buildings and How They Sustained (NAi010 publishing, 2022). 

The first longitudinal study of iconic office buildings, Back to the Office combines documents from corporate and public archives, interviews, and before-after photography to study the lifecycle of the modernist office building. Often, new technologies or modes of working have resulted in the wholesale renovation or demolition of buildings a few short years after completion, when they were celebrated for their innovative designs. Attempting to plot a saner path forward, Back to the Office looks back. How have the revolutionary office buildings of the 20th century evolved in the 21st century? What architecture and materials, and which ideologies of work and corporate inhabitation, have endured, and why?

Ruth Baumeister, Associate Professor of Architecture, Aarhus School of Architecture
Stephan Petermann, Founder, Architect, MANN; editor, Volume
Ashley Schafer, Professor of Architecture, The Ohio State University

About the Speakers:
Ruth Baumeister is an architectural historian, curator, editor and writer. She is Professor of History and Theory of Architecture (mso), at Aarhus School of Architecture. She received a PhD degree in Architecture History from Delft University of Technology. She has taught Bauhaus-University in Weimar and at the Technical Universities in Delft and in Eindhoven. At Museum Jorn, Silkeborg she curated What Moves Us? – Le Corbusier and Asger Jorn in Art and Architecture, a large, research-based exhibition featuring over 300 original works from Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris.

Stephan Petermann holds a Master’s degree in the History of Architecture and Theory of Building Preservation from the University of Utrecht (2001-2007) and studied Architecture at the Technical University of Eindhoven (2001-2005). He was an associate at OMA’s thinktank AMO from 2010 until 2019. He is the founder of MANN office and a visiting professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Ashley Schafer is a writer, curator, educator, and registered architect. She is co-founder and co-editor of the journal PRAXIS. In 2014, the US State Department appointed her co-commissioner and co-curator of the US Pavilion at the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennial. With Ana Miljacki and Eva Franch, she edited the OfficeUS Agenda (2014), Atlas (2015) and Manual (2016). Schafer is a professor of architecture at the Ohio State University, where she served as Head of Architecture from 2005-2009. She has also served as visiting faculty at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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