Dezeen Magazine

Diébédo Francis Kéré and Cyrill Gutsch feature in the first part of Therme Art's Growing Gaia talk

Diébédo Francis KéréCyrill Gutsch and others discussed how architects and designers can tackle the challenges of the anthropocene in a panel discussion hosted by Therme Art and Dezeen.

Held during Gallery Weekend Berlin, the talk is part of Therme Art's Wellbeing Culture Forum, a talks programme exploring the role of culture, art, design and architecture in promoting health and wellbeing in urban populations.

Entitled Growing Gaia, the talk was the second in a programme of events happening from 11-13 September at the König Galerie in Berlin.

Diébédo Francis Kéré
Diébédo Francis Kéré, architect

The panel discussed the Gaia Hypothesis, formulated by American biologist Lynn Margulis and British chemist James Lovelock in the 1970s, which suggests that the Earth and its living organisms co-evolve as a single living entity.

In light of our increasing awareness of humanity's influence on the planet's processes, the panellists explored how the Gaia Hypothesis can inform architects, designers, artists and scientists of solutions to the crises facing humanity in the anthropocene era.

Cyrill Gutsch
Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans founder

"It is undeniably clear that today we must reposition ourselves within the totality of nature," Therme Art explained.

"How can artists, architects, scientists, and designers bring this theory to consciousness and translate it into action?"

The panel discussed how the coronavirus pandemic has underlined the interconnections between biological, social, medical and cultural processes in society and highlighted the need for a more symbiotic relationship between nature and culture to equip humanity for the future.

This symbiotic relationship would ask fields such as architecture, urban planning, design, agriculture, medicine, technology, global networking, production and health policy to rethink and simply their processes in order to align them to those of nature.

Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Gallery artistic director

The panel was split into two sessions, the first of which was co-moderated by the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO and curator of Therme Art Mikolaj Sekutowicz.

Panellists included Burkina Faso-born architect and designer Kéré and founder of the Parley for the Oceans, Gutsch.

Also on the panel was cultural and literary scholar Salome Rodeck, artist Tomás Sarraceno and author and professor of botany at the University of Florence Stefano Mancuso.

The second session featured a panel comprising Obrist and Rodeck as well as Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson, Danish artist Tue Greenfort, Mayan shaman Abuelo Antonio Oxté and curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries Lucia Pietroiusti.

The talk was the latest in Therme Art's Wellbeing Culture Forum talk series and the second to be held in real life following the ease of coronavirus restrictions in Germany.

The panels have dealt with topics such as how art and architecture can contribute to healthy urban environmentsthe importance of live events during global crisesthe role of culture in the built environmenthow to design healthy and happy cities and how to maintain the wellbeing of city dwellers.

Therme Art is the creative arm of the Therme Group and provides artworks to its spas and resorts around the world.

Earlier today, Dezeen livestreamed a panel discussion featuring Obrist, Virgil Abloh and Kunlé Adeyemi exploring the relevance of the Bauhaus in a post-pandemic world.