No Champagne on the building site
von Daniel von Bernstorff | Sep 16, 2009

A suburb of Munich - Maxvorstadt, end of July. A whole half a suburb is currently emerging here, the venerable Löwenbrauerei brewery is disappearing behind new, modern buildings, an architectural hotspot, where old and new do not sit entirely comfortable side by side.

We are in the middle of a building site. Beer is moved around in wheel barrows, people serve themselves meat-loaf and grilled sausage from the building-site buffet and sit on beer crates. No ... not the topping out ceremony for a new building, but Munich's 'Architektur Sommer', where consultants in office design, the 'Bromberger Büro Gestaltung' company, have invited us to the glass atrium of "Nymphe 5". Something like 250 guests, mainly architects and planners have come to this event organised by consultants Wengmann + Rattan (known amongst other things, for the Munich Design Parcours). The overarching theme "Construction site" makes for an unusual atmosphere and a refreshing alternative to the usual champagne receptions and cocktail parties. The firms represented by the Bromberger design studio - Object Carpet, Montana, Quinze&Milan, Montis, Interstuhl, Holzmedia, Element one and Invista/Antron were enjoined to bear the theme in mind in their presentations. This has been very successful, and particularly so in the case of Quinze&Milan. Banners, which have been individually designed and manufactured in vinyl by the different companies, are spread out on wall-papering tables, and guests can cut themselves a piece off the end and have it sewn into a bag on the spot. One of the highlights is the work of textile artist Stephanie Müller who, in her fashion show, presents individual clothing items and accessories that can then be combined with one another at will, according to the principle of the construction set. Fashion and architecture merge in the show to a single discipline, messages are 'embroidered' into the construction-site fences; as always with Stephanie Müller, it is also all about the subversive appropriation of public spaces. In New York, 'embroidering' construction-site fences appears to be a particularly popular medium, the creative successor, as it were, to graffiti, as we learn from the artist, who has devoted herself to the topic in several publications.

So, the Munich event becomes an unusual and inspiring experience, and points up new paths and possibilities for innovative and creative event formats. An evening, when people talk volubly and freely about architecture, fashion, design and town planning. What more could we want!?