F O R M A | FORMA Calendar - Architecture - May 2018
The opening of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale will grab all the headlines this month. But even if you skip the lagoon's vernissage frenzy, London has plenty to offer to the discerning archi-socialite. Don't get lost. Follow FORMA.
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FORMA Calendar
May 2018

The opening of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale will grab all the headlines this month. But even if you skip the lagoon’s vernissage frenzy, London has plenty to offer to the discerning archi-socialite.

Don’t get lost. Follow FORMA.


Ongoing ExhibitionMonet & Architecture @ National Gallery

I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of light in which they exist“. Twenty years after the last major exhibition in the UK, the National Gallery displays more than 75 works of the French master, including portraits of buildings in Rouen, Paris, London, Normandy and Venice. On Friday 18 May the curator of the exhibition, Professor Richard Thomson, will give a presentation on the relationship between Monet and the built environment at the Royal Over-Seas League.

2 May – Book Launch: Sophia Psarra “The Venice Variations” @ The Bartlett School of Architecture

Few cities have been used as testing grounds for architectural and urban theory as much as Venice, but there is no sign of crisis in the level of interest sparked by the Serenissima. In her new book, Sophia Psarra explores the “multi-authored process of formation” of cities and the contribution of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital to the discourse on utopia and urban functionalism. Alan Penn, the Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, will introduce the author.

Charing Cross Bridge, Reflections on the Thames (Charing Cross Bridge, reflets sur la Tamise), Claude Monet, 1899-1901 © The Baltimore Museum of Art / Photography By: Mitro Hood


2 MayExhibition opening: Disappear Here by Sam Jacob Studio @ RIBA

A novel take on the never-ending quest to depict realistic impressions of reality through the optical illusion of “perspective”. For its first solo exhibition in an institution, Sam Jacob Studio draws from a wide range of archival sources and rare materials and creates an interactive space of visual research in the Architecture Gallery of 66 Portland Place.

3 May – Lecture: Winy Maas (MVRDV) @ AA School

One of the founding directors of MVRDV will present the latest works of the studio and the activities of The Why Factory, a think-tank run by MVRDV and TU Delft to develop models and visualisations for the city of the future.

10, 17, 21 and 31 May – Architecture on Stage @ Barbican

Very dense programme this month at the Barbican, with Belgian architects Jan De Vylder, Inge Vinck and Jo Taillieu taking centre stage on Thursday 10 May, Yto Barrada and Jean-Louis Cohen holding the John Edwards Lecture on Thursday 17 May, Aldo Rossi’s disciple Roger Diener presenting his works on Monday 21 May and Peter Ahrends and Paul Koralek discussing the history of their firm with Niall McLaughlin on the 31st.

Turgot Map of Paris – Isometric perspective (1739)


15 May – RIBA London Awards 2018

A panel of fifteen judges will the select the winner(s) among the 93 projects shortlisted this year out of a total of 208 entries. Large practices and small studios are well represented and will have complimentary tickets for each shortlisted scheme, plus additional free tickets for their guests. Discounted tickets for RIBA Members are available online.

15 May – Women in Architecture Lecture – Ellen van Loon (OMA) @ Museum of London

The Museum of London’s successful “Votes for Women” exhibition will continue until the 6th of January 2019, with collateral events on the role of women in society and economy taking place throughout the year. The museum will join forces with the Architectural Review & AJ’s Women in Architecture programme to host Ellen van Loon, Partner at OMA and lead architect of iconic works such as the Rothschild Bank headquarters in London and the Gartnavel’s Maggie’s Centre.

16 May Exhibition opening: The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture @ Sir John Soane’s Museum

Haunting presence or liberating force? Pastiche-generator or innovative framework? Futuristic or reactionary, or both? The opinions on Postmodernism are still pretty much split after its slow subsidence below the surface of contemporary architecture. Itself a time-machine, there is probably no better place that the Soane’s Museum to track the early manifestations of the movement and open a frank debate on the relationship between past and future in architectural style and language.

16 May – Pritzker Prize Ceremony @ Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (CA)

Over the years, Balkrishna Doshi has always created an architecture that is serious, never flashy or a follower of trends“. A short paragraph in the Jury Citation of this year’s Pritzker Prize Laureate summarises the simple and powerful opera of the Indian master, honoured with the most prestigious architecture prize of the world after a career spanning more than six decades. The Ceremony will be recorded and shared on the Vimeo channel of the Pritzker Prize.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (photo courtesy of VSF)


22 May – Architectural agency in the public sector: Richard Rogers and Shumi Bose in conversation @ Knowledge Centre – The British Library

Young influencer in chief Shumi Bose meets the titan Lord Rogers to probe the role of the discipline in the public sector. From the works of the Urban Task Force to his latest book “A Place for All People”, Rogers has always shown a keen interest in delivering civic value with his projects and research. The event, part of the series “Rethinking Public Value & Public Purpose”, is free.

26 MayVenice Architecture Biennale 2018 “Freespace” – Opening

By plane, by boat, by train. There are many ways to reach Venice and even if all the hotels are overbooked and Airbnb has crashed, there is plenty of free space in the outskirts of the lagoon. There are no excuses to miss the highly anticipated uber-exhibition curated by the Irish duo Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.

Do yourself a favour. Show up.


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