alto symp
Less is More

07.07.2006 | what’s on
by Alvar Aalto Foundation

The theme of the tenth Alvar Aalto Symposium June 26.– October 1. is LESS AND MORE – Extending the Rational in Architecture. The exhibition provides a foretaste and an aftertaste of the content of the symposium.
Less is more is a slogan coined by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe dating from the twentieth-century Modernist era. It is linked with the simplified style of Modernist architecture and design in which a more intense impact can be derived from a disciplined form of expression. The saying also became the oft repeated nucleus of the Rationalist and later the Minimalist styles that followed on from post-war Finnish architecture.
In architecture, rationality has a bad reputation and is often seen as narrow-minded, cold and clean, excluding all other qualities of humanity. This fear can be summarized in Oscar Wilde’s words: “Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”

The Symposium will tackle the issue by presenting contemporary architects and artists and their works, ideas and visions, where an underlying rational thinking is present in one way or another. This may be a structural or a mental framework that either liberates unpredictable poetic thinking or harnesses and channels personal expression. Or a theme based on modularity. Or an emphasis on functional, even pragmatic needs.

Is the architect a rational artist? The work of the lecturers will demonstrate how, in spite of, or even as a result of their approach, poetry prevails and personal beauty is strongly present in their works. A question arises: is this ‘paradox’ possible only through exceptional artistic talent?
The exhibition includes drawings, photographs and models of the lecturers’ work. As an accompaniment, the visitor to the exhibition will be able to hear studies of acoustic space by the English composer Gavin Bryars. Several contemporary dance choreographers, including Tero Saarinen, have used Bryars’ music, which tells us something about its spatial qualities.
The exhibition designer is Jenni Reuter.
The theme of the symposium and the exhibition are linked with a workshop for children and young people based on sound, rhythm and spatial illusion that is to be held at the museum in the autumn. Further information is available from art educator Arja Reiman.
Alvar Aalto Museum
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Box 461, 40101 Jyväskylä, Finland
Open Tue-Sun 11-18.
tel. +358 14 – 624 809,

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