Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse

A Retrospective
Wolfgang Pauli-Strasse 15, 08093 Zürich Map
Mon–Fri 8 am–10 pm, Sat 8 am–5 pm

In October 2018, gta exhibitions, ETH Zurich is opening the first comprehensive retrospective of the Amsterdam based design studio Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse in Switzerland, which – since its foundation in 1991 – has realized world-wide projects in the field of exhibition architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. As the name implies, the variable relationship between inside and outside is a central issue in the design practice of the studio, which combines knowledge and craftsmanship from several fields in an interdisciplinary way. Since its beginnings, Inside ­Outside / Petra Blaisse has been closely collaborating with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) as well as with many ­other architects, curators and craftsmen; by designing textiles, entire interiors up to large landscapes.

The retrospective, curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels ­Olsen, will be held in the central hall of ETH’s main building, which was originally built by the German architect Gottfried ­Semper, the first professor and dean of the architectural school at ETH Zurich. In Semper’s theory, the intricate relation between architecture and textile plays a crucial role: Semper assigned strong space-shaping qualities to the latter. The design studio will respond to the historic building with a site-specific intervention.

Furthermore, the show will feature an unprecedented range of exhibits – curtains, material samples, models and ­videos – in order to give an overview on exemplary projects by Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse and to make the creative process and practice of the studio tangible. As a case study, among others the “Giardini di Porta Nuova” – a large-scale landscape project in Milan that is to be completed this fall – will be investigated in the exhibition. In a contemporary interpretation of a botanical garden, the park follows the concept of a library of trees which transforms this urban project into a cultural campus.

Another case study is dedicated to the “LocHal” project in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The former nineteenth-century locomotive factory is currently being converted into a cultural center housing a library, workplaces and spaces for flexible use. Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse designed six monumental curtains, which as mobile walls address the specific spatial challenges of the industrial hall. In the exhibition, sketches, samples and so-called recipe-books will represent the essential design strategies of Inside ­Outside / Petra Blaisse.

During the exhibition, there will be a program of lectures and talks with renowned protagonists from the fields of research and practice, that will unfold along central topics inherent to the practice of Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse. The program is being developed in cooperation with the ­Engadin Art Talks.