Pierre Frey on contemporary Vernacular Architecture

Pierre Frey on Contemporary Vernacular Architecture (an extension of Chalet by Jef Geys)

Suggested by Jef Geys, this lecture (as well as the lecture by Jaqueline Burckhardt) is an extension of Chalet, an exhibition by Geys with two works by Meret Oppenheim. La Loge invites architecture theorist Pierre Frey to engage with an important aspect in Geys’ work, namely the focus on vernacular forms as opposed to utopian and more avant-garde approaches in architecture.
The exhibition’s title Chalet is taken from Geys’ eponymous work, made in 1977 where Geys designed and constructed a summerhouse close to his house in Balen (Flanders), modeled upon the vernacular style architecture typical of eighteenth-century farmsteads across Northern Europe. According to Jamie Stevens, “there is something foundational about the methods of Geys in this work: his insistence on vernacular cultural forms that might be overlooked because of their ubiquity, or lack of taste, should be interrogated by exactly the same terms as any building, artwork or piece of literature that has been appointed as aesthetically or socially valuable by critical opinion in its specialist field.”
Drawing on Bernard Rudofsky's exhibition Architecture Without Architects of 1964 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, while referring to Ivan Illich’s radical critiques of modernity defending vernacular values, Pierre Frey’s lecture will focus on contemporary vernacular architecture, its traditional knowledge and the social role of the architect.
Pierre Frey (°1949) has a doctorate in technical science from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he was Professor at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC). He has organised numerous exhibitions that were accompanied by publications and were intended to present teaching materials and to disclose research results, and he ensures that the Archives of Modern Building receive both public attention and private patronage. In 2010, he published a book entitled Learning from Vernacular: Pour une nouvelle architecture vernaculaire. The book is a manifesto against spectacular dominant architecture, a tool asserting power. The author questions the social role of the architect in a context where cosmogonies translated in some forms of vernacular architecture are replaced by “views of the world” that contemporary architects sell their clients
Practical information 

Friday 18 January, 7 pm
access: 3€ 
no reservation necessary, but seats are limited
language: EN
venue: La Loge