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Wuppertal Foundational Meeting Report

The second Foundational meeting of the TACK research network took place from October 12th to 16th in Wuppertal. The program of the week was organized by Christoph Grafe together with the team of the agt chair of theory and history of architecture of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. After one year and a half of virtual encounters on Zoom, the meeting was the first occasion to finally meet all in person: a great opportunity of exchange not only for researchers and supervisors, but also for the many guests, non-academic partners and members of the advisory board who joined the intense program of activities of the week.

The meeting opened on Tuesday, October 12th at the Haspel Campus of the BUW. The first session was a round of presentations of the ESR’s research projects. The afternoon ended with the inauguration of the exhibition Cologne XX. A Multifaceted Architectural Culture, curated and realized by Christoph Grafe and Filippo Cattapan together with the students of the architectural theory and history seminar held last semester at the BUW.

The program of Wednesday, October 13th took place at the Sculpture Park Walfrieden. After the supervisory board meeting, a set of parallel tables were organised to discuss future perspectives of the network. The focus of these parallel discussions was how to communicate the outcomes of the TACK network within different contexts: civic society, academic world, disciplinary and professional communities. A final collective exchange on the related strategies of mediation concluded the day.

The main topic addressed on Thursday, October 14th was the mediation of the discipline through different vectors. In the morning, at the faculty, different positions and experiences on architectural publications were presented, both by a series of external guests — Franziska Bollerey, Patricia Merkel, Helen Thomas — and by TACK members — Françoise Fromonot, Christoph Grafe, Angelika Schnell, Inge Vinck. In the afternoon, the meeting moved to Utopiastadt, at the Mirker Bahnhof of Wuppertal, with the interventions of two more guests — Pater Köddermann and Daniel Spruth — on exhibitions and curatorial practices. The day concluded with an open conversation between Anne Julchen Bernhardt (BEL Sozietät für Architektur, Cologne), Angelika Hinterbrandner (Brandlhuber+ and Kontextur; Berlin), and David J. Becher (Utopiastadt, Wuppertal). The event, which was moderated by Filippo Cattapan, Claudia Mainardi, and Mara Trübenbach, mainly addressed the issue of communication in relation to city making.

Friday, October 15th was devoted to a research workshop at the Ungers Archiv in Cologne, with Sofia Ungers and Anja Sieber-Albers. The workshop was mainly based on the research developed for the Wuppertal exhibition. The discussion specifically addressed the role of Oswald Mathias Ungers within the post-war communities of practice in Cologne. After the visit to the Ungers’ library and house, the afternoon continued with an architectural walk through Cologne.

Finally, on Saturday, October 16th, Christoph Grafe lead the group along the Rhine for a last series of outstanding architectural visits: the Pilgrimage Church in Neviges by Gottfried Böhm, the Lange and Esters Houses in Krefeld by Mies van der Rohe, the Samtweberei in Krefeld by Montagstiftungen, and the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach by Hans Hollein.