International Travelling Exhibition: Online Catalogue

Exhibitor: Leon van Schaik AO, RMIT Professor of Architecture, Innovation Chair
Catalogue Essay: Richard Blythe, Professor of Architecture, Head of Architecture + Design

Exhibitors include:
Allan Powell; Ashton Raggatt McDougall; Michelle Black; Dale Jones Evans; Denton Corker Marshall; Durbach Block; Edmond Corrigan; Elenberg Fraser; Eli Giannini; Garner Davis; Peter Elliott; Sean Godsell; Tom Kovac; Look Architects; Lyons; McBride Charles Ryan; Minifie Nixon; Shane Murray; Ong & Ong; Ivan Rijavec; Robert Simeoni; Taylor Cullity Lethlean; Terroir; Kerstin Thompson; Stephen Varady; W Architects; John Wardle; WOHA; Wood Marsh Architecture

To imagine that Leon van Schaik’s ideographs represent a thinking process would be to miss the point. They are not representational but rather they are the thinking. Thinking in action if you will, concretised in a drawing. To make this claim in our post-Socratic world is radical in that it suggests that the movement of the arm and hand are integral, it is to claim that the body thinks.

Leon van Schaik AO, LFRAIA, RIBA, PhD, is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and Professor of Architecture (Innovation Chair) at RMIT, from which base he has promoted local and international architectural culture through practice-based research. He is the author of several books: Mastering Architecture, Design City Melbourne and Spacial Intelligence (Wiley). His next book, Procuring Innovative Architecture will be released by Routledge in 2010.

State of Design Exhibition:

Opening address: Prof. Peter Corrigan AM

Exhibition Opening: 6.00pm -8.00pm, Thursday 8 July, 2010

A travelling exhibition (Ljubljana, London, Singapore, Johannesburg…) of 79 ideograms constructed in the course of researching design practice and in the process of investigating the works of architects. The exhibition also includes 29 posters by some of the architects, an essay by Richard Blythe, and a visual history of the ideograms.

An ideogram is not a diagram. A diagram ‘shows the features of an object needed for exposition rather than its actual appearance’, while an ideogram ‘symbolises the idea’ of a situation (OED). After embarking on a design practice research project: visiting sites and buildings, interviewing the architects, clients and users, conducting various data searches, the time comes to pull everything together around the central ideas that have emerged. Leon van Schaik use ideograms to effect this clarifying condensation. Richard Blythe writes of two kinds of ideogram: “one that is created as an act of private thinking, a sort of reflective practice; and the other as an act of public thinking, a communal activity.” Many of the ‘Thinking about Architecture’ ideograms have been constructed while debating with a group of architects (practitioners and students) and potential users of architecture. Both kinds act as platforms from which writing is launched. In the book ‘Procuring Innovative Architecture’ (Routledge 2010) the ideograms that presaged each chapter are included as opening illustrations. It has taken many years to master the art of ideogram making and this history is summarised in the exhibition.

London Exhibition:

17th November 2009 18.00-20.30
Opening Address by Sir Peter Cook
Exhibition open daily from 18th November-18th December
The Bridge Gallery,
School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster

Singapore Exhibition:

Professor Leon van Schaik
Thinking Architecture Thinking Architects
Opening Address:
William Lim, President of AA Asia
WOHA Gallery, 29 HongKong Street, Singapore 059668
12-26 September 2009, Mon-Fri, 1000hrs – 1700 hrs

Ljubljana Exhibition:

DESSA Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Opening 23 March 2009
Professor Leon van Schaik
DESSA Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia
8 pm, 6th April, 2009

Slovenian Television Arts Program Coverage:

Leon van Shaik “Thinking Architecture Thinking Architects” Exhibition opening
(Flash video archive. Note: item begins at 05:25 into the clip)
Television Arts Program Feature
MMC RTV Slovenia, Broadcast 10 pm, 26 March 2009