independent school for the city

School's Out! #8 with Alfredo Brillembourg and WLDRF

The American-Venezuelan architect, urban designer and co-founder of the Urban-Think Tank, Alfredo Brillembourg was our guest at the 8th edition of School's Out! on the 25th of October 2019. In his talk “Cities Are the Answer… What Was the Question?”, Alfredo questioned the architect’s responsibility towards the social-economic and political crisis that we see in cities all around the world and which remind him of scenes he once witnessed first hand in Caracas. He talked about how architecture and urban planning cannot be either top-down or bottom-up, but need a deep and lengthy immersion in the culture and lives of the locals. How the designer struggles to know what solution is appropriate and genuinely useful. How the people most in need, typically lack the power and funds to transform their lives and their future. How he believes the failure of much of the profession and of the schools that train future professionals, is to see architecture potentially as the engine of social change. And how architects have the skills, knowledge and responsibility to improve lives and revitalize cities.

After his inspiring talk at our fully packed school, the amazing improv band WLDRF  joined Alfredo on stage, for a spectacular musical performance with visuals of informality all around the world on the background.

Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York, where he studied architecture at Columbia University. He undertook his master’s degree at the Central University of Venezuela after which he co-founded the Urban-Think Tank - an interdisciplinary design practice dedicated to high-level research and design on a variety of subjects concerned with contemporary architecture and urbanism in complex environments. Notable projects include the Caracas Metrocable, the Vertical Gym typology, and more recently the documentary and publication on Torre David – a 45-storey unfinished office tower in Caracas that has become a node for the study of informal vertical communities. Brillembourg has taught at Columbia University, where he co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab), and held the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at ETH Zurich.


18.00 - 19:00 Drinks, food, and tunes
19.00 - 20:00 Talk by Alfredo Brillembourg+ Q&A
20.00 - 20:30 Music and Spoken Word by Alfredo Brillembourg and WLDRF
20:30 - 22.00 Drinks, food, and tunes