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date: 15 December 2019

Tschumi, Bernardlocked

(b Lausanne, Jan 25, 1944).
  • Sean Keller


(b Lausanne, Jan 25, 1944).

Architect and architectural theorist with French and Swiss citizenship, active in America and France. Tschumi studied in Paris and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH; Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, where he received his degree in 1969. He established an architectural office in Paris in 1983 and in New York in 1988. From 1970 to 1980 Tschumi taught at the Architectural Association in London, and from 1988 to 2003 he was Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Reacting to the perceived failure of architecture to effect social change in the late 1960s, Tschumi developed a theoretical position and architectural practice based on what he calls the ‘disjunction’ between buildings and their uses. This has led him to question both the preeminence given to form in architecture and common assumptions (whether classical or modernist) that understand form as the direct product of use, technology, or economics. In contrast, Tschumi emphasized the importance of the social actions that can occur in architecture—what he called ‘events’—as well as the gap between these events and architectural forms....

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