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Lilly Reich and the architecture of consumerism

Building on Bauhaus


Monday 21 October 2019
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

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Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe, Cafe Samt & Seide, 1927.

© DACS 2019

Join Roz Barr, Alice Twemlow and Federico Martelli, to investigate architecture’s role in designing for consumerism in the second event celebrating the female designers of the Bauhaus.

The second event in our series on the female designers of the Bauhaus investigates the work of Lilly Reich, her collaborations with Mies van der Rohe, and the careful ways in which her exhibitions manipulated space to present products.

For Reich, exhibition design was not about creating an aura of exclusivity, instead her displays made it seem like good design was within everyone’s reach. Her work included planks of high-grade timber piled in a room, or in the case of the Silk and Velvet café, fabric draped as screens throughout the space.

After a 15 minute introduction to her exhibition design, the panellists will interrogate themes from Reich’s work and extrapolate on design’s role within the expanded landscape of branding and information we continuously confront today. Does good design for everyone in the 21st century mean more waste and less engagement? How does this impact on the design and understanding of buildings?

At the end of the discussion our panel will take questions for 15 minutes from the audience.


Roz Barr is an architect and founder of Roz Barr architects. Their projects have included pop-up stores, gallery extensions and concert venues. They recently won the competition to design the V&A’s new fashion galleries.

Alice Twemlow is Research Professor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, where she leads the “Design and the Deep Future” readership. Her book, Sifting the Trash: A History of Design Criticism, was published by MIT Press in 2017.

Federico Martelli is co-founder of Cookies, a collective that explores the relation between art, display, curation and architecture. He has, since 2012, collaborated with Wolfgang Tillmans, Rem Koolhaas and OMA/AMO, leading the design for the central pavilion of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Elements of Architecture.

Oli Stratford (chair) has been the editor-in-chief of Disegno since September 2016. Examples of his journalism, interviews and essays may be read in books published by König Books and Gestalten among others.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 21 October 2019

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£15, £9