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Phase 2

Exploring the intersection between art, design and engineering

Exploring the intersection between art, design and engineering

Dr Jennifer Greitschus
Head of Exhibitions, Arup

Phase 2 is a public programme of exhibitions and events that explores the intersection between art, design and engineering. Founded in 2008, the programme supports new collaborations across these disciplines as well as showcasing stories from Arup’s cultural heritage. Phase 2 also presents artists whose work provides fresh perspectives on the built environment.

Venue details and contact

Arup
8 Fitzroy St
London W1T 4BJ

Exhibition opening hours:
Monday – Friday, 9am-6pm
Closed Bank Holidays
Admission free

For more information, please contact phase2@arup.com or follow us on social media for the latest updates:

Current exhibition

Drivers of Change: New forms of practice from The Bartlett School of Architecture

15 July – 13 September 2019

This exhibition showcases cutting-edge research from three pioneering master’s programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: Design for Manufacture, Bio-Integrated Design and Design for Performance and Interaction.

At a time of climate crisis, the interdisciplinarity of the master’s programmes, for example, applied biology and architecture, encourages students to develop radical new alternatives for tackling the different complex environmental challenges faced by contemporary urban society.

The exhibition also marks the launch of the latest edition of Drivers of Change, which examines global issues affecting the future of the built environment, such as depleting natural resources and the need to improve urban food systems. The exciting new forms of practice from The Bartlett propose groundbreaking ways of addressing these issues: they are a taste of things to come.

Recent exhibitions

Plug-in-to-the-Future

8 November 2018 – 1 March 2019

The rapid development of digital technologies has led to emerging design initiatives that challenge established fabrication techniques. A selection of works that demonstrate the impact of digital technology on design have been brought together in this exhibition, ranging from the fields of architecture and engineering to interior design, fashion and art.

The exhibition showcases relatively early examples of generative design and bubble matrix geometries from 2008, used both for design of the Beijing National Aquatics Center and artist Antony Gormley’s Dublin Project Model 2. Lana Dumitru and Vlad Tenu’s Swarovski crystal dress foræva (2017) and Nervous System’s running shoes with 3D printed midsoles (2015) demonstrate processes usually associated with engineering.

Image: Airbloom, felt acoustic panel, 2017 (detail), Stefan Borselius for Abstracta

Conflicts of an Urban Age

25 June – 19 October 2018

Cities occupy less than 1% of global land, but generate over two-thirds of the world’s economic output. They are the stage-sets for social opportunity and social inequality. While some cities are pioneering sustainable and imaginative solutions, many are not. New city forms are also emerging, with profound social and environmental consequences for billions of urban dwellers.

The Urban Age, a research project jointly organised by the London School of Economics LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, has been exploring the conflicts that lie behind this new urban reality. This exhibition was first developed as a special project for the 2016 International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Arup showcased a range of inspirational solutions, developed and implemented by individuals, local communities or organisations at grassroots level in different regions of the world, that address challenges posed by rapid urban growth.

Edward Burtynsky: Water Matters

14 March – 8 June 2018

The exhibition explores the multi-faceted nature of our relationship with water through photographs made by Burtynsky between 2010 and 2016 in different locations around the world, including Gujarat, India; Yunnan Province, China; Aragon, Spain; and Florida, USA.

Shot from aircraft, helicopters or drones several thousand feet above the earth, the large-format photographs are both detailed and panoramic, beautiful and disturbing. Though not immediately apparent, all the photographs in this exhibition connect to water and our use of this finite resource. This project was been possible thanks to Flowers Gallery, London.

Image: Edward Burtynsky, Phosphor Tailings Pond #2, Polk County, Florida, USA, 2012 (detail) Courtesy the artist and Flowers Gallery, London

Pinwheel Pavilion

11 November 2016 – 10 February 2017

A new configuration of the Pinwheel Pavilion designed by Five Line Projects explored the potential energy triggered by a single action. The original Pavilion was on display in the gardens of the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London, in June 2016. The designers were inspired by the nearby museum to use the pinwheel, a classic children’s toy, to develop their concept. The installation reminded us that the energy of an individual contributes to urban life, affecting the local community as well as the city as a whole.

Concrete Inspirations

14 July – 7 October 2016

Concrete continues to capture the imagination of engineers, architects and artists alike. The exhibition examined the use of concrete in Arup projects dating from the founding years of the firm to the present day, including Busáras, Dublin’s main city bus station, the Brynmawr factory in Wales, the Barbican Centre in London, and the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House in Taiwan. Concrete was also the subject of the work of artists Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Demand, Luisa Lambri, Simon Phipps and Rachel Whiteread.

Inside Cities: Art and the Built Environment

23 June – 11 September 2015

Aspects of built and proposed infrastructure, community projects and explorations of materials and objects related to sustainability in the urban environment were presented in this exhibition. Artists included Mark Titchner, Heather and Ivan Morison, Fischli and Weiss, Damien Hirst, John Wood and Paul Harrison, and Something and Son.

Building the Sydney Opera House

11 April – 25 July 2014

The exhibition focused on two phases of the Opera House’s 16-year construction story: the evolution of the roof structure, known as Stage 2, and the design of the glass walls by architect Peter Hall who joined the project after original architect Jørn Utzon’s departure in 1966. The show included photography, historical drawings and models, as well as a specially commissioned digitally fabricated model of the roof’s geometry.

Traces of Peter Rice

27 November 2012 – 5 April 2013

In 1992, Peter Rice was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal for his outstanding contributions to the design of the built environment. It was also the year of his untimely death at the age of 57 years. Twenty years on, this exhibition celebrated the life and work of Ireland’s most gifted structural engineer of the late 20th century. Projects like Centre Pompidou and the Menil Collection were highlighted through vintage photographs, prototypes and drawings.

My Street: Your story told through film

13 June – 5 October 2012

This living archive of everyday life was launched through the Open City Documentary Film Festival and UCL, London. The initiative asked UK residents to record places and experiences that were of significance to them. It revealed the richness of UK society at grass roots level in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games and the power of film as an intrinsic element of the growing social network phenomenon.

Charles Morrow: Land Sea Air

17 February – 4 May 2012

Together with Arup Acoustics, Charles Morrow developed a three-dimensional, immersive, sonic journey beginning 400 million years ago and continuing through different ecological epochs. It ranged from the sounds of giant dragonflies of the Carboniferous period through to circuitry noises from our contemporary digital era.

Animal Estates

13 October 2011 – 20 January 2012

American artist Fritz Haeg raised awareness of the plight of endangered urban wildlife by creating a consultancy where they became the clients. Made from salvaged materials the “Headquarters” was a location for public events, workshops and meetings by Arup staff, schools and universities and local interest groups. This radical and ingenious initiative was an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Stories of Change

13 July – 30 September 2011

Stories of Change used a call-out to students worldwide to collect stories told through film, architectural design and text that responded to the global trends identified in Drivers of Change. Shortlisted entrants were invited to attend the opening of the exhibition where the winners were announced. Kibwe Tavares’ film “Robots of Brixton” went on to win the Jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Bridge Stories

22 October 2010 – 31 January 2011

The history of bridge design over the past fifty years was explored in this exhibition through film, photography and 3D representation. The exhibition showcased how the use of photography has changed since the firm was founded in 1946. Works included photographs by John Donat and Henk Snoek, leading architectural photographers in Britain and assigned by Arup in the 1960s and 70s, and a specially commissioned digital taxonomy of bridge spans by digital arts group onedotzero.

Constructing Realities

1 July – 1 October 2010

Phase 2’s second collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture showcased work from the school’s Advanced Architectural Research program, supported by The Economic Challenge Investment Fund. These Masters portfolios contained the seeds of further design proposals for creating new types of space, novel interactive building elements and new façade and structural systems.

Ways of Seeing London

16 March – 18 June 2010

Artists, engineers, designers and architects provided historical, contemporary and future representations of London using different media. The show included work by Rut Blees Luxemburg, Christian Kerrigan and a dystopian visualisation of Whitehall under water by GMJ. Also on show was a large intricate timber model of Arup Associates’ unrealised 1987 plan for Paternoster Square.

Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw

16 October 2009 – 26 February 2010

The turbulent history of the city of Wroclaw, Poland, by telling the story of RENOMA. Designed in 1930 by Hermann Dernburg for the Wertheim family as one of the largest, international department stores in Europe, its original concept was shortlived when the store was confiscated by the Nazi government. After years of neglect, it re-opened in 2009 as a shopping centre with a new wing designed by Mackow Architects in collaboration with Arup.

Digital Hinterlands

8 September – 2 October 2009

In a collaboration between Arup, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL and the University of Westminster with the aim of demystifying computer technologies. Some of the best cutting-edge work by architecture graduates from the three schools showed the effects of an ever-expanding digital world on architectural agendas, processes and outcomes.

Matthew Ritchie: The Last Scattering

8 April – 26 June 2009

Phase 2’s first new commission was a collaboration between Matthew Ritchie and Daniel Bosia of Arup’s Advanced Geometry Unit. The modular sculpture was inspired by dark energy, the Big Bang Theory and the moment in space and time when light separated from matter. The parametric design also represented the intersection between art, design and engineering.

Force Field

14 October 2008 – 20 February 2009

This project was a collaboration between Arup’s lighting designers led by Rogier van der Heide and the University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, which investigated the different energy forces flowing through Arup’s London headquarters.  An installation made up of 64 luminous rods was programmed to react to the movements of visitors in the space by changing colour.

China in Motion

7 July – 2 October 2008

This exhibition explored the dramatic effects of migration and construction on Beijing and Shanghai in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games with works by Edward Burtynsky, Natalie Behring and Helen Couchman.  G2 Studio’s film Honey & Bubbles, commissioned for the exhibition, told the story of the changing face of Beijing from the perspectives of a local beekeeper and a Beijing taxi driver.

Drivers of Change

28 April – 27 June 2008

Phase 2’s first exhibition showcased work by some of the first ‘Flickr photographers’ who had contributed to the Drivers of Change publication. Themes included Water, Urbanisation, Energy, Waste, Climate Change and Demographics. Brazilian photographer Tuca Vieira’s Paraisõpolis (Paradise City), 2006, became renowned worldwide as an iconic image of two-tiered urban society.