Staging Architecture

Colloque participatif

Staging Architecture Colloquium is a 2024 Spring Creative Research event. Spring CR is a joint initiative by IRAV and MAPS, which aims to connect pedagogy to research and explore creative formats of collaborative work.

During these three days of seminar, we will focus on the field of art in relation to architecture. The first approach has to do with witnessing a shift from mere functionality when architecture is transformed into a sculptural spatial body: the interplay between form and function introduces a specific dimension, turning the building itself into a symbol or an auto-monument. Our exploration begins with understanding how architecture, in its essence, becomes a deliberate display, staging itself to convey meanings beyond the utilitarian.

In shifting focus to artistic interventions in public spaces, we uncover a sensitive approach to the restaging of architecture. Art becomes a dynamic force reinterpreting and reshaping our perceptions of architectural spaces. Notably, we draw attention to the medium of sound, which, surprisingly, has consistently eluded the attention of curators, architects, and artists in the realm of architectural display. We will explore how sound, in its subtlety, can transform and enrich our experience of architecture, opening avenues for a more singular understanding.

Finally, we will investigate the convergences between art and architecture. Diverse as they may be, these practices share underlying themes. This research delves into the intersection, particularly evident in recent architectural exhibitions like the Architecture Biennale in Venice. Here, we witness a tendency to view architecture as an integral part of a complex ecosystem, echoing artistic practices. The emphasis on social, ecological, and political implications mirrors the multidimensional and systemic approach. These convergences change questions of presentation and open a more holistic understanding of art and architecture in a symbiotic relationship. The intricate connections between art and architecture, how they converge and diverge, shape our current understanding of space, form, and presentation.


10h30 – 12h30 EDHEA, Movimax, Sierre
Introduction: Staging Architecture, Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin
Introduction: Distinction Romande d’ Architecture (DRA), Bertrand Emaresi
Presentation: Insulations and auto-monuments, Robert Ireland
13h50 Train : Sierre – St-Maurice
14h30 – 18h00 Maison Duc, St-Maurice
Visit of the Maison Duc: Architecture’s Talk with Gay & Menzel
Workshop: What architecture hears, Christophe Fellay

10h00 – 13h00 Sensitive Situations, Sierre
Students discussing with Mona Mahall and Asli Serbest on the current state of work in the "Sensitive Situations" seminar directed by Robert Ireland
14h00 – 14h30 Rue du marché, Sierre
l’è tote in tyieva Bertrand Emaresi presents his artistic intervention
15h00 – 18h30 Symposium Staging Architecture, EDHEA, La Chapelle - Open to public
Welcome to the seminar by Jelena Martinovic
Exercice d’Isolation, Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin
What architecture hears, Christophe Fellay
Spatio-textual Practices, Mona Mahall and Asli Serbest

09h42 Funicular : Sierre – Crans-Montana
10h00 – 13h00 Mapping and Walking, Crans-Montana
A walk with Sylvie Doriot Galofaro and Anica Niziç
15h00 – 18h00 Colloquium, La Chapelle, EDHEA
How art and architecture exhibitions relate to each other — a stroll through the Venice Biennale, Evelyn Steiner
Staging : How art and architecture affect each other, Robert Ireland
Panel discussion: Mona Mahall & Asli Serbest, moderated by Evelyn Steiner
18h00 – 19h00 Apéro, main hall, EDHEA, Sierre


StAr collective is composed of Evelyn Steiner (architect, art historian, and curator), Bertrand Emaresi (graphic designer and artist), Robert Ireland (artist, researcher, and lecturer), Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin (artist, researcher, and lecturer), and Christophe Fellay (musician, composer, researcher, and lecturer).
Their joint research project Staging Architecture focuses on exploring the complex relationship between art and architecture and the intersections between these disciplines. Dialogs, workshops, and fieldwork are initiated to constantly shift the boundaries between the disciplines. Together they were also responsible for the conception of the DRA5 exhibition (5e Distinction d’architecture romande, 2023-2024).

Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall are architects, artists, researcher, and lecturer. They work collectively across spatial, image, sound, and text practices, at the intersection of art and architecture. They often begin their projects by investigating minor finds, fragments, figures, sites, and rites that exhibit discrepancies, but imply spatial agility and generosity, as well as poetic and political possibilities. Whether it be in the form of installation, model, video, sound, exhibition, or publication, all their projects follow a feminist methodology. As such, they constitute less fixed spaces and objects than non-linear physical or digital versions and speculations that share an interest in serial variation and possible distortions of form and scale. They play and replay architectural histories, events, and movements and rethink the re-production of space and implied power relations. The aim is to collectively (re-)consider rejected knowledge and to find alternative modes of organizing our lives, schools, online and offline movements.

Anica Lora Nizic is a designer and an artist. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in arts in Public Spheres at EDHEA in Sierre. Anica’s work explores different ways of collaboration and focuses on themes of love, friendship, walking as methodology and art history from the 20th and 21st centuries. Her media of expressions include drawing, video, printmaking, publishing, and music.

GayMenzel is an architecture studio founded in 2013 by Catherine Gay Menzel and Götz Menzel in St-Maurice. Their projects address the subjects of building, structure, adaptation, habitat, city, and landscape.

Sylvie Doriot Galofaro is an ethnologist, art historian, a teacher and researcher in the field of cultural history. Alongside her work as a teacher and freelance historian, she began a doctoral thesis in 2008 and published her thesis Une histoire culturelle de Crans-Montana (1896-2016). Today, she is president of the association she created in 2021, AEA Art-Ethno-Archi, to promote the photographic heritage she inherited from the publication of her books and thesis, among others.