Frank Barkow Podcast

In 1993 Frank Barkow and Regine Leibinger founded their German-American office in Berlin. Since then projects in Germany and abroad have been published in numerous publications and honored with international awards. Their ongoing successful participation in national and international competitions contributes to the reputation of this office which employs an average of 35 people. Frank Barkow and Regine Leibinger’s approach to architecture is formed by the continuous interaction of practice, research, and teaching. This interdisciplinary, discursive attitude allows their work to expand and respond to advancing knowledge.

Collaborations with consulting structural and energy engineers, landscape architects and artists offer dynamic opportunities that inform and direct their work. The identity of every project is based on a distinct and appropriate concept based on a direct reaction to the task at-hand. Their response to a project rejects style or signature in favor of a process that is opportunistic, exploitive and reacts to site, local and global technologies, materials and techniques, and continuous dialogue with a client. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Therefore a practice is defined as more than a chronological sequence of all its work. Individual projects, undogmatic and distinct, contribute to a consistent yet continually emerging body of work. This demonstrates how changing circumstances affect and inform the work, and reciprocally how the work has its own internal logic. This autonomy allows a distinct and singular work that can be sublime and sensual while responding to the realities of place, program, scale and function.

In this podcast, Frank Barkow discusses the importance of “making” in his design office, the benefits of having direct access to the German machine tool industry, and an independent research lab to apply material and production logics towards design opportunities in the office.

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