October 2010 - March 2011

Mladen Bizumic and Robin Skinner in conversation

Adam Art Gallery
Saturday 23 October 2010, 11.30am

New Zealand artist Mladen Bizumic, currently based in Vienna and in Wellington discussed his latest project, From Cube to Ball (Chapter 2), pays tribute to the modernist designs of Ernst Plischke, an Viennese architect who made a significant impact on Wellington’s built environment. In conversation with Robin Skinner, architectural historian at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Architecture and Design, they posed questions about the relocation of European modernist principles to New Zealand as first undertaken by Plischke in the mid-20th century and as now performed by Bizumic in the second decade of the 21st.

Ready-made Homes: The Prefab in New Zealand

Adam Art Gallery
Friday 5 November 2010, 6pm

From ticky-tacky boxes to custom designs, prefabrication has evolved from the mid-twentieth-century modern era of mass-standardisation to an emerging future of mass-customisation. This discussion with leading New Zealand architecture experts questioned: How is the legacy of modernism’s ‘architecture for all’ fulfilled by the prefab? And what possibilities does it present to today’s burgeoning green movement?

Speakers included: Roger Walker (architect), Robin Skinner (architectural historian), Daniele Abreu e Lima (architecture lecturer) and Guy Marriage (writer, architect and lecturer).

Late Modern Wellington

Saturday 4 December 2010 1-5pm
Commenced from the Architecture and Design School, 139 Vivian Street, finished at the Adam Art Gallery

Julia Gatley, architectural historian and curator of Long Live the Modern New Zealand’s New Architecture 1904-1984, took a tour of late modernist buildings in Wellington. A rare opportunity to get a close view to some of Wellington’s best modern buildings of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Problem of Plischke

Alan MacDiarmid Building, Rooms 102 + 104
Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Saturday 19 February 2011, 11am-5pm

A collaboration between the Adam Art Gallery and the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, this one-day symposium examined the work and legacy of Ernst Plischke. Uncovering the controversy surrounding Plischke, this series of discussions aimed to re-assess his architectural and cultural impact in New Zealand both while he lived here and from our perspective now.

Diane Brand, Head of School, School of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington.

Keynote: “Too much Blut und Boden”: Ernst Plischke’s views on homegrown New Zealand architecture
Linda Tyler, Director of the Centre for New Zealand Art and Discovery and Director of the Gus Fisher Gallery, University of Auckland, presents the keynote lecture followed by Q&A.

12.00 – 1.30pm
Panel discussion: The problems then
Christine McCarthy, Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington; 2010-11 Stout Fellow John Newton, and Robin Skinner, Associate Dean at the School of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, re-visit the myth of Plischke. Chaired by Julia Gatley.

1.30 – 2.30pm
Conversations with those who remember the Plischkes
Convened by Peter Shaw, this lunchtime conversation draws out re-collections and thoughts from the floor.

2.30 – 4pm
Panel discussion: The problems now
An in-depth discussion of contemporary re-workings of Plischke projects that considered how and why Plischke—the man and his work—continues to loom large, with architectural historian Linda Tyler and architects Alistair Luke and John Gray.
Chaired by Gregory O’Brien.

Closing remarks
Christina Barton, Director, Adam Art Gallery.
Followed by drinks in the exhibition Designs for Living at the Adam Art Gallery.

Louise Menzies
Essential Lessons

Adam Art Gallery
Wednesday 2 March 2011, 6pm

Auckland-based artist Louise Menzies’ lecture elucidated on the School of Radiant Living, a mid-twentieth-century movement based in Havelock North that taught holistic philosophy, spirituality and physical health. She drew on the educational material produced by the School including a set of audio recordings of lectures delivered by the School’s leader Herbert Sutcliffe, the journal The Radiant Messenger, as well as her own digressions. Menzies’ performative lecture focused on the School’s principles of self-education and how these ideals can be located within a broader historical context of alternative living practices during the twentieth century.

A substantial book project conceived by the artist and published by Clouds to be launched in May 2011.

A 2011 Victoria University of Wellington Orientation event organised with assistance from the J. C. Beaglehole Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library.