Prof. Nathalie Singer – Art and Design

Plakatgestaltung Paula Holzhauer
Published: 16 December 2022

20.12. Radio Talk with Alfredo Thiermann »Radio-Activities: Architecture and Radio from Berlin to the World«

We cordially invite you to our last radio talk this semester. Alfredo Thiermann will conclude this semester's series with international guests. Thiermann will talk about the connection between radio and Berlin’s architecture in times of the Cold War - and how this can give a new understanding of (trans-)national borders.

“Although always grounded in matter, architecture is never about matter alone.” Alfredo Thiermann will present his ongoing investigation into the interaction of architecture with the medium of radio. By its very nature, radio promised at the time of its invention to evaporate the intrinsic material aspect of architecture. “However, nothing could be further from the truth, since radio demanded the erection of some of the largest buildings ever created”, Thiermann says.

In 1945, Soviet troops made two important moves for Thiermann’s investigation: They dismantled the Deutschlandsender III radio transmission tower, and they occupied the Haus des Rundfunks in West Berlin. These moves were as symbolically as they were technically important. In the time after, during Cold War, an “etheral war” started between the Eastern and Western Blocs.

In his presentation, Thiermann will analyze the architectural “material” of this conflict – the buildings, walls, transmission towers, factories, research institution and territorial organisations, which enabled the production, reproduction and transmission of sonic-based content across the divide of the Iron Curtain.

Through this lens of Berlin’s radio architecture, Thiermann will show little researched continuities between politics, technology, media and architecture. And thus re-define the national and transnational borders: “The material dimension of radio changed the way in which buildings and territories are understood.”

Time: 20th of Dec 2022 | 7pm

Place: Limona & Online

The Radio Talk will be held in English.

Alfredo Thiermann is an architect and Assistant Professor for History and Theory of Architecture at the École polytechnique fédérale in Lausanne. Through his practice and theoretical research, he explores the intersection between architecture and different media, from sound installations and film scenography to single family houses, public buildings, and large-scale infrastructures.

Alfredo studied architecture at Santiago de Chile and Princeton and did his PhD at ETH Zurich. He has taught and lectured at Harvard University, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and other institutions. Alfredo’s work has been published in many renowned magazines as well as exhibited at seminal museums like the MoMA and the Venice Art Biennale. He is currently working on a forthcoming book titled Radio-Activities: Architecture and Broadcasting in Cold War Berlin. He lives, works, and takes care of Pedro Tristán and Juan Nataniel between Lausanne and Berlin.

The radio talks are the lecture series of the professorship »Experimental Radio«. They take place thematically alongside the ongoing courses of the semester and are open to the public.

Diese Menschen arbeiten am Experimentellen Radio.


Das Kursangebot und aktuelle Veranstaltungen des Experimentellen Radios finden Sie hier.


Die Vortragsreihe des Experimentellen Radios.