Opening of the academic year 2020/21

Architect, scenographer and set designer Uwe R. Brückner opens the semester at Animationsinstitut with a lecture and workshop


Interior design, ambience, room staging, room experience. Hardly anyone has been more influential in these fields in the past thirty years than Uwe R. Brückner. In 1997, the architect, scenographer and stage designer founded Atelier Brückner, which today is one of the world's most important architecture and scenography offices, especially in the design of museums, exhibitions and fair presences.


The Trading Hall of the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, the BMW Museum in Munich, the Visitor Museum of the European Parliament or permanent exhibitions in the Swiss National Museum in Zurich are just a few examples of well over two hundred groundbreaking exhibition designs and architectures for which he and his office are responsible. In the Stuttgart region, for example, the studio undertook the conversion of Wagenhallen or designed the permanent exhibitions of the House of History and the Limes Museum in Aalen.

The 63-year-old and Atelier Brückner, which employs over a hundred people in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt and Korea, are now going their separate ways. However, this does not mean that he is now resting on his old age. On the contrary, with his STUDIO UWE BRUECKNER he focuses more strongly on innovative scenography, his academic activities and his work as a design theorist. Since 2003 he has been professor for exhibition design and scenography at the Institute for Interior Design and Scenography at the University of Art and Design FHNW in Basel, which he co-founded. He is also currently gathering a smaller team around him and is planning new works with a more artistic focus. "I want to continue making projects that break new ground in scenography and point the way to the future," Brückner emphasizes.


Uwe R. Brückner had a significant influence on the further development of Sullivan's "form follows function" design formula, which was dominant in the 20th century, to his credo "form follows content". He extends functional aspects by analyzing content resources, stories, messages and information, which becomes the basis of every concept. This results in specific dramaturgies and methods that transfer content ideas creatively and sensually to spaces. The goal is always a holistic, surprising and memorable scenography.


Especially the medium of film plays a major role in the development and application of this theory and also in Brückner's career and work in general. After studying architecture in Munich, he completed a degree in stage design at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, where he, among others, made an animated film under Albrecht Ade - the founder of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

His design ideas as a scenographer and architect were always influenced by theater and film dramaturgies. This becomes clear not only in the permanent exhibition of the German Film Museum in Frankfurt, conceived by Brückner, which interactively reflects "cinematic seeing" and "cinematic narration". Moreover, Brückner's rooms always tell stories, follow a "spatial choreography or choreographic sequence of rooms". Like a stage or a film set, they react to an action resulting from how a space is used by people and what message or information is to be conveyed in it.


His design is also based on classic patterns and means of cinematic storytelling. For example, the rooms have epilogues and prologues, and elements convey information in dramatic curves of tension, for example following the rules of Hitchcock Suspense.


Film and video projections also play an important role in the design of his buildings and interior architecture. For example, LED screen walls covering the entire BMW Museum with impressive, animated film sequences and video installations. The so-called "Mediatecture" thus forms a multi-award winning room experience. At the Expo in Korea 2012, Brückner and his team created a pavilion that is visually reminiscent of a glowing rice field. Inside, a panoramic projection of a computer-animated film on the subject of energy unfolded an immersive effect.


With the Cycle Bowl, Uwe R. Brückner already created a spectacular room and light installation at the Expo Hannover in 2000. Together with the artist Ned Kahn, who is responsible for the legendary special effects of the film Twister, he created the world's largest ever artificially created tornado. The exhibition and performance were based on the story of a researcher's hubris.


In addition, he often uses virtual and effective graphic communication through animated images to visualize complex thematic relationships. One example is the multimedia visitor center at the CERN particle accelerator. In the projects mentioned above, he works together with Marc Tamschick (Tamschick Media &Space), who himself is a first-generation graduate of Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg.


Uwe R. Brückner will present numerous of his projects at his lecture and workshop at the opening of the semester at Animationsinstitut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. He will give an insight into their genesis and explain their theoretical background. In addition to an introduction to his holistic design philosophy, he will give students methodical tips on how film sets and scenes can be thought of in narratives and how they can be designed from the content told in them.


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