2018 Architecture Commission Meeting Minutes

Oct 12, 2018

10 October 2018 – Chicago, USA

1.1 Attendees:
Tim Foster (Chair, UK)
Torsten Nobling (Vice-Chair, Sweden)
Greg Cook (USA)
Randy Earle (USA)
Brad Steinmetz (USA)
David Grindle (USA)
Maaike Westinga (Netherlands)
Roel ten Bras (Netherlands)
Bert Determann (Netherlands)
Marina Raytchinova (Bulgaria)
Lian The (Netherlands)
Peter McKinnon (Canada)
Peter Ruthven-Hall (UK)
Alex RObertson (USA)
Jedd de Luca (USA)
Robin Glosemeyer Petrone (USA)
Todd Hensley (USA)
Selma Goker-Wilson (USA)
Reinhold Daberto (Germany)
Debbie Clarke (UK)
1.2 A paper was circulated to record those present and their contact details (see above), which will be added to the OISTAT circulation list for the Architecture Commission. Anyone wishing to be added to this list or to update their details can email OISTAT HQ with a request. If any addresses above are incorrect please inform Tim Foster.


2.1 Minutes of the previous Business Meeting of the AC, held in Taipei, Taiwan, on 5 July 2017 had been circulated in advance and were read out and agreed.


3.1 TF welcomed everyone to the meeting. He thanked USITT and Greg Cook in particular for making this possible. The programme for the Architecture tours is attached.

3.2 There have been no meetings since the previous meeting at World Stage Design in Taipei in July 2017.

3.3 There was an extremely successful tour of recent theatres in Taiwan, which took place after the last meeting. This had included visits to the Cloudgate Theatre by Fieldoffice Architects and the TPAC by OMA, both in Taipei, the Taichung National Theatre by Toyo Ito and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts by Mecanoo.

3.4 The Prague Quadrennial 2019 will be taking place between 6 -16 June 2019 with various OISTAT activities alongside.

4.1 The Architecture Commission aims to meet at least once a year to provide an opportunity for anyone with an interest in theatre buildings to meet, to visit theatre buildings and to hold meetings and seminars with local practitioners. Forthcoming Meetings are being planned for:

4.2    2019
Prague, Czech Republic (June) to coincide with PQ 2019

The aim will be to organize an architectural tour of theatres in the region during or immediately after PQ. Reinhold Daberto offered to organise a tour of historic theatres in the Czech Republic and Germany. He will circulate details in due course.

4.3    2020
No meeting planned at present. TF would welcome any other suggestions or ideas for 2020 and beyond. TF’s second term as chair will finish at the 2020 meeting. David Grindle suggested there might be an opportunity to meet in Dubai to see new projects and meet local practitioners. He has links with the Ministry of Culture and said he would investigate opportunities.

4.4    2021
Calgary, Canada (August) to coincide with World Stage Design 2021. TF had just attended a meeting of the OISTAT EC/GB in Calgary and had offered the possibility of organising some workshops and lectures at WSD. It is also intended that the next Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) will take place in 2021 and be exhibited at WSD. The WSD team have been asked to start trying to find an architect partner to assist in finding a suitable site in Canada and writing a brief for the next TAC.


5.1 There was a discussion about the need to widen participation in AC meetings. AC meetings and activities are supported by a relatively small but loyal group of theatre architects and consultants but greater participation from the wider theatre design community and other countries and regions needs to be encouraged. The following ideas were discussed:

Commissioners in each national centre to make contact with local architects and consultants to make them more aware of AC activities and encourage participation

Those coming to meetings should try to bring younger staff members or interns to introduce them

Offer presentations and workshops at meetings to give something back to local students and practitioners (and possibly attract funding)

Invite TAC prize winners to meetings

Selma Goker Wilson said she had previously taught a theatre design module to architecture students in Turkey and suggested members of the commission could produce online learning material on different subjects, similar to TED talks. She agreed to lead on this by circulating some proposals.

TF welcomed all of the above and asked members and supporters to assist by raising the profile of the AC in their own countries. He emphasized that AC activities are open to anyone with an interest in theatre buildings.


6.1 Prague Quadrennial

As reported at the previous meeting in Taipei, there were to be no national architecture exhibits at PQ 2019. The Performance Space section was being curated by Andrew Todd and a call had gone out for submission of five minute films about theatre projects, which were to include conversations between the designers and users. It was intended that film would present a low entry threshold in terms of cost and attract a more diverse range of projects.

6.2 TF regretted the demise of national architecture exhibits, which were usually easier to fund than individual exhibits, and was concerned that film alone was not a good way to present architecture, which needs models, drawings and photographs to fully explain it in an accessible way. He expressed concern at the ever-diminishing presence of architecture at PQ.


7.1 Members Projects

As is customary there was an opportunity for members of the Architecture Commission to share and discuss recent work, at which Selma Goker-Wilson, Roel ten Bras and Tim Foster showed projects.
Tim Foster
Chair of OISTAT Architecture Commission