VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM
IWAN BAAN: MOMENTS IN ARCHITECTURE
Date & Time:
Saturday, 24.02.2024, 11:00-12:00 (CET)
Place: Vitra Design Museum
Address: Charles-Eames-Strasse 2, D-79576 Weil am Rhein
Guide: Ulrike Reichl
Photography: Raphael Kunz
Text: Tian Chiang
The SCAA was invited by Vitra to a tour through the Iwan Baan retrospective at the renowned Vitra Design Museum. Set within the iconic Frank Gehry building itself, the exhibition ingeniously melded with the architecture and light, creating a fascinating interplay between Baan’s captivating photography and the dynamic space that housed it. This meticulously curated showcase, done in close collaboration with Baan himself, offered a profound insight into the visionary photographer’s work.
Baan’s distinctive approach focuses not merely on the architectural structures themselves, but rather on how people interact with and inhabit these spaces in real life. A native of the Netherlands, Baan emerged as a pioneer in the realm of digital photography during his studies. His keen eye for capturing the essence of architectural narratives in the modern age propelled him into the forefront of his field. Living a nomadic lifestyle, Baan spends 365 days a year on the road, sometimes living inside the projects that he documents with the camera.
Baan’s journey took a turn in 2004 when a chance encounter with a colleague from OMA led him to document the construction of the iconic CCTV Tower in Beijing. This opportunity paved the way for Baan to immerse himself in the behind-the-scenes of landmark architecture, capturing the intricate process of creation alongside the individuals who bring these monumental structures to life.
One of Baan’s signature techniques lies in his ability to transition between zooming in on intimate details and zooming out to reveal the broader context surrounding his subjects, allowing viewers to experience the inherent connection between architecture and its environment.
Today, Baan dedicates 60% of his efforts to commissioned projects, while also embarking on numerous private ventures. From documenting unconventional housing forms to capturing the pulse of urban life across the globe, Baan continues to push the boundaries of architectural photography, offering a glimpse into the ways in which we shape and are shaped by the spaces we inhabit.