Tate Modern Talk

Art in Real Life: Architecture and Public Space

The cubic structural evolution project 2004 Installation at QAGOMA, 2010 Photo: Mark Sherwood, QAGOMA © 2004 Olafur Eliasson

How can we define public space? Is it a space in-between, in which people gather? Or is it a space of action - of dialogue, debate and even conflict?

Inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s engagement with architecture, this panel discussion brings together interdisciplinary voices to ask how the built environment can enable spaces of civic participation and to question art’s agency in the public sphere.

Speakers include Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose, Alfredo Brillembourg, co-founder of Urban Think Tank and Mark Wallinger, artist. The discussion is chaired by Shumi Bose.


Mariana Mazzucato

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is the author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs private sector myths (2013) and The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy (2018). She is the winner of prizes including the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led inclusive growth.​

Alfredo Brillembourg

Alfredo Brillembourg is Principal of the Architecture firm Urban-Think Tank. Born in New York, he received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1984 and Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. Since 2010, together with Hubert Klumpner he has held the Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at ETHZ, Switzerland. He has received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, 2011 Gold Holcim Award for Latin America and the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture Golden Lion. In 2018 the Empower Shack Housing project was shortlisted by RIBA as an exceptional housing project.

Shumi Bose

Shumi Bose is a teacher, curator and editor based in London. She is a senior lecturer in Contextual Studies in Architecture at Central Saint Martins, and also teaches at the Royal College of Art. She is a curator of exhibitions at the Royal Institute of British Architects. ​

Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and in 2007 won the Turner Prize for his installation State Britain. His work Ecce Homo 1999–2000 was the first piece to occupy the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. Recent permanent commissions include Labyrinth 2013 for Art on the Underground, Writ in Water 2018 for the National Trust, and The World Turned Upside Down 2019 for the London School of Economics.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

22 October 2019 at 18.30–20.00