The State of Europe: duo lecture by OMA/AMO Stephan Petermann and XML David Mulder

22 February 2017

On Wednesday 22 February a new series of talks, ‘The State of Europe’, starts at Bureau Europa. Stephan Petermann from OMA/AMO and David Mulder from XML Architecture Research Urbanism both give a presentation on the ways in which they ‘build’ on the ‘State of Europe’. Both agencies have been conducting long-term research into the European Union’s meaning, identity, and various modes of representation

There is currently an ever-present European crisis and rapidly changing public opinion about the meaning and importance of ‘Europe’. Robert Schumann – said by many to be the founder of Europe – stated that, although we are by definition Europeans, the awareness that a sustainable unity for Europe is ‘unity in diversity’, this would be drowned out by the demise of the nation state’s political mandate.

There is an over-emphasis on political and monetary union and seems to be little regard for the underlying sentiments of the loss of one’s identity. An identity paradoxically based on our unique cultural diversity. This collage of nation states is now under pressure from, among other things, the financially globalised world, migration to ‘Fortress Europe’, bureaucratic decision-making, and reduced social solidarity.

In the city where the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992, one finds many aspects that go beyond national borders because of its inhabitants’ trans-boundary way of life. In The State of Europe series, we examine the condition of a continent.


Stephan Petermann - AMO
Stephan Petermann is an architect and partner at AMO, the think tank of OMA, Office for Metropolitan Architecture founded in 1975 by Rem Koolhaas. Established in 1999 as the mirror image of OMA, AMO operates independently within the company, focusing on the expansion of architectural production and broader issues of culture, with respect to identity and organisation. Besides his work for AMO, Petermann teaches at the Aarhus School of Architecture.

David Mulder - XML
David Mulder van der Vegt founded in XML in 2008 together with Max Cohen de Lara. The office takes a research-driven approach, carefully analysing the core of a project into a powerful design. XML is internationally known for creating innovative designs, including the ‘United Natures’ office tower for the United Nations and the ‘Art Square’ art space in Hong Kong.

In 2016, XML published ‘Parliament’, a book comparing the spatial structures of the plenary halls of all 193 UN Member States’ Parliament buildings. The same year, XML, in collaboration with Jurgen Bey, designed a new interior for the European Council in Brussels, as part of the Dutch presidency of the European Union. Between 2014 and 2016, XML ran the interdisciplinary research programme Designing Democracy at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Moderator: Saskia van Stein

Date: 22 February
Time: 20:00 – 22:00
Language: Dutch
Location: Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design.

photos: XML & AMO

Stephan Petermann & David Mulder