Michael Obrist [feld72] in conversation with Ton Matton about "On Performative Urbanism – Try-out for the Great Potemkin Lecture Tour"
In his energetic, performative, sometimes cynics but humorist way, Ton Matton will share his critical doubts. With doubtless and doubtfull ideas to make the world a better place. Presenting a.o. his climate machines to grow BananaTrees along west European streets; a slow urban planning concept for shrinking cities, a cohabitation with the rose-ringed Parakeet and the Kentucky-Wurms in his Kentucky-Coffee-Bar.
After his study City planning in the Delft Technical University (1991) Ton Matton started in Rotterdam the Schie 2.0 office, urban and environmental design, looking for transformations off autarkic architectural moments. Schie 2.0 was part of the dutch design group of the nineties, who worked on an amnesty for the build reality, and who experimentally, emphatically explain the problems of planning and city-design. The most strong projects are those where Schie 2.0, by changing the point of view on a situation, also changed the way of looking towards this situation; de facto you have to consider this as a design.
Ton Mattons work is nowadays situated somewhere between object-design, society-shape, ecological urban planning and artist-actionism. Like his‚free range office’, a mobile, self sufficient office-shed, moved through Rotterdam, he opened in 2001 Wendorf Academy in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany.
semi-autarkic applied architectural thinking = trendy pragmatism
Since Ton Matton was fed up of Dutch Suburbia spatial planning, the former German Democratic Republic village-school of Wendorf is the base for his office. In between Hamburg and Berlin Ton Matton makes inside the small-village structures a huge areal of guests-ateliers, workshops, animals and plants. Inside the hypermodern living in between big-city-behaviour and wood-stove heating, Matton is looking for connections between the traditional living on the countryside and contemporary mega-city-lifestyle. „The fact, that I live in Wendorf doesn't mean that I can’t be reached. I live in Central Europe. I have a satellite Internet, a Lada Niva four-wheel drive, and a mobile phone, like everyone else in the Global Village.” (A10 Magazine, Wonderland 2006)
With the Werkstatt Wendorf Ton Matton tries with ever changing guests to find the small Utopias and interruptions of daily life. Matton sees nature as an object to aesthetical mediation from crisis-situations in society. The constellations of working together in projects are changing all the time, although more often with a.o. NL Architects, Crimson, One Architecture (Amsterdam), Atelier van Lieshout, MVRDV, Rem Koolhaas /OMA (Rotterdam), feld72 (Wien), raumlaborberlin, Christopher Dell (Berlin) and the Think Tank Alterra of University Wageningen.
Ton Matton participated in a.o. Archilab (Orléans/Frankreich), Biennale Sao Paulo, Biennale Manifesta 2 (Ljubljana), Architecture Biennale Venice, Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture. His projects were a.o. in the Salone del Mobile in Milano , in RIBA, Londen, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Museum Boymans van Beuningen Rotterdam, in Galery De Appel Amsterdam, Galery Aedes Berlin, IBA Hamburg and in the traveling-exhition Nine+One from the NAi Rotterdam. The famous Dutch Designlabel Droog took some of the objects of Matton in his collection witch were shown in the Simply Droog Exhibition in Berlin, München, Bremen, Los Angeles, Curitiba, Paris, New York und Zürich.
As professor, Ton Matton teached at various universities, a.o. space&designSTRATEGIES, Art University Linz (’14-’21); Performative Urbanism at TU München (’14); Bauhaus Dessau (’11 / ’14) University of technology, Business and Design, Wismar (’09 -’12); Design Academy Eindhoven (’06-’08) HfbK Hamburg (’03-’05); TUDelft (’94-’98)
At the moment MattonOffice finished the rebuilding Type EW 58/08, the recycling of a simple (GDR) familyhouse in Almere (NL), is researching the possibilities of a ‚slow development plan’ in the shrinking city of Tribsees and preparing the next phase of the Wendorf Academy to research a broad welfare urbanism.