Curated by: Federico Tranfa
The Swiss Institute hosts the conversation between Catherine Gay Menzel and Maria Saiz, which addresses the issue of inhabited spaces in the light of the changes in society induced by the experience of the pandemic. In fact, the prerequisite for an improvement in the quality of life depends on a more conscious relationship with the environment that surrounds us, be it natural or artificial. The presentation of some emblematic projects of their respective studies and the exchange of views on the subject will be introduced by Maria Böhmer (Swiss Institute).
Catherine Gay Menzel (Architect ETHZ FAS SIA) heads the GayMenzel architectural studio in collaboration with Götz Menzel in the canton of Valais. You studied at the ETH in Zurich, graduating in 1999, then carrying out your first professional experiences with Hans Kollhoff in Berlin, Leslie Gill in New York, Sabarchitekten in Basel and Herzog & De Meuron in Hamburg. Since 2018 you have been Vice President of the Cantonal Construction Commission of Valais. From autumn 2020 she is a visiting professor at the EPFL in Lausanne on the Master's program.
Maria Saiz studied architecture at the Madrid Polytechnic School where she graduated in 2002. In 2003 she moved to Switzerland, associating professionally with Vincent Rapin. In 2006 she was Jean-Paul Jaccaud's assistant at the EPFL. In 2010 you co-founded the Rapin Saiz Architectes studio. She was Bakker Blanc's assistant at the EPFL in 2012-2015, in 2016-2018 invited professor at the HEAI in Freiburg, and in 2019 invited professor at the Catholic University of Leuven.
Swiss Talks is a series of meetings dedicated to the orientations of contemporary architecture in Switzerland. Five years after their establishment, the Swiss Talks question the experimental nature of architecture, involving the three main Swiss architecture schools: EPFL, ETHZ, USI-Academy of Architecture.