Austrian-Spanish Architecture and Design Symposium – EXPO 2008


Zaragoza (Spain), September 8th, 2008

Empty your mind! Be shapeless, like water!

Bruce Lee



Robert Punkenhofer conceived a joint Austrian-Spanish architecture and design symposium entitled LIQUID SKY – Horizons of Architecture and Design of the 21st Century. It was curated by Uli Marchsteiner and took place at the Congress Palace of Zaragoza.

The symposium targeted a design and architecture-interested audience and was organised on issues of architecture, product and corporate design, and experimental concepts. Six teams of Austrian and Spanish architects and designers had the opportunity to express their positions and opinions on each issue using their current work. Instead of concentrating on the presentation of individual projects, the symposium focused on identifying a vision for future working approaches based on the team members’ personal design philosophies.

The fluid materiality of water served as the symposium’s motto reinforcing the Expo’s theme Water and Sustainable Development. The event was guided by the words of Bruce Lee: ‘Empty your mind! Be shapeless, like water!’ Water was not only a key topic within the environmental discourse, but also a metaphor for a new aesthetic: one where fluid architectural and design concepts lead the way toward a future in which design is very concerned about social issues and needs. The symposium facilitated an exchange between participants from the creative industry, in an effort to identify experimental approaches for developing interlinked working methods over purely individual strategies. The interventions were grouped in two areas: Architecture / Urban Landscape and Product Design / Experimental concepts.



Dietmar Steiner (Director, Architecture Center Vienna)
Span Architects: Sandra Manninger (AT)
Cloud 9: Enric Ruiz Geli (ES)
Porsche Design: Christian Schwamkrug (AT)
Radi Designers: Robert Stadler (AT)
Emiliana: Ana Mir (ES)
ReD Architects: Marta Malé-Alemany (ES)

The symposium was organised on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour and the Federal Economic Chamber.

Download Liquid Sky programme


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