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Dessau Talks


A synchronicity of cultures and civilisations lecture part of the central lecture series Dessau Talks of the Dessau Institute of Architecture at the Bauhaus Campus

Bauhaus Campus Dessau


The Dessau Talks are the faculty’s central series of lectures. More than 100 speeches and interdisciplinary lectures have been held since 1996: always on a Wednesday at 6:30 pm. In the process, architecture and topical issues are discussed with guests; it is a meeting place in the students’ public realm between colleagues bachelor and master’s students of the term. The speeches are held in German and English and simultaneously interpreted. A unique institution that has been tried and tested in the sense of an overarching presence for all courses. Each term follows a thematic orientation often developing from a social discourse that is in the air. Architecture is relevant.

  • 16. Januar
    Denis Andernach, Frankenthal
    Vom Zeichnen von Häusern
  • 17. April
    Gertrude Cepl-Kaufmann
    1900. Zeit der Utopien–Zur Topografie eines deutschen »Jahrhundertjahres«
  • 8. Mai
    Lydia Ranke
  • 22. Mai
    Christoph Sattler, München
    Architektonische Entwicklung eines Mies-van-der-Rohe-Eleven
  • 12. Juni
    Jonathan Sergison, London
    Werk und Lehre
  • 19. Juni
    Roberto González, Barcelona
  • 13. November
    Antonino Cardillo, Trapani
    A Synchronicity of Cultures and Civilisations
  • 27. November
    Andreas Kipar, Düsseldorf
    Paesaggio / Landschaft–Italien / Deutschland (K)ein Vergleich?
  • 4. Dezember
    Zeitform Architekten, Halle (Saale)
    Großmann Architektur, Halle (Saale)
    Dessauer Gespräche regional


Architects love to make plans and Dessau Talks also have a plan for this year. It is that of an Italian summer in the winter semester of Dessau. The topic is cultural exchange, stimulating for every art and society. I believe there has always been a special relationship between Germany and Italy, not only with regard to football, but because after all part of the territories of today’s Germany have been conquered by the Romans; I for example come from Cologne which was a Roman foundation. Over the centuries the Alpine mountain range has been a barrier. So, there has always been something interesting about going south; something I would like to call desire. When there were no photographic images and Google, there was a culture of making drawings. So I would have liked to start these Dessau Talks with a lesson on Friedrich Schinkel’s trip to Italy, and his travel drawings that inspired his imagination. Unfortunately, last week this lesson did not take place, but now I have some guests in the program who come from Italy or have to do with Italy. Planning often leads to failure, but the one who does not fail is our first guest: Antonino Cardillo! Some time ago, I saw a publication on his projects and in recent days there has been a debate, not only in architecture but also in politics, about what the real is. At first, I thought that the issue around his projects could be on reality, but then I realised that his goal would be to make his architectural ideal visible. I think this is an interesting topic. Some of you students, when you work in real offices, you will find yourself wanting to do some good things, but that will not be possible because often customers will not be interested. Despite this, architecture has the tools to express the things it wants to do and has always done so in the history of architecture by creating ideal architectures through drawing. Remember some famous names like Ledoux, Boullée and Schinkel himself? They represented their idea, what they wanted to express, and I think this is a serious and legitimate aspect that concerns both the design and the tools that today can make you doubt whether a building was really built. But this is not the argument, it is the conceptual idea that Antonino Cardillo wants to express. He came from Trapani, a city on the west coast of Sicily. He studied in Palermo and gave some classes at the Architectural Association and other schools. This afternoon he told me that returning to Sicily from London was very important to him. Welcome! We look forward to hearing your conference.

A synchronicity of cultures and civilisations

This conference is on the theme of creative process consciousness. Consciousness almost never emerges the moment the work is created, but only afterwards. I believe that this is relevant for the development of a code that is not the only consequence of the circumstances. The representation of the work has always been a fundamental aspect of my discourse on architecture. I will then present seven images of my projects, all of which I have photographed myself. These works explore the idea of a sacred universe, where cultures and civilisations, ancient and recent, come together in singularities that tell of how the Psyche has diversified and projected its contents in the different eras and different places of the world. A few days ago, I assigned titles to these images, which propose interpretations of each work. […]

Antonino Cardillo. A synchronicity of cultures and civilisations

Poster ‘Antonino Cardillo. A synchronicity of cultures and civilisations’ part of Johannes Kister’s Dessauer Gespräche lecture series.


  • Johannes Kister, ‘Vortragsreihe: Dessauer Gespräche’ (pdf), in Next to Bauhaus, vol. 2, ed. Matthias Hoehne, Hochschule Anhalt, Dessau Institute of Architecture, March 2020, pp. 216‑217.