IIDEXCanada Blog

Art & Optimism: SO–IL’s Florian Idenburg to Speak at IIDEXCanada 2017

Art & Optimism: SO–IL’s Florian Idenburg to Speak at IIDEXCanada 2017

Founding Principal Florian Idenburg is coming to IIDEXCanada 2017. Together with Jing Liu, Idenburg co-founded SO–IL to realize experiential ideas. Guiding a firm that has worked with many of the leading art institutions around the world, Idenburg enthusiastically experiments in a range of media from temporary installations to large-scale built works that have won critical awards around the world.

SO–IL’s work is marked by a strong direction and purpose while leaving space for interpretation, change, and transformation. Every structure creates moments of contemplation and energetic engagement. Beauty and clarity in forms and surfaces are core to SO–IL’s practice. To achieve this vision, the office uses advanced digital tools in combination with traditional craft, model-making, physical testing, mock-ups and material innovation. In his writing, Idenburg has reflected on his own architectural activities as they relate to the position of contemporary architecture and the larger framework of cultural production.

Prior to founding SO–IL, Idenburg worked with Pritzker laureates Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), leading the design teams for the Glass Pavilion in Toledo, Ohio and The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. He is Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he currently leads a three-year research project on transformations in the workplace. Idenburg’s essays and reviews are frequently published in Abitare, Domus, A+U, Mark and Metropolis.

Bad Thoughts (2014) is a collection of spaces that allows visitors to experience space through the discovery of personal connections and insights.
Bad Thoughts (2014) is a collection of spaces that allows visitors to experience space through the discovery of personal connections and insights.

From their offices in New York, SO–IL envisions spaces for culture, learning and innovation and their work includes buildings, interiors, furniture and landscapes. They are a collective of diverse thinkers and makers, engaging with the everchanging social, economic and natural environment through active dialogue that considers context, function, and opportunity. SO–IL believes that physical structures have the power to offer a sense of wonder and place—platforms of exchange for generous, sensorial and visceral experiences.

SO–IL was founded by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in 2008, and is currently led together with Ilias Papageorgiou as the third principal. In 2016, the firm received a Progressive Architecture Award for their Amant art space in New York City and in 2012, Fast Company magazine awarded them an Innovation By Design award which showcases inspiring and ingenious design solutions. Other awards include an Emerging Voices Award in 2013 and in 2010 the firm received an AIA New Practices Award and the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Prize.

SO-IL has lectured in leading design centres around the world such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Design Miami/Basel and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Clients have included Benetton, Frieze Art Fair, IDEO, Knoll, Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Versace and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Identical symmetrical spaces are divided up for a workspace defined by translucence, connectivity and the careful division of a shared working environment.
Identical symmetrical spaces are divided up for a workspace defined by translucence, connectivity and the careful division of a shared working environment.

Images: Florian Idenburg, 2016; Credit: SO-IL
SO-IL Kukje Gallery-K3 (2013) in Seoul, South Korea—part of a larger

master plan of the gallery’s campus in the historic urban fabric of Sogyeok-dong.
Credit: Iwan Baan