Skip to main content

Markus Berger

Markus Berger is a registered architect (SBA) in the Netherlands and principal of the Providence-based art/design studio InsideOut Design. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the journal Int|AR, which encompasses issues of adaptive reuse, preservation, conservation and spatial alteration. Through his work, research, writing and teaching, Berger critiques conventional architectural practices and explores how art and design modifications and interventions can activate change in the built environment. His recent publications include the essays Change, Preservation and Adaptive Reuse (past. present. future, RISD, 2011); (In)convertability and Memory (Int|AR 4, 2012); Constructing Change: Developing a Theory for Adaptive Reuse (Common Ground Publishing, 2012); Left over spaces: Rediscovering Qualities for Interior Architecture ([In]arch Proceedings, Universitas Indonesia, 2014); and the forthcoming article Death of the Architect: Appropriation and Interior Architecture (Interior Architecture Theory Reader, Routledge).

Academic research/areas of interest

Forms of modification, transformation and intervention are central to Berger's research and work as an artist, architect, designer, editor and writer. “Taking over” something already existing (an ordinary object or another work of architecture or art) to make a “new” work initiates a whole set of radical potentialities. Appropriation unsettles ideas of single authorship, originality and authenticity established by traditional art history, and putting the “old” and the “new” together in inventive configurations sets into motion the many possibilities of recontextualization. In architecture and art, appropriation unsettles our preconceived notions of things/objects and their place in time, and shows us the creative potential of rendering multiple points of view and non-linear time. Appropriations as acts of intervention have thus destabilized established meaning and created new ones.

Berger’s current work engages discarded spaces, buildings, objects and materials by, rather than seeing them as unwanted or broken, deconstructing and reinterpreting them to find new meaning, form and expression. The initial forms, uses and stories of these objects, as well as what was lost from them when they were discarded, are a central part of this critical inquiry. The process of reconstruction or remaking responds to these stories and inquiries and, through appropriation, imbues each one of them with an identity that is both its own as well as one shaped by its new and vital relationship Berger establishes between maker/appropriator and object.

Fall 2019 Courses

  • INTAR-8965-01 Collaborative Study
  • INTAR-2397-01 Design Thesis Prep
  • FAV-8900-01 ISP Major
  • INTAR-8900-03 ISP Major
  • INTAR-2304-01 Structures & Materials For Adaptive Reuse

Spring 2020 Courses

  • INTAR-2398-01 Design Thesis
  • INTAR-2361-01 Principles Of Adaptive Reuse
  • INTAR-2379-01 Theory Wkshp: Investigating Interiority
  • DIPA, Technische Universitat Wien