I am architect living and working in Copenhagen, currently running my own architecture studio (Jonathan Houser ApS, cvr: 37446114) alongside teaching at The Royal Academy of Art, School of Architecture.
The driving force in my work is the search for ideas that can act as the foundation of each project – clear ideas for every project that hold the promise of unfolding a world unique to the task at hand.
Depending on the requirements of the individual project I engage in collaborative work with various professionals from the fields of art, science and engineering in order to give client and project the highest level of professional advice.
Since receiving my Masters Diploma in Architecture from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2014 I worked at Lundgaard and Tranberg Architects where I was design architect on the winning competition for a “Museum for the Danish Resistance 1940–45” which opened in 2020. I also took part in the development of schematic design for the new “Museum of Natural History” that is under construction within the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen.
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Architecture and film installation, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art - "The Moon", 2018
Made in collaboration with Michael Madsen.
With support from: Det Danske Filminstitut, Statens Kunstfond, Dreyers Fond, Nationalbankens Jubilæumsfond, Statens Værksteder for Kunst.
Photo: Hampus Berndtson
Coming from The Moon exhibition and entering the installation space, a sense of otherness is evoked by an all blue interior with rounded corners. A space that creates a sense of infinity while at the same time feeling dense and claustrophobic – an introvert space with no relationship to the exterior. The blue color being associated with planet earth, the night sky and CGI film sets. A large circular aluminum table sits in the middle of the room, lighted by a hovering disk above it and standing on 21 legs, each having a unique shape cut from 20mm aluminum sheets.
The floor beneath the table is dotted with lights in odd shapes filtering through holes in the table creating a mysterious glow of unknown silhouettes in the hall of columns underneath. Together the light disk, the table and the shadows form a sort of cosmology reminiscent of the relationship between sun, earth and moon. Something, which can also be experienced when standing at the table seeing the horizon created between the light disk and the table surface.
The installation for the Louisiana Moon Exhibition has several agendas. The functional aspects of the installation are interwoven with experiential and material levels, into a form that is both simple, clear and at the same time ambitiously multifaceted, drawing its principles on a wide range of associations and references.
On a functional level the installation is first and foremost a space for recruiting crew members on a fictional multigenerational space odyssey as imagined in the documentary film and trans media project: THE SEARCH. In the installation the museum guests can test themselves through interaction with an app developed for the purpose and presented in the installation on tablet screens and hereby be judged whether they are suitable for the mission as its conveyed by the overall project. The questions posed to the museum audience are based on the narrative of the documentary film and focuses on the existential and philosophical implications of multigenerational space travel and the potential loss of humanity that applies to such an endeavour.
The entire scene is meant to be both both familiar and alien – a place of ritual perhaps?
The concrete reality of the aluminum table surface contrasts the abstract and scale less qualities of the blue space thus making each seem more real and more unreal. A sort of concrete fictional space is established in this dialogue – an aspect closely related to themes investigated in the documentary film THE SEARCH, which the installation is also part of.
The architecture of the table is based on the idea of Giuolio Camillos memory theatre, its conception, material and formality meant to embody an idea of planet earth – a table of remembrance around which crucial decisions about the mission can be made.
Conceptually the tabletop is conceived as a palimpsest of seven hand-traced layers combined to one 20mm thick aluminum plate. The layers are combined to one form that unveils itself in holes cut through the tabletop. The table thus represents certain aspects of planet earth ranging from microscopic images to images of ephemeral phenomena. From a section through the mineral composites of granite to the imaginary plan of Rome as drawn by Piranesi.
This recipe for creating the table results in an artifact with a surface dotted with signs of multiple meanings intersecting and blurring each other, thus becoming a slice of time related to ancient Sanskrit engravings with meanings lost and language eroded. A manmade fossil, which depending on the point of view, is both an archaic table from the past or perhaps a fragment of the future.