Discipline: Architecture – design

Kai Franz

Discipline: Architecture – design
Region: Providence, RI and Berlin, GERMANY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2018

Kai Franz was born in Cologne, Germany. Today he lives and works in Providence, RI and Berlin. His work could be seen as “an archeology of digital architecture” that manifests in machine produced drawings, sculptures, films, and architecture. Questions of authorship are at the heart of Franz’s practice, which aims to triangle concerns of minimalism and abstract expressionism with the current algorithmic condition.

Kai studied architecture at RWTH Aachen, Germany and at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He worked for OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and New York. As a Fulbright fellow, he then enrolled in an MFA program at RISD. In 2012, Kai graduated with honors from the Masters program in architecture at Princeton University.

Since 2007 Kai has taught in architecture and the fine arts at ETH Zurich, McGill University and Princeton University. Today Kai is an assistant professor at RISD. He is the recipient of the 2011 KPF Traveling Fellowship and was a yearlong fellow in the artist-in-residence program at the Akademie Schloss Solitude. Most recently, Kai exhibited his work in a solo exhibition at the Bell Gallery at Brown University. In 2015, Edition Solitude published “Serial Nature”, a book that critically examines Franz’s practice and work. At MacDowell in 2018, he plopped a series of new sculptures including a large black sausage and a hypercube. Furthermore, Kai hacked a common 3D printer and successfully 3D printed hair. The hairy Utah Teapot printed at the MacDowell will be exhibited at the RISD Museum in 2019.



Kai Franz worked in the Heinz studio.

The icehouse, built of fieldstone in 1914–1915, was a practical part of Marian MacDowell’s plan for a self-sufficient farm. Winter ice cut from a nearby pond was stored here for summer use on the property. Idle since 1940, it was a handsome but outdated farm building. In 1995, Mrs. Drue Heinz, a vice chairman…

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