Therme Art Program

Culture and Crisis: The Urgent Role of Culture and Creativity in Crisis

Therme Forum at Design Miami/ Basel 2019

COVID-19 has shown the incompatibility of certain cultural practices and modes of behaviour with continued human life. The doorknob, for example is known to transmit disease, but is hardwired in contemporary human life. It should have been replaced long ago, but it wasn’t – due to cultural programming. This example shows that culture plays a much more important role than we generally admit. No change can happen without taking cultural practices into account.

To ensure the viability of future life, large-scale cultural adaptation is now needed. This interdisciplinary session will consider the role of culture in this widest possible sense, exploring the urgency in developing new cultural technologies.



David Adjaye; Founder & Principal Architect, Adjaye Associates
Adrien Cheng, Entrepreneur
Nicolai Frahm; Co-founder, Frahm & Frahm
Bjarke Ingels, Architect
Svetlana Marich; International Director, Phillips and Co-founder,
Hans Ulrich Obrist (Keynote Speaker); Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries
Simon de Pury; Art Auctioneer, Advisor & Collector
Roya Sachs; Curator, Lever House Art Collection
Sarah Wilson, Professor of Modern & Contemporary Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art
Moderated by Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Vice President, Therme Group and Curator, Therme Art Program


5–5.15 PM Welcome reception
5.15 –5.30 PM Keynote speech
5.30 –5.45 PM Introduction of contributors
5.45 PM onwards Discussion with contributors


To register as an attendee for this session of the Wellbeing City Culture Forum please rsvp to