Regine Leibinger and Frank Barkow of Barkow Leibinger have a history of evoking classical modernism while gazing squarely into the future. Founded in a Berlin-Schöneberg bedroom in 1993, their practice is now ranked in the top three of German architecture studios, with more than ninety employees, and offices in Berlin and New York. The German-American couple first met as architecture students at Harvard University.
Later they returned as guest professors and have drawn on academic research and rigorous experimentation ever since. From their colossal industrial complexes, bespoke prototypes and futuristic installations to the small-scale home: the studio deploys the latest knowledge, materials, and fabrication techniques to create space with purpose. Even more so, Barkow Leibinger use their practice to respond to global challenges in ways only architects can. During a visit to their Berlin studio the duo explain what that means - and why you have to become your own expert.