Olafur Eliasson (Copenhagen, 1967) studied at the Royal Academy of the Arts in Copenhagen between 1989 and 1995. He represented Denmark in the 2003 Venice Biennale and has exhibited his work at numerous international museums. His work is part of private and public collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles and Tate Modern in London, where his seminal work The weather project was exhibited. Eliasson lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen.
Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The weather project at Tate Modern, London. Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, a survey exhibition organised by SFMOMA in 2007, travelled until 2010 to various venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
As professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Eliasson founded the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute of Space Experiments) in 2009, an innovative model of arts education. In 2012, he launched Little Sun, a solar-powered lamp developed together with the engineer Frederik Ottesen to improve the lives of the approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide without access to electricity. Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, for which he created the façade in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects, was awarded the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013.
Verklighetsmaskiner (Reality machines) at t he Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 2015, became the museum’s most visited show by a living artist. In 2016 Eliasson created a series of interventions for the palace and gardens of Versailles, including an enormous artificial waterfall that cascaded into the Grand Canal.
His other projects include Studio Other Spaces, an international office for art and architecture which he founded in Berlin in 2014 with architect Sebastian Behmann; and Little Sun, a social business and global project providing clean, affordable light and encouraging sustainable development, with engineer Frederik Ottesen.
Noteworthy achievements at the urban and architectural scale include the masterplan for a creative hub in the City of Guadalajara, the renovation of the Agnelli Foundation HQ in Torino, the Future Food District at Expo Milano 2015, and the Digital Water Pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008. Product design projects range from experimental furniture for Cassina to light installations for Artemide, to responsive seating systems with Vitra.
In all these circumstances, the studio investigated the ways in which new technologies, including digital sensors and portable devices, are changing both the built environment and everyday life. The works of the practice have been featured in publications worldwide, including The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera, Domus. The projects of the studio have been exhibited in cultural venues such as the Venice Biennale, New York’s MoMA, Istanbul Design Biennial, and many others.
Carlo Ratti Associati is the only design firm whose works have been featured twice in TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year” list – respectively with the Digital Water Pavilion in 2007, and the Copenhagen Wheel in 2014. In the last years, the office has been involved in the launch of Makr Shakr, a startup producing the world’s first robotic bar system.