Participants in the Wellbeing Culture Forum "Wellbeing Wednesday" sessions to date.
Wellbeing Culture Forum: Summer Newsletter
At a time when cities have been standing still, Therme Art has launched the Wellbeing Culture Forum, an online discussion series, which brings together experts in fields such as art, design, urban planning and science to debate the role that culture can have in enhancing wellbeing in our urban environments.
Taking place on a weekly basis in the form of “Wellbeing Wednesdays,” the programme comprises topics on public space, more considered urban planning and architecture and how artists might liberate our cities. At the end of each event, speakers are asked for input to be further developed into a statement for incorporation in the Wellbeing Manifesto. This can be used by individuals and organisations for positive cultural change.
This new series was initiated by Therme Art and curated by Mikolaj Sekutowicz, who is co-hosting each panel discussion together with various partners and partner institutions from the private and public sector.
In addition to being broadcast on our website and digital channels, we have partnered with leading design platform Dezeen, to host the first three public talks, as part of their Virtual Design Festival. The Festival is the world's first online design festival, taking place from Wednesday 15 April to 30 June, the programme includes online talks, lectures, movies, product launches to explore how design can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.
Closed Curatorial Sessions
A series of initial ‘closed sessions' brought together Therme Art’s curatorial and advisory board to lay out a blueprint for the months ahead. Running since April, previous closed Forum discussions have included: teamLab’s Takashi Kudo; botanist and author Stefano Mancuso, and art historian Professor Sarah Wilson; being led by architect Arthur Mamou-Mani – who took participants on a virtual tour of Burning Man – as well as Egill Saebjornsson, the artist recently commissioned to create an installation for Therme Bucharest.
These 'closed sessions' identified the key topics and subsequent framework of the Forum series.
Art in Architecture with the Serpentine Galleries
On 27 May, over 10,000 viewers tuned in worldwide to watch the live discussion Art in Architecture. Moderated by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and Therme Art CEO Mikolaj Sekutowicz. The talk was hosted in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries and was streamed live on the institutions' various channels. The discussion featured the Serpentine Pavilion architects Frida Escobedo (2018), Junya Ishigami (2019), and Sumayya Vally (2020/21), along with artist Torkwase Dyson and architect and urban planner, Stefano Boeri.
Inspired by the Serpentine Galleries' annual architecture pavilion, this inaugural public session explored the relationship between art and architecture and the benefits of encouraging exchange between the two disciplines for a more attuned thoughtful built environment.
Culture of Live Events: Resigning Common Rituals
On 17 June,Culture of Live Events: Resigning Common Rituals was co-moderated by Art Basel Global Director Marc Spiegler, with Es Devlin (Artist and designer), John McGrath (Manchester International Festival and The Factory), Franklin Sirmans (PAMM Miami), Zoé Whitley (Chisenhale Gallery), Constantin Chiriac (Sibiu International Theatre Festival and Radu Stanca National Theatre Sibiu), as well as Therme Group’s Chairman and CEO, Dr Robert C. Hanea. The talk was part of Therme Art’s ongoing partnership with Manchester International Festival (MIF) and the Factory and Art Basel.
Here the panel debated the future of large events and gatherings, which have been cancelled or postponed during the global lockdown. In addition, they spoke about how such gatherings had gained a whole new significance in recent weeks. It is evident that people and communities have already started to use public space differently in 2020, and now more than ever, we must now design our cities provide adequately for all voices in society.
As part of the ongoing partnership of Therme Art and the British Council, on 24 June theSocial Culture of Cities was led by the British Council’s Director of Visual Arts, Emma Dexter. This session asked what the role of arts and culture is in re-shaping the fabric of our cities and public spaces, looking at how we can synchronize art, architecture, and everyday life anew.
The panel included Sonia Boyce RA; OBE, Artist, representing the UK at La Biennale d’Arte Venezia 2022, Elvira Dyangani Ose; Director, The Showroom, London, David Kohn; Architect, David Kohn Architects Ltd, Cedar Lewisohn; Curator, The Southbank Centre, Gavin Wade; Artist-Curator and Director, Eastside Projects, Suzy Willson; Artistic Director, Clod Ensemble.
Architectures of Health and Happiness: The Gains of Collobarative Design with the British Council
The second public session with the British Council took place on 29 July. EntitledArchitectures of Health and Happiness - The Gains of Collobarative Design, the talk brought together key figures in art, culture and urbanism to discuss design equality and happiness through design in our cities. Moderated by Sevra Davis, the British Council’s Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion and Therme Art Curator and CEO, Mikolaj Sekutowicz. The panel included Jayden Ali; Founding Director, JA Projects, Ken Arnold; Creative Director, Wellcome, Mak Gilchrist; Founding Director, The Edible Bus Stop, Sian Griffiths; Emeritus Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Oliver Heath; Biophilic Design consultant and lecturer, Maria Adebowale-Schwarte; CEO, Foundation for Future London and Carolyn Steel; Author, Hungry City and Sitopia.
Wellbeing Culture Forum
The Wellbeing Culture Forum is a series of discussions in virtual environments catalysed by the present pandemic. Gathering experts from diverse fields, the series will foster the necessary collaboration and knowledge transfer to realise a vision of the city and its cultural activity in symbiosis with the natural world, generating a holistic approach towards the health of humanity. The series was initiated by Therme Art and curated by Mikolaj Sekutowicz, who is co-hosting each panel discussion together with various partners and partner institutions from the private and public sector.
The Wellbeing Culture Forum hosts diverse conversations about culture which are designed to create ‘insights for action.' At the end of each event, speakers will be asked for input to be further developed into a statement for incorporation in the Wellbeing Manifesto.
Therme Art works with internationally renowned artists and architects, as well as emerging talents, to commission and develop site-specific artistic projects that challenge the limitations of conventional exhibition spaces and redefine contemporary art viewing. Therme Art provides the resources and means required to fulfil artists’ visions which cannot be realised in galleries or museums; regardless of their complexity, production, installation and long-term maintenance. Therme Art’s artists challenge the limitations of conventional art spaces, whether it be playing with the architectural elements of an environment, developing entire ecosystems or creating immersive installations that transform visitors’ experiences.
Therme Group’s vision is to create the world’s most advanced wellbeing resorts, achieved by harnessing the complex interplay of nature, technology and culture. By combining the traditions of global thermal bathing with an indoor tropical ecosystem, Therme Group’s resorts deliver an experience that enhances mind, body and soul.
Therme Group’s resorts are more than relaxing and fun places to meet, they nurture mental and physical health and offer vital pieces of public and social infrastructure. For more than 20 years, the Therme wellbeing resort concept has been transforming how people in Europe spend their free time. Current Therme concept facilities welcome around 3.4 million visitors per year, and active new projects are under development in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.