Soft Landing - Katrin Terstegen & Vantieghem Talebi   

Sunday, April 21st – 5:30pm

Please join us for the fifth event of Soft Landing: Katrin Terstegen & Vantieghem Talebi in conversation at the VDL Research House.


The Series

Historically, Los Angeles was seen as a place both free from tradition and a fertile ground for experimentation. Architects in the 1970’s and 80's, faced with a different regulatory environment than today, practiced with a sense of looseness. They borrowed both the artists’ attitudes and the logic of Southern California’s standard and vernacular construction. Architecture at that time found a soft landing in the city, yielding a wealth of experimental buildings that became part of Los Angeles' architectural DNA.

Today, an emerging generation of architects find themselves practicing in a wholly different environment. With byzantine bureaucratic constraints, heightened awareness of growing social and environmental challenges, and more recently, a world still reverberating with the effects of a global pandemic, the L.A. Forum and VDL’s new event series Soft-Landing asks a group of emerging practitioners to discuss their work in the face of these circumstances: What embedded knowledge does one need to have in one's practice to create a soft landing today?  How do architectural practices find opportunities for experimentation while navigating various economic and bureaucratic constraints as well as  pressing social and environmental challenges? How does the built environment of Los Angeles influence their work? 

Each event of the series invites two practices to present their work in pairs. Speakers will discuss one of their projects and a building in Los Angeles that informs their work. A conversation with the public will follow the presentations.

The Speakers



KATRINTERSTEGEN is an architecture studio based in Los Angeles, California, committed to creating work that is both site-specific and tailored to the brief yet speaks a universal language that builds upon the lineage of established typologies. The firm aims to conceive spaces that transcend the ordinary using everyday means. The studio's portfolio includes private residences, art studios and exhibition spaces, as well as retail projects, many of which have been commissioned by artists or clients affiliated with the art world.


Katrin Terstegen is a licensed architect and an educator. She is a professor in the Architecture Department at Cal Poly Pomona and has previously held teaching appointments at the Technical University Berlin, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and the University of California in Los Angeles. Katrin has lectured and served on juries at numerous institutions both nationally and internationally. She served on the Board of Directors of the non-profit LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, including a term as President in 2019. In her research, she examines the language of materials and construction, and is currently working on a book featuring conversations with international architects on this subject, to be published by Lund Humphries. Katrin holds a Bachelor and a Master of Architecture from the Technical University Berlin, as well as a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Westminster in London, and has also studied architecture at the ETSAB in Barcelona.

Vantieghem Talebi

Vantieghem Talebi is an international architecture and design practice founded by Paul Vantieghem and Raha Talebi; dedicated to the betterment of design environments of all sizes and things of beauty. Their ongoing projects span various programs and scales, ranging from exhibitions, private residences, industrial developments to large scale headquarters and urban masterplans.

Paul graduated from Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Ghent and KU Leuven in Belgium. Subsequent to his studies, Paul began working with Stéphane Beel Architects on several projects, including the Courthouse in Ghent. He then went on to join the architects’ practice of Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland. There he worked, amongst other projects, on the Tate Modern Extension in London as well as the Bordeaux Stadium.

Raha obtained her Bachelor of Architecture Professional Degree from The Cooper Union for Art and Architecture. She continued her studies at The Harvard Graduate School of Design, graduating MArch II, Master in Architecture. She previously worked with FOA in London, UK and Herzog de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland where she worked amongst other projects, on the M+ Museum and Offices in Hong Kong as well as The Powerhouse Arts in Brooklyn.


This program is presented by the L.A. Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and the VDL Research House.

Image Credits:


Image 02: House of Cards, Vantieghem Talebi.

Image 03: House of Cabinets, KATRINTERSTEGEN

Image 04: Untitled, Vantieghem Talebi.