Aga Khan Program Lecture: Catherine Mosbach, “Design is a Language: Being Receptive, Being in Motion”

The shadow of a person taking a photo cast on desert sand.

A recording of this event is available with audio description.

Event Description

Drawing works both ways. Behind the outline, there is a goal to be reached: to give visibility to the masses in the process of being produced. It is only a revelation of possibilities. It is clearly the outline that produces the narrative. The masses evolve at their own pace, whether micro or macro. The outlines are a matter of a ‘self’, of a ‘singular’ that exposes itself to the ‘multiple’; for the time being, we don’t know about tomorrow.

What would be our sensitive imprint if we gave up on interpretation, in other words, on the subtle interplay between the eye, sensitivity, and the raw material of a world that we look at and that looks back at us?

What would this imprint-trace-landscape-desire be if we gave up drawing, an instrument of open dialogue, revealing the living ongoing, which teaches us and helps us evolve in our relationship with the host land and the beings who inhabit it?

Passing on is a matter of solidarity, relay, memory, and transition from one state to another. Our practices are rooted in these different strata of ‘reading’ and their ‘possible embodiment’ into new uses.


Portrait of Catherine Mosbach.Catherine Mosbach is a landscape architect and the founder of Paris-based design firm mosbach paysagistes & the magazine Pages Paysages. Catherine’s key projects include the Solutre Archaeological Park in Saone-et-Loire, Walk Sluice of Saint-Denis, the Botanical Garden of Bordeaux, the other side in Quebec City, Shan Shui in Xian & Lost in Transition in Ulsan. She was the recipient of the Equerre D’argent award with Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa for the Louvre Lens Museum Park & was honored in the Iconic Concept Award category by the German Design Council and Platine Award by 15th Montreal for Phase Shifts Park in Taichung. The team was honored Firm of the Year 2021 in Landscape and Urban Design by Architecture Master Prize Los Angeles. Catherine was named a knight of the Legion of Honour proposed by the President of the Republic Francois Hollande in 2016. “In the net of desires” with ovvo studio explores the infinitesimal of the living by XXI Triennale de Milano 2017. Some of her latest essays are ‘emersion’, dialog Jerome Boutterin with Catherine Mosbach, Jerome Boutterin Reboot 1999-2022, (eds.) snoeck MMBOOKS BELGIQUE and ‘de passage la couleur en questions, directe by Michel Menu, Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Romain Thomas; Collection la Nature de l’oeuvre, ed Hermann, 2023.

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