Exhibits (8)

These special exhibits present representative videos from the Archive in contexts devised by guest curators. The Archive was designed to be open-ended rather than didactic, and these idiosyncratic responses are offered not as sanctioned interpretations, but as encouragement to visitors to dive in and explore on their own.
Shigeru Ban & Pritzker laureates
Curators:
Since 1979, the "Nobel Prize of architecture" has been awarded to architects who were...
Robotic visions and actualities
Curators:
SCI-Arc’s Robot House opened for business in...
Architects / Drawing
Curators:
"When I draw, the drawing is not a step toward the built but an autonomous reality that I try to anticipate." (Raimund...
Videos of A Confederacy of Heretics The Architecture...
Lebbeus Woods 1940-2012
Lebbeus Woods died October 30 in New York. The
Which Mid-Century?
Curators:
A Google search of ”California mid-century modernism” yields more than five million hits. Post-WWII California modernism is...
Unfrozen Music (and Dancing)
Curators:
There’s a lot of talk archived in SMA, but it would be wrong to assume that’s all there is. Since its start, SCI-Arc has...
Clips From The Digital Revolution
Curators:
The consumer video revolution which made the SCI-Arc Media Archive possible coincided with the revolution in personal...

Shigeru Ban & Pritzker laureates

Since 1979, the “Nobel Prize of architecture” has been awarded to architects who were familiar guests at SCI-Arc before they were generally known. Shigeru Ban, the 2014 laureate, began in architecture as a student at SCI-Arc 1977 to 1980.

Here is a selection from the SCI-Arc Media Archive featuring Pritzker laureates, in the order of their award, with the year of their talk:

  • 1981: James Stirling in 1976
  • 1985: Hans Hollein in 1987
  • 1989: Frank O. Gehry in 1976
  • 1994: Christian de Portzamparc in 1998
  • 1995: Tadao Ando in 1986
  • 1996: Rafael Moneo in 1998
  • 2000: Rem Koolhaas in 1983
  • 2004: Zaha Hadid in 1985
  • 2005: Thom Mayne in 1997
  • 2007: Richard Rogers in 1977
  • 2009: Peter Zumthor in 1988
  • 2010: Kazuyo Sejima in 1999
  • 2013: Toyo Ito in 1990
  • 2014: Shiregu Ban in 2005

Clips

James Stirling-clip_3227
James Stirling-clip_3227
Hans Hollein Student Discussion-clip_5800
Hans Hollein Student Discussion-clip_5800
Frank Gehry And Roland Coate-clip_3457
Frank Gehry And Roland Coate-clip_3457
Christian De Portzamparc Part One-clip_6105
Christian De Portzamparc Part One-clip_6105
Portzamparc describes his project for the Cité de la Musique near Paris. It consists of a large music and performing arts...
Tadao Ando Part Three-clip_3173
Tadao Ando Part Three-clip_3173
Rafael Moneo-clip_6195
Rafael Moneo-clip_6195
Rem Koolhaas Parc De La Villette Competition...
Rem Koolhaas Parc De La Villette Competition Entry-clip_760
Zaha Hadid-clip_715
Zaha Hadid-clip_715
Zaha Hadid describes the Peak competition project, a Leisure Club located at a peak of a mountain overlooking the city of Hong...
Thom Mayne-clip_978
Thom Mayne-clip_978
Themes:
Mayne relates his experience and personal history beginning as both an architect and an educator in the late Sixties and early...
Richard Rogers Conversation At SCI-Arc-clip_5897
Richard Rogers Conversation At SCI-Arc-clip_5897
Peter Zumthor-clip_2477
Peter Zumthor-clip_2477
Zumthor discusses materials in architecture and their poetic qualities. He suggests that materials must respond to our...
Kazuyo Sejima-clip_2147
Kazuyo Sejima-clip_2147
With Birgitta Wohl providing English translation, Kazuyo Sejima presents a proposal for a multimedia center in Gifu, Japan. She...
Toyo Ito-clip_1815
Toyo Ito-clip_1815
Shigeru Ban
Shigeru Ban

Robotic visions and actualities

SCI-Arc’s Robot House opened for business in 2011, as part of Emerging Systems and Technologies/Media (ESTM) program, but automated production (and destruction) has been part of the conversation for decades, as these clips indicate.

The original dates of the lectures are as follows:

  • Carolyn Dry, 1983
  • Marc Pauline, 10/26/1988
  • Peter Cook, 11/5/1997
  • Natalie Jeremijenko, 9/22/2003
  • Volkan Alkanoglu, 10/2/2009
  • Material Beyond Materials Panel 4 Manufacturing Construction, 3/26/11
  • Brandon Kruysman and Jonathan Proto, 4/13/2012

Clips

Carolyn Dry
Carolyn Dry
Mark Pauline Survival Research Laboratories
Mark Pauline Survival Research Laboratories
Peter Cook Metamorphose Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Peter Cook Metamorphose Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Peter Cook examines several projects he defines as exemplary examples of his design methodology. Using a set of twelve words,...
Natalie Jeremijenko
Natalie Jeremijenko
Volkan Alkanoglu On Distortion
Volkan Alkanoglu On Distortion
Material Beyond Materials Panel 4 Manufacturing...
Material Beyond Materials Panel 4 Manufacturing Construction
Brandon Kruysman and Jonathan Proto Robo Lab
Brandon Kruysman and Jonathan Proto Robo Lab
Brandon Kruysman and Jonathan Proto were awarded the first SCI-Arc robot research and teaching fellowship upon their graduation...

Architects / Drawing

When I draw, the drawing is not a step toward the built but an autonomous reality that I try to anticipate.” (Raimund Abraham, Bomb magazine, Fall 2001)

In these clips we see a range of approaches to architectural drawing, plus a range of interpretative strategies. Peter Cook is caught in 1982 walking a group through an exhibit of his and Ron Herron’s drawings. That same year, Bernard Tschumi discusses his Manhattan Transcripts project and Raimund Abraham talks about the role of drawing in his process. Robin Evans in 1985 steps back for a long view of the relationship between geometry and architecture. The lectures by Claude Parent (1998) and José Oubrerie (2011) actively incorporated drawing as performance. Marcelyn Gow brings the discussion up to date with a study of the function of line in projects by SCI-Arc Graduate Thesis students.

Clips

Peter Cook Gallery Talk-clip_3254
Peter Cook Gallery Talk-clip_3254
Bernard Tschumi Manhattan Transcripts-clip_2502
Bernard Tschumi Manhattan Transcripts-clip_2502
Raimund Abraham
Raimund Abraham
Robin Evans Part One-clip_6884
Robin Evans Part One-clip_6884
Claude Parent Part One-clip_3383
Claude Parent Part One-clip_3383
José Oubrerie-clip_6724
José Oubrerie-clip_6724
Marcelyn Gow Minutiae-clip_8478
Marcelyn Gow Minutiae-clip_8478

Videos of A Confederacy of Heretics The Architecture Gallery 1979

[Photograph ©1980 Ave Pildas]

The following videos compliment A Confederacy of Heretics, an exhibition that examines the pivotal role played by the temporary gallery held in the home of architect Thom Mayne for several weeks in 1979. Los Angeles’ first gallery exclusively dedicated to architecture, the Architecture Gallery staged ten weekly exhibitions by both young and established Los Angeles practitioners.

Each of the original Architecture Gallery exhibitions included a monitor connected to a reel-to-reel deck. Displayed on the monitor was a black-and-white video of a lecture by the featured architect, presented a few days earlier. Presented here are the original lectures by Coy Howard (October 3, 1979), Eugene Kupper (October 10), Frederick Fisher (October 24), Frank Dimster (October 31), Frank O. Gehry (November 7), Peter de Bretteville (November 14), Craig Hodgetts & Robert Mangurian (November 21), Thom Mayne & Michael Rotondi (November 28), Eric Owen Moss (December 5).

Coy Howard’s December 12 summing-up has yet to be located. The clip featuring Roland Coate Jr. is undated, and may be of a lecture prior to his October 17, 1979 presentation. Another video featuring Coate from 1976 is presented here, as well as Mud House, a documentary by Jesse Alexander and Leslie Schatz about a Coate house built in 1974.

Video in Southern California in 1979, was not a novelty: it was a featured player in a diverse array of contexts—entertainment, educational, artistic, activist and technological—and almost inevitably part of The Architecture Gallery.

 

A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, is on view at the SCI-Arc Gallery + SCI-Arc Library Gallery: March 29 – July 7, 2013.

Opening reception: Friday, March 29, 7pm

Exhibition discussion: Friday, April 5, 7pm

A Confederacy of Heretics Symposium: Friday, June 14, 3-9pm & Saturday, June 15, 10am-4pm

Exhibition curated by: Todd Gannon, Ewan Branda and Andrew Zago

Exhibition design: Zago Architecture

 

A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., an initiative celebrating Southern California’s lasting impact on modern architecture through exhibitions and programs organized by seventeen area cultural institutions from April through July 2013.

Major support for A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 is provided by the Getty Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Vinyl Institute and the Pasadena Art Alliance. The publication is underwritten in part by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund. Archival images provided by the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

SCI-Arc exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Clips

Coy Howard Erosion Discontinuity Incompleteness
Coy Howard Erosion Discontinuity Incompleteness
Thom Mayne announces the first of a series of eight lectures about nine selected Los Angeles architects. Mayne introduces Coy...
Eugene Kupper Part One
Eugene Kupper Part One
Eugene Kupper Part Two
Eugene Kupper Part Two
Roland Coate Jr Part Two-clip_7083
Roland Coate Jr Part Two-clip_7083
Frederick Fisher
Frederick Fisher
Thom Mayne introduces Fred Fisher, noting the quantity and quality of his work despite being one of the youngest architects in...
Frank Dimster
Frank Dimster
Frank O Gehry Part One
Frank O Gehry Part One
Frank O Gehry Part Two
Frank O Gehry Part Two
Peter De Bretteville
Peter De Bretteville
Themes:
Thom Mayne introduces Peter de Bretteville, who worked with Craig Hodgetts and Eugene Kupper in the firm Works,...
Thom Mayne And Michael Rotondi Of Morphosis
Thom Mayne And Michael Rotondi Of Morphosis
Eric Owen Moss Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism...
Eric Owen Moss Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism Part One
In a lecture titled Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism Versus I Like Hardware Stores, Eric Owen Moss discusses his...
Eric Owen Moss Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism...
Eric Owen Moss Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism Part Two
This video concludes"Eric Owen Moss Armageddon Or Polynesian Contextualism Versus I Like Hardware Stores," continuing Moss'...
Mud House
Mud House
A Confederacy of Heretics
A Confederacy of Heretics
Studio Works Part One
Studio Works Part One
Studio Works Part Two
Studio Works Part Two

Lebbeus Woods 1940-2012

Lebbeus Woods died October 30 in New York. The obituary in the Guardian features tributes from many colleagues and admirers, including Nigel Coates:

“He reminded us that to believe in the existence of architecture you need to feel it. Elaborate drawings of found spaces full of whirring sticks and lines of energy were genuine attempts to materialise the experience of space. Who else could do this? Nobody!”

The following lectures by Woods were recorded at SCI-Arc on October 20, 2003 and September 16, 1991.

Clips

Lebbeus Woods
Lebbeus Woods
Lebbeus Woods
Lebbeus Woods

Which Mid-Century?

A Google search of ”California mid-century modernism” yields more than five million hits. Post-WWII California modernism is so ubiquitous and popular, many may not realize this was not always the case.

In 1962, the year Esther McCoy’s monograph Modern California Houses celebrated the Case Study program, Craig Ellwood’s 1955 Case Study House #17 in Beverly Hills was radically renovated from, in John Chase’s words “a temple of modernism … to a temple to the Hollywood Regency style.”

For Reyner Banham, in 1971, post-war modernism in L.A. was “the style that nearly …,” a lost dream, that was glamorous but no longer relevant.

MOCA’s spectacular 1989 exhibit Blueprint for Modern Living, reframed post-war modernism for a new generation. Two years later, the Manchester City Art Galleries presented a comprehensive New Look: design in the fifties. The reach of both exhibits was extended by their authoritative and encyclopedic catalogs.

By the mid-Nineties, “mid-century” was in vogue. Online retailer Design Within Reach began making, in its own words, “authentic modern design accessible” in 1999. The next year Dwell magazine started—an unpropitious moment to start a print magazine—but has thrived with its message of being “at home in the modern world.”

Among the resources on mid-century design in SMA, are lectures by Case Study architects Thornton Abell, Charles & Ray Eames, Craig Ellwood, Whitney Smith, Raphael Soriano.

Also included are essential California modernists Harwell Hamilton Harris, John Lautner, and Ray Kappe, and an edited sequence of interviews from 1976 with John Lautner, Craig Ellwood, Ray Kappe, Daniel Dworsky, Leroy Miller, and Frank Gehry.

Reyner Banham and Esther McCoy, historians of modernism in Los Angeles, are also represented. McCoy’s video captures her tribute to another mid-century L.A. icon, Konrad Wachsmann.

[Image: The cover of the orginal Reinhold Publishing edition of Esther McCoy's Modern California Houses]

Clips

Charles Eames AIA Talk
Charles Eames AIA Talk
John Lautner
John Lautner
Raphael Soriano Part Two-clip_6628
Raphael Soriano Part Two-clip_6628
Raphael Soriano rapidly surveys his own buildings, from the first houses and shops. He stresses his extensive work in...
Thornton Abell And Whitney Smith
Thornton Abell And Whitney Smith
Harwell Hamilton Harris
Harwell Hamilton Harris
Ray Kappe
Ray Kappe
LA Twelve Interviews
LA Twelve Interviews
Reyner Banham Myths Meanings And Forms Of Twentieth...
Reyner Banham Myths Meanings And Forms Of Twentieth Century Architecture
Tribute To Konrad Wachsmann-clip_6037
Tribute To Konrad Wachsmann-clip_6037
Crombie Taylor describes the program and introduces Esther McCoy. McCoy discusses her personal relationship with Konrad...

Unfrozen Music (and Dancing)

There’s a lot of talk archived in SMA, but it would be wrong to assume that’s all there is. Since its start, SCI-Arc has provided a stage for music and dance. Not talk about music and dance, but actual performances.

Most  performances occurred for their own sake, as demonstrated by the clips of Rubén Ortiz Torre, and Matmos, and documented by Adhe Lahti’s posters for special concerts.

Other performances were inflected by the context of SCI-Arc, and prompted engagement with architecture. Choreographers Bella Lewitzky and Mehmet Sander presented demonstration performances. Dione Neutra and Konrad Wachsmann presented music related to specific architects. And Steve Roden employed the ambient sounds of SCI-Arc as compositional material.

[Image: Beaux-Arts Ball performers, mid-1970s, at SCI-Arc's original facility.]

Clips

Rubén Ortiz-Torres-clip_2180
Rubén Ortiz-Torres-clip_2180
Matmos Queer Assemblages-clip_3685
Matmos Queer Assemblages-clip_3685
Bella Lewitzky Dance A Motion Space Time Art Form
Bella Lewitzky Dance A Motion Space Time Art Form
Mehmet Sander
Mehmet Sander
Dione Neutra-clip_4367
Dione Neutra-clip_4367
Konrad Wachsmann On Charles Eames-clip_3077
Konrad Wachsmann On Charles Eames-clip_3077
Polytopes The Architecture Of Soundscapes Part...
Polytopes The Architecture Of Soundscapes Part One-clip_3763
Artist Steve Roden presents a live electronic piece created with audio and video samples collected from SCI-Arc.

Clips From The Digital Revolution

The consumer video revolution which made the SCI-Arc Media Archive possible coincided with the revolution in personal computing.

Prior to the mid-Seventies, access to both video and computers was limited to large institutions, with results that were widely criticized. As early as 1969, Nicholas Negroponte was dismissing “computer-aided design studies” that “only present more fashionable and faster (though rarely cheaper) ways of doing what designers already do,” hence making “bad architecture even more prolific.” Negroponte argued for architecture machines that “can learn to be adaptable and learn to be relevant.” (Negroponte, Nicholas. 1969. Toward a Theory of Architecture Machines. Journal of Architectural Education. 23 (2): 9-12)

However video and computing were about to be radically democratized, in a way that not even enthusiasts like Negroponte envisioned. In 1976 JVC introduced the VHS cassette, and the next year Apple, Commodore, and Radio Shack each introduced a 4KB RAM personal computer aimed at consumers.

Clip 1. On the January 17, 1978 edition of the SCI-Arc Noon Day News, student Brooks Zeitlin announced SCI-Arc’s recent purchase of a Commodore PET mini-computer using BASIC programming language. He also announced an upcoming summer seminar Computers in architecture.

Clip 2. Really Universal Computer Aided Production System (RUCAPS) software, developed in the UK, was one of the first computer aided design systems. On December 5, 1987, SCI-Arc instructor Ched Reeder, and IT manager Jerry Wilhelm hosted a presentation by RUCAPS developers, in which they presented a video, The Esquisse, done with RUCAPS 3D visualizations by architect Jeffrey Findlay.

Clip 3. Shin Takamatsu’s September 27, 1989 lecture featured three videos that used moving images, music and computer graphics to convey the spirit of three projects: the Kirin Plaza in Osaka, the Earthtecture Sub-1 underground commercial building in Tokyo, and the Octagon tower proposed for the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

There was a considerable amount of discussion about the Internet, and its implications for architecture, long before most people had any experience of it. In 1987, Hal Foster argued for an architecture of resistance to corporate appropriation of information and experience (Clip 4).

Three years later, Alan Sondheim discussed the email list as a new form of global community, the socio-dynamics of living online, and notions of online public and private space (Clip 5).

Another three years later, Stephen Bingham, concluded his lecture about media saturation with a dystopian film connecting media, cyberspace and drugs (Clip 6).

Clip 7. Decades into the cyberspace, at the What Is The Question symposium, Michael Rotondi, Jeffrey Kipnis and Hernan Diaz Alonso discussed computer protocols, man and technology, and whether the software or the designer is more influential in contemporary design.

[Image: Morton Neikrug behind the camera circa 1975 at the original SCI-Arc facility in Santa Monica.]

 

Clips

SCI-Arc Noon Day News
SCI-Arc Noon Day News
RUCAPS Really Universal Computer Aided Production...
RUCAPS Really Universal Computer Aided Production System-clip_3144
Shin Takamatsu-clip_5326
Shin Takamatsu-clip_5326
Hal Foster Neofuturism Architecture And...
Hal Foster Neofuturism Architecture And Technology-clip_6666
Alan Sondheim Internet Cultures-clip_5297
Alan Sondheim Internet Cultures-clip_5297
Stephen Bingham-clip_5179
Stephen Bingham-clip_5179
Symposium What Is The Question-clip_3867
Symposium What Is The Question-clip_3867