Joe Day discusses some historically important diagrams–from Alfred Barr’s attempts to make sense of modern art to Time magazine’s family tree of hip-hop–as a preface to a discussion of his own use of diagrams. He describes the diagrams of his thesis project in the 1990s, an attempt to make sense of architectural practice in L.A. in 2002, and tracing lineages in contemporary Japanese architecture. He turns his attention from timeline diagrams to diagrams that map according to conceptual coordinates, including his own 2007 mapping of L.A. practices. Day discusses cases where the diagram generated the project, from Corbusier’s Radiant City (1924) to Benjamin Constant’s New Babylon in the 1960s. He presents his most recent attempt to map the most important issues at SCI-Arc with two diagrams representing a range of positions within the categories of Science and Philosophy. He concludes with the diagrams that led to his book Corrections and Collections (2013). He stresses that diagrams are not only good ways to manage large amounts of information, but, done right, explore provocative questions.
Video Archive | Architecture in Los Angeles (99)
Eric Owen Moss poses questions to Wolf Prix about architecture as a universal language, and influences such as Keith Richards, Bob Dylan and Los Angeles.
Wolf Prix and Eric Owen Moss discuss Prix’s Open House project and Moss’s work in Culver City as explorations of openness that don’t reference forms of the past.
Frank O. Gehry, the fifth Raimund Abraham Memorial Lecturer, discusses with Eric Owen Moss the title of this evening’s conversation, a quote from jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and it’s relevance to the process of architecture. In the course of their conversation, Gehry describes his curiosity about the work of very different designers, and characterizes his involvement in the development of design software as part of a larger ambition to take back control of more of the project for architects. Gehry agrees with Lucien Freud’s assertion, “All art is autobiographical,” adding that with architecture the autobiographical aspect is the personal signature brought to bear on the specific problem. He describes how early exposure to the study of the Talmud influenced him greatly—not in terms of theology or religion, but by authorizing a persistent asking of “Why?” Staying curious is the most important thing. When Moss presents a score by John Cage, Gehry describes some musical memories: participating in a Gagaku orchestra, and watching Pierre Boulez generate passionate music with a few minimal and precise gestures. Gehry describes the disinterest of the East Coast and Europe in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s as a positive thing that offered him freedom to experiment.
Kenneth Frampton responds to questions from the audience concerning his criticism of OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, the new Barnes Foundation building, clients, and current architecture in Los Angeles.
Jean-Louis Cohen characterizes SCI-Arc as the intersection of L.A.’s architecture culture and a culture of subversion, which continue to make the school an essential source of new ideas about space, construction and geometry. He congratulates the students on the three kinds of education they have enjoyed: explicit training in the curriculum, practical experience working in offices, and the latent training derived from L.A.’s distinctive urban context. With this background, Cohen urges new graduates to reconfigure thought and practice in ways that resonate in Los Angeles, and beyond.
Eric Owen Moss begins SCI-Arc’s 2013 commencement by describing thesis weekend and the Graduation Pavilion as expressions of SCI-Arc’s values. Jean-Louis Cohen characterizes SCI-Arc as the intersection of L.A.’s architecture culture and a culture of subversion, which continue to make the school an essential source of new ideas about space, construction and geometry. Eva Franch i Gilabert remarks that while her education stressed what architecture was, SCI-Arc’s culture stresses what architecture could be. She advises the recent graduates to resist becoming either one of the three dominant types of architect–the Enabler, the Iconographer, or the Agitator–but strive to be all these at once, a fourth type she names the “SCI-Arc Architect.” Alumnus Stuart Magruder (M.Arch 1997) encourages the new graduates to get licensed and contribute an architectural viewpoint to public debate. Graduating M.Arch student Stefano Passeri describes his educational experience as learning how to change, and learning from each other, in a community where it’s impossible not to share. Hsinming Fung presents the Alpha Rho Chi Medals, Henry Adams Medals, Henry Adams Certificates and SCI-Arc Service Awards. Hernan Diaz Alonso and John Enright present the graduating B.Arch, M.Arch 1, M.Arch 2 and ESTM and SCIFI students with their diplomas. Moss presents the merit awards for best undergraduate and graduate thesis, and the SCI-Arc Gehry Prize.
Eric Owen Moss points out the relevance of Sylvia Lavin’s series of conversations for Making + Meaning students in the audience, in demonstrating ways of talking about architecture. Lavin asks Moss why he became an architect. They discuss his educational experiences at Berkeley and Harvard, and working in William Pereira’s office in L.A.