Jeffrey Kipnis, Greg Lynn, Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa respond to questions from the audience about different ways of being influenced by materials, freedom, and the interaction of materials and design.
Video Archive | Materials (183)
Greg Lynn joins Jeffrey Kipnis for a conversation with Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa about their work. Lynn praises Testa and Weiser’s work for not being focused on optimizing the properties of new materals such as carbon fiber, but using that research to develop a new architectural sensibility. Testa characterizes their work as working with an already established technical language, and engaging in a dialog with architecture. He describes their house proposal as floating free of the ground, structured by pressure rather than gravity.
Jeffrey Kipnis talks with Greg Lynn and Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa about the applications of carbon fiber in buildings, the dialog between material research and design. Lynn talks about the origin of his interest in Northern Sails boat-building technologies.
Alejandro Zaera-Polo surveys innovative building materials and technologies since World War II–from Albert Kahn, and Lee Porter Butler, to the textile facades of the London Olympics. He notes the disconnect between sophisticated materials employed in pedestrian designs. He argues that the architectural and political resides at the level of the detail.
Thesis proposal presentations by Garet Ammerman, Alex Blugerman, Leonora Bustamente, Eileen Won and Marilyn Hu, Mei Zhi Neoh, and Shawn Rassekh are followed by discussion by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Jeffrey Kipnis. Zaera-Polo surveys innovative building materials and technologies since World War II, noting a disconnect between sophisticated materials and pedestrian designs. Kipnis discusses different modes of the political as they relate to architecture. He argues that science and technology, far from being in opposition to the aesthetic, can actually work together to reinforce art’s original political project. Elena Manferdini joins Kipnis and Zaera-Polo to discuss practice, facades and envelopes, the engineering model and the art model, typologies, audiences and critics.
Billie Tsien and Tod Williams present some of their core beliefs:
- To be of use
- To move slowly
- To say No
- To connect
- To last
They discuss their central design principles, illustrating each with examples from their work. They stress
- Natural and artificial topography
- The presence of the human hand
- Rethinking material
- Specificity of place
- The primacy of the interior.
Jeffrey Kipnis continues the discussion of the context of Los Angeles architecture culture circa 1979 by mentioning Reyner Banham’s representation of the city. The panelists respond by describing how the freedom of working a city without an established design intelligentsia encouraged intensive experiment with the process of building, especially with regard to materials and modes of architectural representation. On the other hand, they suspect that young architects today plot the launch of their careers more methodically.
Mark Foster Gage reads from his book which argues against the tendency to justify architectural work on the basis of novel technologies employed. He states that design and beauty has lost value in our contemporary culture. He then discusses his own work including competitions, residential projects, as well as installations.