Michael Sorkin argues that as the globe urbanizes, the city as a sustainable, equitable and beautiful site of social possibilities is disappearing. He discusses his projects for new cities in Arizona and China, and describes his research into ways of enabling New York City to produce its own food.
Bryan Cantley discusses with Eric Owen Moss his SCI-Arc Gallery installation Form:uLA: Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections, in terms of imperfection, visionary modernist architecture, the image of progress, wabi/sabi, and open and closed systems.
Joshua Prince-Ramus discusses the Seattle Central Library, the Wyly Theater in Dallas and a building originally proposed for Cal Tech, but which was ultimately realized as the Vakko Fashion Center. Prince-Ramus reviews projects currently in progress, including the Mercedez-Benz Future Center, a tower in Kuala Lumpur, a house in Long Island, and an intervention at the Nasher Sculpture Garden.
Jeffrey Kipnis introduces the second of the Fecundity of a Mossy Climate conversations with a survey of Florencia Pita’s work, stressing its focus on architectural issues, and how its flatness is only apparent. Then Kipnis and Florencia Pita discuss her work, joined by Marcelyn Gow, debating plasn, color, affect, and abstraction versus representation, and difficult versus easy geometries.
Stefano Passeri with Ben Farnsworth was a Design of Theory Fellow at SCI-Arc for the program’s inaugural year 2013-4. Passeri discusses their re-launch of SCI-Arc’s journal Offramp, and analyzes his 2013 thesis project, stressing strategies employed to create an inwardly-focused, enclosed and finite object.
Eric Bunge proposes that his work with Mimi Hoang at nArchitects engages with the differing boundaries of control and indeterminacy. Specifically, he discusses their work under three categories: architecture that adapts to change, architecture that creates interaction between diverse publics, and conceptual and material economy. Projects include the Canopy for PS. 1, My Micro NY compact affordable housing, a visitor center for the Wyckoff House Museum, the Switch Building, the riverfront M2 in Calgary, the ABC department store in Beirut, and a renovation of Chicago’s Navy Pier.
Jeffrey Kipnis begins the first of a series of conversations titled The Fecundity of a Mossy Climate with Andrew Zago. Kipnis presents an outline of Zago’s work, including the Cipher installation for the SCI-Arc Gallery, the Elevation studies, the Boing! chair, and the Rialto housing development project, proposing stages of being influenced and influencing others. Kipnis and Andrew Zago discuss pedagogy, drawing, technology, Boolean operations, and influences in general. Kipnis remarks that Zago’s characterizations of his own work demonstrate, “why your work has nothing to do with all the work that looks like it.”
Jeffrey Kipnis describes this seminar as a debate on the issues Eric Owen Moss’s SCI-Arc directorship stressed, especially as they relate to the students’ imminent engagement with practice. For the first session, the topic is the pleasure of building. Eric Owen Moss responds to the topic by describing his Penelope theory of architecture, in which building and making are necessarily accompanied by unmaking and doubt. He reviews important influences, and then discusses in detail the Trivida office, and the Waffle building, stressing the relationship between design and realization. Kipnis and Moss discuss the importance of designers anticipating what will be technological feasible, stressing the element of wonder or surprise as a core value.