Bernard Tschumi describes how his book book Architecture Concepts (2012), prompted aproposal of a retrospective exhibition at the Pompidou, which in turn prompted a reconsideration of his work as a whole. After describing stages of the conceptualization, design and implementation of the exhibit, he reviews his work under five themes: Space and event, Program and juxtaposition, Vectors and envelopes, Context/Concept/Content, and Form/Concept.
Florencia Pita and Jackilin Bloom characterize their work in terms of a synthesis of color and form, in which the color is innate to the project and process, not personal taste. They review installations (Pulse Tendril Formations, Alice, Cronopios), large infrastructure projects (Los Angeles Central Station, Keelung Port Terminal), parks for Chengdu and San Francisco, and a proposal for P.S. 1 which exemplifies their interest in color, printing and 2.5-D form.
Russell Thomsen and Eric Owen Moss discuss the historical, ethical and political issues behind Thomsen’s proposal, with Eric Kahn, for Auschwitz. Thomsen characterizes it as temporarily “blanking” the site, making it inaccessible and invisible. Moss raises the question of appropriate or inappropriate uses, citing Peter Eisenman’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin.
Hitoshi Abe describes his interest in designing informality: places that accomodate multiple functions flexibly and encourage individual, physical responses. He argues that this non-specific, non-coercive informal architecture is often realized in corridors, and uses this theme to review his own work, from the Miyagi Stadium (2000), to the renovation of the 3M headquarters in Minnesota (2013).
Greg Otto opens the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA)’s panel discussion of the current state of design and design tools. Marcelyn Gow discusses the disconnect between exacting processes and illegible outcomes. Tom Wiscombe argues for mystery, autonomy, critically breaking or misusing tools, and the exploration of architecture’s capacities. Alvin Huang discusses his work in terms of an exploratory practice focused on designing with technology. Roland Snooks discusses his explorations as a way of undermining the discrete reading of architectural elements. The panelists respond to a question posed by Greg Otto on digital tools and architectural fundamentals. The panelists respond to audience comments on issues that remain relevant or arise as new problems.
Benjamin Farnsworth, who with Stefano Passeri was the 2013-4 Design of Theory Fellow at SCI-Arc, reviews their re-launch of Offramp, and their seminar mapping trends in contemporary architecture. In a talk titled “Non non-narrative,” Farnsworth argues for an “exquisitely failed architecture” by the “architect manqué,” illustrated by a skit by comedian George Carl interpreted according to the categories of H. Paul Grice. Farnsworth outlines his work from his 2013 M.Arch thesis, through seminars and design studios taught at Woodbury and Syracuse.
Jeffrey Kipnis begins the second session of the seminar with Eric Owen Moss with images of the significance of construction details. Kipnis then introduces this session’s topic, as finding a personal ethos in relation to one’s own architectural practice. Eric Owen Moss presents the horse from the movie The Wind as an image of abstract forces embodied in a concrete form. He argues the value of getting away from what’s known in favor of exploring possibilities. Kipnis and Moss discuss the role of tradition, and personal and public motives in architecture, and pursuing practice critically.
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.