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.
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.