Peter Eisenman grounds his work in the human condition by presenting four “Losses,” then exploring the relation between each “Loss” and his hypothesis of “Social Guilt.” Through a mix of theory, history, and humor Eisenman explains how and why his views engage society and architecture. He summarizes the four points into a limited competition for a site neighboring Le Corbusier’s proposed Venice Hospital. While explaining the competition, Eisenman describes a new view of site planning that explores “mute” expression, giving a new “Five Points of Architecture.” It’s unclear whether the end of the video is the actual end of the lecture.
Videos | Yearly Archives1978 (7)
SCI-Arc student Brooks Zeitlin hosts this edition of the SCI-Arc Noon Day News, a short program with school announcements interspersed with clips of As the World Turns. This edition features an announcement about SCI-Arc’s recent purchase of a Commodore PET mini-computer using BASIC programming language which was slated for use in an upcoming summer seminar “Computers in architecture” with Ched Reeder. Zeitlin then explains the official procedure for getting new seminars or eliminating unsuccessful options: “Tell Ray.” He describes an upcoming study trip to Europe. Serena requests students with outstanding tuition to pay promptly. Zeitlin reviews the ongoing campus retrofit which provided wiring to the cubicles and added doors to the library. John, another student, describes his sun-angle measurement invention.
Shelly Kappe introduces part one of Bernard Tschumi’s two part lecture. Tschumi discusses the definition of space, the methods attempted in the past to understand it, and contemporary attempts to shape an understanding. He focuses on what he describes as the “paradox of architecture.” He describes the conceptual and material tools of architecture as mutually exclusive and interdependent within the discipline. Tschumi describes some of his work, student work from the Architecture Association as well as that of Los Angeles artists with whom he identifies.
Tschumi continues his lecture by declaring that the paradox of architecture is that the conceptual elements of architecture and the actual/experiential elements are both mutually exclusive and interdependent. Tschumi follows his lecture with an extensive question and answer session, focusing on space and interpretations of space.
This event took place at USC, not SCI-Arc, after the death of Charles Eames in 1978. Konrad Wachsmann offers a personal view of Eames’s work. He notes Eames’s gift for attracting talented collaborators, from Ray Kaiser, to Herbert Matter, Harry Bertoia, Gregory Ain, Norman Bruns, and many others. Wachsmann argues how, from the very first chair design for Herman Miller, Eames’s real interest was with the production process; he was not content to become a furniture designer. Wachsmann illustrates his discussion of Eames’s interest in processes and production with a few minutes of the film House. On the other hand, Wachsmann notes Eames’s playfulness, and presents the film Parade. Wachsmann discusses the Eames office’s engagement with exhibition design, praising their engagement with science, as illustrated in Mathematica: a world of numbers, the film A Communications Primer, and Copernicus. Wachsmann screens the 1977 version of Powers of Ten.
Following a screening of Powers Of Ten, Konrad Wachsmann recalls the intense research effort for a National Aquarium for the U.S. Bicentennial, that transformed the Eames office into a deep sea laboratory. He briefly mentions the Eames-designed exhibition Nehru: His life and his India. Wachsmann shows aerial photographs of Rome taken by Charles Eames. He uses the history of the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica to illustrate the conflict between old and new. He recalls the engineer Norman Bruns, who often work with Eames, but who also ran a music store. Wachsman describes Bruns’ fascination with the technology of musical instruments. Wachsmann concludes his lecture by asking Elizabeth Bruns to play. Bruns plays Bach’s Arioso on the violin.
John Lautner discusses his work and highlights construction details of several buildings in Los Angeles. He also shows the family home, a Swiss cabin on Lake Superior where he worked as a carpenter on the house when he was twelve years old. He includes details about his first house, built in 1939 and the Sheats Apartment Building, 1948. Silvertop, a residence in which he describes his use of silicon joints and hanging glass walls. He states, “I have at least ten practical reasons for one aesthetic reason to do anything.” Lautner also expresses his dislike of Los Angeles.