Richard Weinstein moderates a conversation between Eric Moss and Wolf Prix on the current role of the architecture school, teacher, and student. The three discuss architectural ideas such as, movement, the part to whole relationships, architectural meaning, urban planning, and symbolism. They begin and end with images intended to depict their accomplishments and design methodologies.
Videos | Yearly Archives2002 (27)
Italian critic Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi discusses contemporary architecture in Los Angeles and Italy as an introduction to a presentation by Michele Saee. Saee outlines his background: born in Iran, educated in Italy, working and teaching in Los Angeles. One of the most important influences on his work is his connection to SCI-Arc which he sees as a response to the state of architecture on the international level. In 1972, the year SCI-Arc was founded, Kenneth Frampton’s Five Architects appeared, establishing East Coast hegemony over architecture discourse for the rest of the decade. This changed in 1980 when an issue of Domus appeared with Frank Gehry on the cover,
featuring a group of young Los Angeles architects connected to SCI-Arc. It seemed to proclaim a new movement. Saee discusses a house on Linnie Canal in Venice, California which had a very small site. The client who was a poet and an artist wanted something that reflected a distinctive lifestyle. He describes the Cellular Fantasy Store as the project in which his own architectural thinking and language began to show itself. He wanted to create a new kind of work space, where people together with very little separating them. He discusses a competition he won for a Center for Comparative Cultural Studies in Sardinia, where he wanted to make non-architectural space that derives from the topography of the site.
David and Paul Lewis of Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis discuss a gallery installation that eavesdropped on conversations, and amplified and and relayed them around the space. They describe the tectonic aspect of the installation. They discuss a series of projects addressing the suburban condition, exploring mass manufacturing, mass customization and horizontality. They discuss a proposal to merge sprawl housing with big-box retail. Lewis and Lewis discuss their competition entry for the Great Egyptian Museum. They discuss their intent to create relationships between the community of Giza and the nearby pyramids. A waterway provided unity and also functioned as part of the cooling system for the museum. They explain the different tourist interest areas they created. Lewis and Lewis present a residence hall for the College of Wooster in Ohio. They interviewed students and analyzed the program, to optimize living groups and social spaces. An additional concern was creating a strong relationship between the residence hall and an adjacent park. One of the project constraints was a requirement for a pitched roof, which they exploited to create new spatial arrangements.
Constance Adams describes her role as architect/generalist among technological specialists, engaged in optimizing the human/machine interface. She outlines the lessons of earlier space stations in terms of the physical and social environment, plus the complexities of construction in outer space. She describes a prototype habitation for Mars, and TransHab, developed as a expandable vehicle for space travel.
Thom Mayne describes the salient details of the most significant projects to date, produced by his firm, Morphosis. He explains the formal and conceptual relationships between different projects, as well as the architectural climate in which they were produced. When looking back, Mayne is thankful for the path Morphosis had to take in establishing itself as a young firm, and preserving the avant-garde course. Specifically, he believes that producing drawings is critically important to ensure that architects are engaged in the discourse, and that new technologies should be embraced even if they prove to be disruptive to established processes.
After an introduction by Eric Owen Moss, Neil Denari describes individuals who have been influential to his work. He goes on to elaborate on projects from 1996 to 2003. He hopes to deliver a series of possibilities that become persuasive through his design work. He argues that form and desire are more powerful when they annex the logics of project requirements.
Sorkin agues that the form of the city should be responsive to the site, climate and culture, and only where one of those elements is lacking should design be introduced. He describes two utopian master plan projects, Weed Arizona, a new city located in a decommissioned military base, and Neurasia, a city in an undetermined location in Asia. Both of these stress social space and neighborhoods. Sorkin describes several urban design projects he has worked on, including senior housing of the future, projects for Jerusalem and Beirut, and alterations to the University of Chicago campus. Sorkin’s master plans employ, in places, deliberate vagueness to suggest a range of possibilities. In all the projects, Sorkin stresses ecological and climactic considerations. Sorkin describes several redevelopment projects for areas around New York City. In Far Rockaway, he proposes a pedestrian oriented low rise beach development. In Brooklyn he proposes inserting trees in several intersections and using those as the focus for variable density housing. For the Westside Waterfront Park, Sorkin proposes a water-taxi channel, and establishing a second promenade beyond the water-taxi lanes. Sorkin lays out several proposals for the World Trade Center Site. His first proposals consist of converting the entire site into parkland, or other methods of addressing the entire site with one building. Once it became clear that the building footprints had become sacred, he proposed towers that deviate from typical office tower typology.
Preston Scott Cohen describes this lecture as being about the “possible discovery of a relationship between architecture and complex geometry in which they agitate and alter one another,” and the consequences this has for the functional aspects of architecture. Cohen seeks “formal problems, which in contest with particular functional ones elicit a different understanding of function, help us to perceive or project other possible arrangements. We can’t just work with the program at hand.” Cohen frames this lecture in terms of adaptation and the improvements in functionality due to adaptation or modification.