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.”
Video Archive | Jeffrey Kipnis (18)
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.
Jeffrey Kipnis begins his discussion of Eric Owen Moss’s work by questioning the notion of the self, its history and our contemporary ideas of the self formed primarily during the nineteenth century. Kipnis compares the California School of architects and the East Coast’s New York Five in terms of rhetorical figures and part-to-whole relationships. He dismisses the idea of a pleasure in violence within Eric Owen Moss’ work, choosing to relate his work more to artist Bruce Nauman and the Greek concept of agon.
Kwinter proposes viewing the brain as an ecological problem, to be approached in terms of social science, evolution, and especially the concepts of type, gradient, and cycle. He argues that population thinking suggests that uniqueness such as zebra patterns and fingerprints are illustrations of ubiquitous environmental processes. Environments are robust but unstable, and once they are disturbed, they cannot be restored to a prior state. Kwinter proposes the science of drawing as an influence on modern notions of ecology. He uses the example of watering holes in Africa to argue that animals have the ability to communicate non-verbally to the entire population of a specific environment. The balance and distribution of stress and tensions can be read as form and order. Kwinter describes how organisms evolve the ability to track habits in order to “read” their environment. At the same time, environments reorganize and hide the intentions of the tracker. He argues that species evolve according to their immediate environment, developing abilities and sensitivities that, elsewhere, would hinder their ability to survive. He shifts his focus from the evolution of organisms to the evolution of specific organs, such as the thumb and the tooth. He describes how dietary and predatory challenges influenced their form and strength, hence significantly influencing human evolution. Kwinter begins describing how the human brain was able to evolve out of environmental influences. He describes human evolution as a series of environmental changes to which the brain was able to adapt. He concludes with images of some aboriginal peoples of the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, commenting how seamlessly their social practices extend into the surrounding environment. Kwinter, joined later by Jeffrey Kipnis, responds to questions about the applicability of evolutionary theory to architecture, and also genes, teeth, air conditioning, and postmodernism.
Jeffrey Kipnis discusses the role of the architecture school and how it influences how students interact with the environment. He questions the audience about issues of intelligence, specialization, and representation. Citing Le Corbusier’s Five Points of Architecture and the Villa Savoye, Kipnis argues that meaning changes over time. He stresses the importance of evolving through learning and peer interaction.
In part one of this two part lecture, Jeffrey Kipnis talks about an array of topics before focusing on the pedagogy of SCI-Arc. Throughout, Kipnis describes the ethos of the school, as well as, the intents and desires of the individuals have on the process. Though he strays several times during, he is able to continually draw back to how it relates to discovering and learning about architecture.
Eric Owen Moss moderates a symposium consisting of distinquished faculty members Jeffrey Kipnis, Michael Rotondi, and Hernan Diaz-Alonzo. They discuss representation, imagery, functionality, materials, and contemporary culture. Coy Howard, Elena Manferdini, and Chris Genik pose questions for the panelists. They reflect on the recent death of Raimund Abraham.
Jeffrey Kipnis articulates a response to Eric Owen Moss’s installation in the SCI-Arc gallery, stressing the effect of shock and destabilization it generates. He discusses the work with Moss, and also with audience members, including Peter Noever, Michael Rotondi, and Thom Mayne.