Jeffrey Kipnis and Eric Owen Moss discuss the role of tradition in James Joyce, Immanuel Velikovsky, and personal and public motives in architecture. Kipnis maintains that architecture’s fundamental role is to create new ways of being in the world. Moss doubts his personal history as a reader provides a useful model, arguing that a person finds what they need if they look for it. Pursuing practice critically is not for everyone, and creates conflicts, but “if you need to do it, you find a way to do it.”
Video Archive | Architectural practice (33)
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.
Eric Bunge begins by asking “What are we really in control of?” suggesting that the work of nArchitects engages with the differing boundaries of control and indeterminacy. He proposes discussing their work in three non-chronological categories: architecture that adapts to change, architecture that creates interaction between diverse publics, and conceptual and material economy.
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.
Russell Thomsen and Eric Kahn of Idea Office discuss their background. They describe their first office, Central Office of Architecture, with Ron Golan as co-principal, as both an introspective conversation and an exploration of the late-millennial L.A. landscape. They see their new office, Idea Office, as a shift from the hermitic and reflective to the engaged and projective. Thomsen and Kahn discuss their Spring 2005 Stentorian installation in the SCI-Arc Gallery, citing a range of influences from tensegrity, flamenco, and the Stravsinky/Nijinski ballet Rite of Spring.
The video ends abruptly during images of the Stentorian installation.
Yung Ho Chang explains there are two types of projects; THE projects which are iconic buildings and The Other projects which are small and local. He shows examples of both types including THE projects such as a house made of laminated wood and rammed earth, and a software building designed as a “living environment.” For Other projects, Chang talks about a transparent structural unit with bamboo veneer for the Venice Biennale, and an art project for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London using plastic paving blocks. Chang considers plastic forms as a “major, major building material” for the future. He talks about a folding privacy screen traditionally made with a wood frame and rice paper which he has redesigned with Formica to replace both wood and rice paper. Chang shows his design for the upcoming Shanghai Corporate Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo. He cites the Centre Pompidou as the source of inspiration for the design. He describes the functions of the building for the World Expo as “performing architecture.”
Yung Ho Chang explains that there are two types of projects; THE project and The Other project. The former is concerned with big, iconic building, the latter addresses small, urban fabric, local projects. Chang presents a perspective to reconsider THE and The Other projects. He shows two THE projects. First, a house in Beijing, which reconfigured the traditional courtyard house plan and made economical use of the landscape. The house is made of laminated wood and rammed earth. Chang discusses the UFIDA software building near Beijing. He calls it more of a “living environment” because the employees spend so much in their offices. The project also has an alternative courtyard design which gets employees out of their offices to exercise, meditate or smoke.
Yung Ho Chang talks about his firm’s Other projects. He characterizes them as “miscellaneous.” He shows a pair of exterior metal sliding doors for an art gallery, and the interior of a restaurant in Shanghai with a tile roof designed to allow more light inside. Chang shows a transparent structural unit with bamboo veneer which is the basis for a project for the Venice Bienniale. He shows a project for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London which uses plastic paving blocks. The structure is an interior space in the museum’s courtyard. For another project Chang explains how his firm used honeycomb-shaped plastic modules to create the structure for a bathroom. He considers these plastic forms as a “major, major building material” for the future.