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©1999 The Cornell journal of Architecture

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SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT FOR developing and shaping individuals who are adept at tirelessly producing multiple and creative solutions to a stated problem. -JASON TAPIA

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SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT FOR reconceptualizing what a high school senior expects the physical world to be. -MARK PASNIK

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t.J SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT FOR about twelve weeks, unless you're a monk, a masochist, or a meta-egomaniac. The Cornell journal of Architecture is a not-for-profit, bi-annual, student-run publication. AII proceeds from the sales of volume 6 go to the publication and distribution of previous and subsequent journals.

-DAVID HEYMANN


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SCHOOLS Of ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT

at fostering an aesthetic attitude towards the world of built formo -JONATHAN OCHSHORN

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SCHOOLS Of ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT fOR

people who don't want a law degree. -AMANDA WILLlAMS

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UNDERGRADUATE THESIS EDITORS Agustin Ayuso Penelope Crash jeff Pelletier

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ASSOCIATE EDITOR Chris King Kevin Oliver COPY EDITORS Holly Helin Jacqueline Teo

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MANAGING EDITOR Carlin MacDougall

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EDITDRS·IN-CHIEF Eric Green Rayna Huber

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COMPUTER SUPPORTI WEB PAGE DESIGN Ivor Ip HalleyTsai ADVERTISINGI PROMOTIONAL Seung Bak Michelle Drollette Mark Wee

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LAYOUT DESIGN Gabriel Bendersky Charles Fadem Fred Fung Sahaja Malone-Aram johnathan Sze Jacob Werner

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SCHOOLS Of ARCHITECTURE ARE GREAT fOR

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normalizing the absurdo (Ever tried to explain what you did in school to others7)

APPROVEO COMPANY ASSUMES NO LlABILlTY FOR TIME OVER S" REGULAR HOURS UNLESS ALJTHORIZED TQPS FORM 1250 •

lITHO IN u.s A

-DAVID j. LEWIS

FACULTY ADVISOR David j. Lewis ADVISORY BOARD Mark Cruvellier Bonnie MacDougall Christian OllO Val Warke jerry We/ls


SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE BAO BECAUSE they are not recognized for what they could do well: protect architecture as a cultural actlvity. -DAVID HEYMANN SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE BAO BECAUSE they are rarely what they proport to be.

-DAVID

J LEWIS

SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE BAO BECAUSE they often discourage academic pursuits outside the studio -even allied ones like history or theory, let alone film, literature, etc. -MARKPASNIK

SCHOOLS Of ARCHITECTURE ARE BAD BECAUSE they only strengthen our fusion between art and science, but leave sorely underdeveloped the business savvy and the skills to grapple with predatory c1ients; as well as an awareness beyond the edges of the drafting table of the many other factors that impact our economic success/failure. -jASON TAPIA

they have difficulty articulating the significance and purpose of their aesthetic training.

SCHOOLS OF ARCHITECTURE ARE BAO BECAUSE

-jONATHANOCHSHORN

TO ACTUALLY MAKE ARCHITECTURE, IT IS CRUCIAL TO have a c1ear theoretical approach, in both philosophical and technical terms, and be able to communicate this approach through various discursive mediums, BUT tec1mical virtuosity MIGHT NOT BE NECESSARY.

-ANTHONY PIERMARINI

ro ACTUALLY MAKE ARCHITECTURE,

IT IS CRUCIAL TO have stamina aJld an insight to humau nature, BUT Ul1usual glasses,the kinddtI:tat neyer quite l;>ecome par:t ot our tace, sOlthat. someohne IOIOkil1g at you is a so 100km~ at your glasses, '111 I~, at the sรกme tlm~ worrymg that you are ookmg at t em ookmg at your g asses, rattler tllan actuaIly thmKmg, MIGHT NOT BI:. NECESSARY. -DAVID HEYMANN h~Ving

To

ACTUALLY MAKE ARCHITECTURE, it M A Y N o T B E N E C E S SA RY. -AMANDA WILlIAMS

is crucial to actually make something,

BUT

an architect

FRESH GRAOUATES ARE USEFUL FOR being given real responsibility: it will suddenly remove the 2X4 that has been lodged between tfte left and rigl1t lobes of their brain since the first day ot architecture school. -DAVID HEYMANN FRESH GRAOUATES ARE USEFUL FOR their enthusiasm in dumpster diving, running to the art store, and keeping design offices slightly offbalance. -CHARLES MacBRIDE FRESH GRAOUATES ARE USEFUL FOR the introduction of ideas and insight within an estabIished practice. -ANTHONY PIERMARINI FRESH GRAOUATES ARE USEFUL FOR knowledge of the latest adhesives and glueing techniques. -DAVID j. LEWIS


ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION COULD BE IMPROVED IF

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. . . t hat. at t he same time. . . not a partleu . l trammg; an d B) admlt are h'Iteeture IS ariy d goo ve h'le Ie f or se If- f u If'll I ment

-DAVID HEYMANN

ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION COULD BE IMPROVED IF it included a co-op program that would equip each student with at least one year of work upon graduatin.,g, as well as compulsory participation in the intern development program in fourth year for those who intend to obtain their license. -JASON TAPIA

ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION COULD BE IMPROVED IF the architectural profession were willing to cooperate more and complain less. -CHARLES MacBRIDE ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION COULO BE IMPROVED IF studies in the humanities were increased in conjunction with business practices. -ANTHONY PIERMARINI

1 WOULDN'T WANT MY SON/DAUGHTER TO GET AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATlON BECAUSE

INVARIABLY. THEY ARE ONLY IN THE

COMPANY OF OTHER ARCHITECTS. IN A WORLD IN WHICH ARCHITECTURE IS CONFLATED BEYOND ITS

1 WOULDN'T WANT MY SON/DAUGHTER TO GET AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION BECAUSE THEY WILL MAKE MONEY ANO BE UNOERVALUEO BY AMERICAN SOCIETY.

NO

-ANTHONY PIERMARINI

RELATIVE IMPORTANCE. THERE SHOULD. OF COURSE, BE A BIBLlCAL INJUNCTION AGAINST THE COUPLlNG OF ARCHITECTS. WHO TEND TO RELATE BY DENIAL. IT IS THEIR OWN FORM OF COMPETITIVE SNOBBERY. IF THERE

IS ANY

EROTIC ATTRACTION.

THE

REPRESSION BUILDS TO FEVER PITCH. EVENTUALLY BOTH PARTIES SPONTANEOUSLY IMPLODE. PEOPLE COMMENT ON THE ORDERLlNESS OF THE HOMES OF ARCHITECTS:

an architeetural education is still the only college major that encourages confusion, invites competition, and demands confrontational techniques to improve one's brain. -CHARLES MacBRIDE 1WOULD

WANT MY SON/DAUGHTER TO GET AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION BECAUSE

IMAGINE NOW THE CHILDREN.

FOREVER HAVING TO RECOGNIZE THEIR PARENTS MORE ABIDING LOVE FOR THE OUESTIONABLE

1

WOULD/WOULDN'T WANT MY SON/DAUGHTER TO GET AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION BECAUSE, THEY CAN MAKE UP THEIR OWN MIND, WHOEVER (WHATEVER) THEY ARE. -DAVID J. LEWIS

DESIGN INTENTIONS OF. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME DEAD SCANDINAVIAN.

A WRETCHED YOUTH.

-DAVID HEYMANN

1

WOULO WANT MY OAUGHTER TO GET AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION BECAUSE the world will be a lot better when girl architects out number boy architects. -AMANDAWILLlAMS


In his preface to the Cornell Journal

01' ArchitL'cture 3, then Chair Jerry Wells deserihed architectural edueation as hoiling dO\\'Il to ''studio teaching 01'. .. design: fifteen studenls on one

end 01' a log ami a professor armed with tradilion on the other." He goes on lo \lTite: lhe archit'Tt is im'olwd in a crealilT seareh, his/her world is empirieal at hest ami there are fe \l' questions with onl)" one answer. There are fe\l'er facb. There is, howl'ITr, as in an;' empirieal quesl, ,'xperience, tradition, and most ofall, logie. Other than these few things the arehiteet is kit \lith a patient seareh indeed. Prohah'" the must frustrating dillerence is lhat the tools are crude. Arehitecture is one 01' the lew hand-made produl'ts leh in the world.

Nearly fifteen years later, these statements describing a'rchitects as sludio artisans hear re-examining in light al' perhaps two 01' three major deH路lopments affecting contemporar;' arehiteclural edueation and practiee: 1) computer lechnologr that makes the tools no longer as "crude" nor architecture quite so "hand-made" as before; 2) t11l' increasing interest ami re Il'I'a n Cl' in arehiteeture 01' high-teeh eoneepts ami technologies, from strueture to enl'ironmental s.1路slems and controls; and 3) the hasie assumption that seems

10

haH' taken hold that lhe point al'

arehitecturaleducation is (solel)"') to prepare students 1'01' profcssional praetice. It is on t11l' last 01' these notions that the student editors 01' this Journal hal'e ehosen to focus discussion and debate. In a sociel;' ",hieh inereasingly I'alues a quick solution

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one which is carefully amllhoughtlull)" eonsidered and delTloped OH'r time, and in a professional elwironn1l'nt dominaled hl'

lawyers, doctors, engineers, cte., whose edueational formation is (perfeetly reasonably) strietly defined, c1ose-ended, and praetiee-oriented, it should be 01' Iiule surprise that archileetural eclueation is being subjceted te> similar expcetations. HOIH'I'er, the fundamental diHerenee in this profession is thal crealiH' thinking, theoretieal re,lsoning, ami abstraet coneepts are central lo il, and that these must exist alongside equally important pragmalic issues and eoncerns. Whether, and hO\I', to foster ancl eneourage this es,,'ntial diHerence in an increasingly market-drilTn proii.:ssional eontext goes to the core 01' what architectural education is all ahout today. How should studio he taught, Which eourses need to he taught in an architecture curriculum? HO\l' are I'arious courses and subjects integrated, and what should be the role 01' the taeulty, the arehitecture schools, and the arehitectural praelill's in preparing students 1'01' their professional eareers'

Jerry Well 's fiftecn students are still on their end 01' the log; who is, should be, 01' might he al the other end is discussed and debated in lhe pages that follow.

Mark R. Crul'ellier Associate Professor ami Chair J)epartn1l'nt 01' Architecture Cornell UniH'rsitl'


"Graduated" signifks both an experience 01' the past (the succ\'~~I'u1 complction 01' a program 01' learning) ano a present condition (the ranking arder 01' a range 01' values). Gi"en a potential rcciprocallearning process, or interchange, bet\\"cen the edueation ami practice 01' architecture, "graduated" is a threshold, het\\"een a past experience, or learned attitude, ano the continual application and practice 01' it within the range 01' professional practices "ar)'ing in their priorities. When an architcct begins his or her formal architecture edueation, he or she begins the graduation process. Day one amI dass one are not only the IIrst steps to\\"ard "graduation reguirements," but also the initiation 01' a formal process 01' de"cloping his or her attitude toward architecture according to a range 01' values and priorities. An institution 01' cdueation imposes a critical framework for thinking about ami making architecture; each school (or more likely eaeh professor) poses one set of values \\"ithin an infinite range, and variations therein, of pedagogies.

Once in the workplace, this critical framework is a filter for viewing the range 01' practices that produce built ano th"oretical works

01' architn"ture. An architect \\"ho enters the lIeld looking to challcnge and enhance the givens of design, construction, and inhabitation, is both fucled hy and brings to fruition the vision of graduated practices. When \\"e began our editorships in our third year here at Cornell, we had little idea ho\V to run and much less produce a 隆ournal al" architecture. With sophomoric zeal \Ve began asking for guidance on topics \\"ithin our schooi and were inundated with a range 01' hot ideas. Ho\\"ever, none seemed heart~路 enough to fuel an entire mlume. We began to carefully evaluate the prevalent mood, absorbed lhe furors

OH'!"

contemporary issues, and decided to re-frame the discussion at a more immediate le,路el. Beginning "'ilh the assumption of a percci"ed rift between architectural education ano professional practice, CJA6 incites both a schooling 01' practice and a re-conceptualization of the education of architects. We belic\"l' that there is a reciprocallearning process in which the practiccs of education and the practices of professional architects communieate, disagree, inform, and alter each other to engender graduated practiccs.

Eric Green & Rayna Huber Editors-in-Chief


contents J

ARTICLES


STUDENT THESES


Conflict Analysis: Can a Traditional Liberal Education emerge from a Professional Degree? '---------., Terri Meyer BOAKE BETANZOS BETTER

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Architectural education in North America is shifting from a less general liberal arts oriented focus to a restricted one that has been technically directed to lead to employment

OCHSHORN

Eroding the Good Intentions ofVitruvius Writings about the historical progression of the education of

e -,

in the architectural profession. This redirection is due largely to

an architect have usually adopted the position that architectural

external pressures that have required the restructuring of the curricu-

education is, and should be, "liberal," in its content, its objcctives and

lum to comply with the content and technical rcquirements imposed

its attitude. Liberal education is dcfincd as being directed to the

by professional architectural associations amI accreditation boards.

general enlargement of the mind and not professional or technical.

Coupled with these external pressures, internal pressures exert

Educators havc maintained that a quality general liberal education in

demands on curricula, a direct result of the increascd time required to

architecture would provide students with a broad spectrum of

address constantly expanding technical issues. In opposition to the

knowledge in preparation for a career that was focused on, but not

increase in tcchnical content, the "professionally" focused curriculum is

limited to, architecture. The recently published Boyer Report focuses

under severe scrutiny at many schools of Architecture and being

on the dialectic needs of architectural education to be at once liberal

faulted for producing students who are ill equipped to enter a

and professional. In its critical assessment of the quality and contcnt of

shrinking traditional job market. I

current educating practices in architectural institutions, the Boyer

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Report asks for a review of curricular direction in both liberal and professional terms


The nobility of architecture has always rested on the idea

the architect is wholly autonomous, ancl the past a mere

that it is a social art-- ",hose purposes include, yet

repository of conventions"

transcend, the builcling ofbuilclings. Architects, in short, are engaged in clesigning the physical features ancl social spaces of our daily lile's, which can shape how procluctive, health~', ancl happy we are both incli\'iclually ancl

collectively. The profouncl ancl permanent impacl of the architecture profession clemancls an eclucation not only highly technical ancl practical, but broacl ano intellectually liberating as ",el!. 2

Dissolving and Rebuilding Standardized Education During the 19th century, architecture (both educalion ancl practice) divided itself into two opposing camps. Those in support of Ule liberal arts perpetuated a humanist style of architecturc and

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education that relied on historical precedent and avoided new industrialized technology (evcn newly developed materials). Those

The required kno",leclge base of the architect has inspirecl by new technology and advances in engineering developed a exponentially increased over time and has necessitated the style of architecture ancl eclucation that relied on the invention and reassessmenl of the goals of the traditional eclucation of the architect exploration of new materials, methods and engineering practices. The throughout the histor), of the profession. The education of an architect I '"Fel\'

jobs eXisrJor quolifled graduares. and rhe jake"lIhar do Jau saJ 10 an emploJed archirecr' Big .1I"c,fries and a Coke,"maJ nor be rharJar ofJrhe mark. .11c1O} graduaresJind rhemselves as models <1 a Generarion X-type architecr: disillusioned. ambivalent, o,..,-educared, and underemploJed. According 10 a 1993 surveJ' junior emploJeesJeIl in number ro less rhan 3%

former focused on icleology and the latter on practicality. Thesc two has changed greatly from the broad liberal pursuit dl'scribed by lhe parallel approaches to architectural education coexistecl, evolved, ami Vitruvian model: resulted in a highly eclectic range of architectural thought and

<1 all produerion Let him be educatecl, skillful \\ilh the pencil, instructeo

sroff. dOl\'nJrom 20 0 ó in rhe so-colled boom years..HosrJirms ... had reduced stofJsiLe by 23 0 0Jrom lasr year.. ."(¡":"ru,ra. Rer h, ":Irchirecrurc's Alter Egos,"

in geometr)', know much history, have followed the

Tbe Canadian ArchIlecr, Seprember 1993, p. 39).

philosophers ",ilh attention, understand music, have some knowlcdge of medicine, know the opinions of

Emesr L Boyer and Lee D. Mirgang. Bu'¡Jing Communiry: A Se" FucureJor .-¡rchIleerure Educar ion anJ Praniee (Pnneeton: The Carneaie FaunJationJor the

!

jurists, ami be acquainlecl with astronomy and the theory of heavens. l

AJ"aneemenr <1Teachina, 1996), pp. 3·-1.

Until the onset of the inclustrial revolution ancl subsequenl ¡

¡-urul'/US. The Ten Books on .1rehireerure, .110m.' HlCk)' ,1/oraan. transo (.\'e<dork: er Pub!Jcatlons Ine.. 1960), chapo 1, seerion 3.

DOI'

explosion of technicaJ kno",leclge cluring the 19th centur)', architectural eclucation hacl been clominatecl by liberal arts stuclies. By the beginning of the 19th century, the technical knowleclge base ancl

'Joseph Rykl\'err. 'The Ecole Jes Beaux-Arrs and rhe claSSlcal rradltion," The Reaux·Arrs anJ .\inereemh Cenru~l' Freneh :Irehueerure, Robin Middleton, eJ.

possible direClions for slucly and specialization in architecture hacl

(Cambndae: The .IIIT Press. 1982), p. }6.

expandecl to such a degree to warrant the \'irtual termination of the comprehensive mode of stucly of lhe Acaclemie and replaced it, as such, ",ith a more exclusive specialized education at the Ecole des Beaux Arts (hislory/theory) ancl the EcoJe Polytechnique (praxis/technical). As Joseph Rykwert wrote:

builclings throughout the 19th ancl early 20th centuries-from neoclassicism to neo-gothic, structural rationalism to arts and crafts, art nouveau to early moderno This diversity effectecl a further di\'ision of schools of thought in respcct to education practices and concerns. The net result was that by the beginning of the 20th century, thc architectural curriculum offered by institutions became increasingly less standarclized and more reOectivc of eclectic architcctural interests. During the 20th century, profcssional archill'ctural associations were createcllo support ancl protect t11l' uniflecl inlerests of practicing architet'ls. 11 became necessary to regulalc the profession lo ensure quality in practicc. In the United States and Canacla, separate professional associations, registration boards, exams, proccclures, and standards were developed for each state and province-to the poinl of prohibiting practice across jurisdictional boundaries. Lack of standardization in praclice paralleled the lack of standarclization in education. Under the conditions of the North American FreeTrade

The break occurs almost precisely at the turn of the centur~·.

And from thal time on, in spite of various

exceptions, the attitudc propounded by Durand dominates archilecturallhinking to the exclusion of all

Agreement, this condition could not continue to be perpetuatecl. A national procedure for professional regulation was aclopted, which required that a nalional slandard be de\'elopecl for architectural

others, since it proposes a ",holly unhistorical, \\'holl)' a-prioristic approach to design, in which the proceclure of

education.


-

The moclern intenention of the National Council of

acknowledgment of professionalism in architecture has resulted in the

Architectural Registration Boards, as a (legal) mediator between the

l'\entual devolution of the libe rally inclusive education to a more

professioll and the university, has encountered resistance from the

directed and prescriptive course of study.'

schaals wha have been opposed to unifying and standanlizing a

A symposium entitled "The Liberal Education ofArchitCLts"

"correct" approach to education. NCARB has struggled with creating a

in NO\'clllber 1990 at the University of Kansas addressl'd lhe issue al

uniform definition of"c1aims and intentions", that in effect, requires

some length 9 The Illajority cited the liberal aspects of the

the merger of disparate approaches to cducation. It has done so by

architectural education as the most positive ami desirable, yet

sctting spccific curriculum requirements. In 1981 NCARB Iisted 142

acknowledged that the maintenance and encouragelllent of the liberal

rcquired topics for Iin'nsing. Although this still represented a broad

education was problematic within the current s\路stelll. Mosl

liberal base of issucs (including accounting, economic, legal, technical,

contributors felt that the superior \'ersion of liberal education was to

l"I1vironmental and social issues), the requiremcnts "Trl' difficult for

be found outside schools of architecture, in undergraduate degrees

many schools to achie\路e.; Subsequent negotiations between the

acquired prior to entering the professional architel"tural program. :'\ 01

schools and the profession have whittled the list to less than 40

only was the technological and practice oriented course material cill'd

requirenl('nts, the intention of which continues to be to maintain a

as eroding the liberal intent and content, but il was c\"C'n felt lhat the

curriculum that simultaneously satisfies both liberal and technical

current methods for teaching the design stuclio netted a non-liberal

requirements. The Boyer Report outlines the quandary of

experience as the focus of studio projects is strongly oricnted towards

architectural institutions today which in response to NCARB

achievement, technological innovation ancl problem soh'ing, which are

requirements are attempting to simultaneously de\'L'lop increased

non-liberal icleals. The Illoclern focus of the clesign studio contrasts, for

professionalism while maintaining Iiberalization in their curriculum:

example, with thc 19th century' Beaux Arts program where projects \\lTe sel by the professor of architectural theory as a n1l'ans to engagc

Professionalism: Detailing the Evolution from Liberal stuclents in the study of theory', and where "Technological innm'ations

to Directeu were taken up on occasion, though many ilwentions "'ere ignored."'" Thl' shift in attitude towards the educational requirements of Most general or liberal arts programs at uni\"Crsities maintain an architect are twofold. First, the role of the architect throughout a high clegree of freedom in the setting of their courses ami conlent, as history, from the master designer / artist has been transformed to that do liberal arts students in exercising their choice whether or not to of the profcssional practitioner who must operate in a society thal focus on a specif铆c area of stucly. This freedom can be largely credilecl expects responsible action in Iight of technologically advanced building to the ability of these faculties to operate independently of related practices. 7 Second, a preoccupation with the ramitkations oflegal external professional societies. Architectural prograllls ha\'L' liahilily demands skillecl technical and administrati\l' capabilities. increasingly less curricular freeclom clue lo their peculiar relationship Thcsc conditions have reallocated the devotion of curricular time to to professional associations external to the Uni\lTSily. This problcm is the lechnological and professional practicc aspccts affecting l'\'idenced in the extremely high proponion of"core" to "elecli\l'" architecl ural design. In addition to a large range of specific technical courses which constitute most professional architeclural degree amI professionalcore courses, these concerns are also e\'idenced in the programs. Because of thcir simultaneous conllL'l"lion to lhe profcssion proliferation of"technically integrated" design studios. This

and desire to maintain some liberality' in their programs, most


architectural departments sit awkwardly ",ithin the structure of the universitv. Architecture Iives both in the world of art and in the world of technological performann·. And from this face comes not only its bimodality but also its anomalous and marginal character and its uneasy status in uni\'ersities. Architecture is a stranger in the modern uni\'ersity, a throwback representing an epistemology of practice no

; Esherick,joseph, 'The Professions ofArchitecture," Mb FaIl 1984. p. 26.

6

Boyer and .lfitgang, Building Communi~y: A New Future ror Architecture

Education and Practice.

-1 f\1omAN COMPUTER OrFICE INlfRIOR-CONPUTfR AlDm DISIGN IIAS SIGNlFlCA:.TlY CUANGfD r!l[ I

lUNCTION ANO PRACTlCE Uf ARClllfECJlJRE.

COURmv Ot AUTIIOR

1

longer dormant. Architecture expericnces real tension because of the place it occupies. On the one hand, there is a strong pull to join with the rest of the university in adopting the ITlodel o!tec1mical rationality; on the other hand, there is the self-protecting mystique of designo /1

External Pressures Shaping Architectural Education 7 'The

architeet 's role, as perceived by clients and the public. has continued ro

fluctuate. The I 980's archetype of the star performer who makes bold statements

The changing role of the architect in socit't l' to that of a professional practitioner in a position of great legalliability has

and createsJacades has begun to subside in Javor ofthe truer picture of a hard working, qualifíed professionaJ"("Housron Business: Focus: Engineering/ ArchiteeturelConstruction."Siness loumal, 23lfarch 1992). '''¡Ihile most architeeture programs do not preclude general studies, they

intensified external pressures on the university as an educational institution responsible for graduating students ",hose goal is membership in the profession of architecture. 12 There are four key

typical/y paraIlel rather than precede professional subjects and are consequent/y studied on a time available basis. lt is a common phenomenon that course work is accorded student attention proportional ro ils perceived career purpose"(Lee, Peter. "Some Thoughts on the Education of the Future Practitioner:·ill. jubilee 1987, p 42).

9

"The Liberal Education ofArchiteet,: lA '9'mposium sponsored by the Graham

FoundationJor .Idvanced Studies in the Fine Arts. held at The University of Kansas. November 1990).

sources of external pressure that are directing the professional restructuring of architectural education: first, public perception of the professional architl'ct in society; second, legalliability in the practice of architecture; third, the escalating role ami scope of technology (including computer aided design); amI fourth, the role of bureaucracy in the certification of education ami the process of

lO

Anne jacques, "The Programs ofthe :!rchitectural Section ofthe Ecole des

Beaux-Arts, 1819-1914:' The Beaux-:lrts and Nineteenth Centur¡ French

licensing for a professional architect.

Architecture. Robin .lfiddleton. ed. (Cambridge: The MIT Press. 1982). p. 59. II Donald.1.

Schon. 'The .Irchitectural Studio as an Exemplar of EducationJor

Public Perception ofthe Architect

Refleetion-in-Aetion:m. FaIl 1984. p. 2. /1 "Too

afien ... professional education is driven by the concept of professional

competence"which is equated wilh the ability ro perform specifíed tasks. As a consequence. many professional programs areJounded on the beliif that their mission is primari/y ro train studentsJor such task"(Groat. Linda. "Defining Liberal Education in the COn/ext ofArchltectural Education:' ("The Liberal Education ofArchitects,"1:1 '9'mposium sponsored by the Graham FoundationJor Advanced Studies in the nnc Arts. held at The University of Kansas• .\'ol·ember

I 990. p. 68). 13 john

Can society afford educated, as opposed to trainee! architects? Or, to invert the question, can society affore! trained, as opposed to educated architects' Licensing of the profession is based on the perception that society is dependent on the architect too for its health, safety and welfare. It is not surprising therefore that there is a strong hody of opinion which, implicitly if not cxplicitly, is in favor of the training of architects. ,.

.lfeunier,"ParadigmsJor Practice: .1 TaskJor Architecture Schools:' ill·

jubilee 1987. p.47.

The public and the client of the 1990's increasingly perceive the architect as a responsible professional, who in his/her role as the


-

primary consultant of a design and construction team, must act in an innovative but skilled amI businesslike manner. Whether the contemporary architect is responsible for handling vast sums of money on mega projects, or carefully designing a modest addition to a house, the client l"Xpects that not only will the architect design an aesthetically pleasing building, but that all el'Onomic and tcchnical requirements will be met. Where architects work on government funded projects, the public expects an ever more responsible handling of their tax dollars. With sorne exccptions, students of architecture (and their parents) come from the public realm, and carry with them these general perceptions regarding the profession. Most potential or incoming studcnts show a genuine interest in becoming a practicing professional at the end of their architectural education. The commitment required to complete the term of study represents a substantial amount of time as well as money for students and their parents. As a result, the decision to become an "Architect" is taken quite scriously by most applicants. Students intending to eventually practice architecture would choosc from the majority 01' architectural degrecs offered in North America which are deemed professional in status. Such degrees are considered as both a mandatory and minimum requirement prior to engaging in both national and regionallicensing processes. [t is the perccption 01' most students entcring a sehool of architecture offcring a professional degree that this degrec should be comprehensive, a complete preparation for handling both the "design" and "technical" roles of the architeet, and satisfy the requirements 01' the licensing boards. Students will 01't en selec( a school that has becn accrcdited by either the :"A.-\B or CACB expccting an all路incIusive architectural education. (Both U.S. and Canadian boards follo", virtually identical criteria.) Although not aH of the students entering programs in architecture will ultimately become practicing professionals, most would prefer and expect that their education will sen'e as a preparation for that role.

As symbols of professional authority began to represent a proven command of certain arcas 01' knowlcdge, the public's depcndence on authority increased, thus heightening the valuc 01' the holders of these arcas of knowledge. Rituals were adopted to serve as objective proof 01' professiona\ authority, including for example taking standardized examinations, awarding honors and prizcs, using jargon and tcchnical dc'ices, amI displaying credentials."14 The Boyer Report expands the desired public image 01' the architect to one 01' leadership and community servicc. Goal seven 01' the report suggests that students and faculty engage in actin' community sen'ice as the means 01' recognizing the professional and ethical importance 01' ci"ic engagement. H.

Legal Liability Legalliability has plaCl'd l'llormous pressure on the func(ion 01' the architect, a pressure ",hich has been acknowledged through curricular changes and additions in schools 01' architeeture. Thc legal framework 01' the 1990's is far more severe than that expericnccd by thc master builders and liberally cducated architects 01' the past. When an architect plaees his/her seal on a set of contraet documents, he/ she undertah's liabilit\' for the performance 01' that building which can extend we11 beyond the life 01' the architect. The architect as prime consultant is additionally responsible for overseeing the proper performance of aH other disciplines involved with the project-structural,


mechanical, electrical engineers, Iife safety, as well as tertiary consultants. The architect is legally and ethically responsible f(lr a comprehcnsive array oftechnical requirements (in which he/she may have only been indirectly educated) that have imposcd a redirection of

focus in practicc. Thc problem oflegalliability reflects not onl)' in . . the nature of topics which schools recognize must be incorporated into the curriculum, but also, in the expectations of students. Their assumption is that the education provided should be a complete prcparation in Iight of the future requirements of the profession. Any

DAYU(¡1l1ING MOOEl-DFSIGN STUDIO PROJECTS ARf fIlOW omN MORf lACTllf !\NI) PRESCRIPTIVE IN NATURf

THROUGH THfM STUOENTS 8FCOME fAMILlA.R WIlH lHE

deficiencies in the technical content could be highly problematic in this

l::NVIRONMlfltIAl ANU MATlRIAl t4AlURI: Of l\RfHITECTURAI UtSIG1IC.

CDlJRHsY Df TliE AUTHOR

instance, given this assumption. The notion of legalliability has not only affected the curriculum, its detailed content and offcrings which include courses

" ''TheJact that education has become a business is one ofthe problems. Institutions everywherefind themselves in competitionJor the tuition dollar. With

on professional practice 17 , acts, codes, specifications and managcment,

fixed capital costs and smaller and smaller studem population, universities

but the way in which Architecture is administrated amI taught. l'

"market "themselves" (ll(,Ij, Harry, "Observations on Education,"jJ1bJubilee 1987, p. 92).

Precedent setting legal cases where students have sued O\"l'r inadequate

" Sharon E. Sutton, "J!. :lrch. :IVilllt Help vol. 26, no. 9,

lO

.1/0) 1997,

IVhom Willlt Hurt','·.KS.. t

\"ClI"S.

p. 5.

education and improper grading practices have resulted in a more formal educational atmosphere. Single professor subjective grading is

Boya and Mitgang, p. l 3-+.

considered to be politically dangerous. 19 Preference is given to

17"One ifthe central issues in Qrchitectural educatían now is the re]ationship

betll"ccn the subjeets taught in the schooIs and the skills requiredJor professional practice" (Roben Gutman, "Education and the llorld ofPractice,"jJ1bJubilee

teaching situations which are carefully monitored and docun1l'nted, and where grading is done by teams on a consensus basis as a

1987, p. 2-+).

preventative measure against student appeals and potentiallawsuits.

" ..... and an insistence upon keeping that consumer happy. lt is a strange

Teaching becomes more directed and carefully controlled in these

situation to find that the notion ofbeing demanding strikes terror in the heart of administrators, and theJailing ofstudents is all but unheard

'!f' (I1olj: p. 92).

conditions, amlless liberal in the breadth of its approach and content, The traditional Beaux-Arts or Wrightian role of the omnipotent master

l'

Currem/y at the School ofArchitecture at the University ofWaterloo, all Design

Studios are taught by o minimum of two, preferenceJor three orJour,Jaculry who

and suppliant apprentice is less viable.

grade all studem work as a team. This procedure is in light ofa recent/y adopted Studem Appeals Policy which allowsJor the request ofa remarking/rereading!f the ,tudem disagrees lI"ith the grade giren. Previous policies required extenuating circumstances on the part ofstudems to legitimize an appeaI.

The Increased Role of Technology The need to lcarn about the ever increasing new technologies of architecture--such as increased performance criteria, numerous ncw materials amI products, industrialized building techniques, constantly changing laws and codes, and fast paced construction---has necessitated positive response from educational facilit ies. Compare the range of materials available for building during the 17th centur)', when


Given the limited number 01' course hours, the increase in technieal course requirements has had to "steal time" from e!ectiH' and liberal components 01' the curriculum. This increase has posed a difficulty in maintaining a balanced offering 01' courses, amI an e,en more serious problem at Schools otTering compressed professional de,grees where time issues are considerably more criticaI. The academic focus 01' the technical and professional courses is 01't en in conflict with the ideals 01' liberal education, and students find difficulty in comprehensively addressing the conceptual aims 01' a curriculum where its internal streams 01' study are seemingly at odds.

Accreclitation The professional architectural associations during the 1980's and 1990's have increased their intvrest in the programmatie requirements

01' the schools. This intervention in the education process ",as the result 01' the profession 's need to respond to public pereeptions and opinions about arehitecture. Architectural associations have been able to inf1uence and control the content and direetion 01' architectural education through the certil1cation process and the role it plays in the granting 01' Iicensing and professional registration. The power wiclded 路. dominant issues addressed in the academy related largely to history and the perfcction 01' proportions, to the vast array

by the certification board can be very heavy. Close scrutiny 01' the

01' materials and systems represented in the volumes 01' Swel'l's Catalogue... Many professional programs in

institution, its facilities, teaching staff, space, teaching ratios, principies

architecture have acknowledged these topies through the addition 01' new or expanded technical courses to provide a

and curricular content can result in highly specific recommendations

venue for addressing these issues. New computer related technologies to assist in the design amI construltion 01'

which must be met if accreditation is the objective. Schools with

buildings has resulted in the creation 01' complete networks 01' courses, orten including the creation 01' several mandatory

funding deficiencies 01't en have difficulty in meeting staffing and space

junior Ievcl courses, to familiarize students with hardware and software systems. These are often followed by required

requirements.

and clective senior leve! courses which respond to the availability ofnew and improved CAD, 3-D modeling, WWW, and virtual reality software. 2o Computer-based studios, devoid 01' tracing paper, design markers, and soft pencils are . increasingly common, altering the rclationship between faculty and students, and the focus 01' the studio projects.

The review process can put incredible pressure on the schools to modit)路 their curriculum in order to mee! the vcry specific requirements 01' the certification board." It is the perception 01' the

Computcr driven technical drawing precision quiekly pushes aside broad based sketch ideas. Institutions now offer

schools that the rocus 01' the Conditions and Procedures Document

professional architectural degrees whieh may have a computer minor attached. The profession, which has undergone a

favors the technical and professional practice requirements 01'

tremendous change since the onsl'l 01' computcr aided design, is increasingly looking for graduates and student

education over the liberal arts component. The liberal requirements

employees with advaneed computing skills. Employment has seen an increased marketability for students and graduates

are stated to constitute only a minimum 01' 20% 01' the total hours

who are chiefly proficient in computer skills. This fact is not missed by students in their demand for computing rclated

required for the completion 01' the program, and their content and

... courses.


quality are more subjective amlless directed than the corresponding technical component. 21 The specific requirements 01' the Conditions amI Procedures Document which describe the criteria constituting the deseriptive body 01' knowledge necessary for the practice 01' architecture outlines four major areas 01' study: Fundamental Knowledge (social, environmental, acsthetic, and technical), Design, Communication, and Practice (projcet, process, economics, business practice, management, laws, amI rcgulations). The criteria are stated in terms 01' the level 01' accomplishment that students should achieve prior to graduation; these being MOOER;\j CQMPU1[R OrrICE I;-'URIOR--(OMPUTER AIOm DESIGS HAS ~IG~lfICANTL'Y l""lPAClED TIlL

NAIURE

or

(OURH~\

ARClIlTECTURAI

or

"awareness ofthe topic", "understanding ofthe topic", amI, "ability to apply

mLJú\T1o~.

fHf AUTHOR

..

skills and knowledge to specific problems". Interpretation 01' the intentions 01' the document and its ramifications with respect to the intensity 01' exposure to the subjeet matter required, in terms 01' course time, leads to an appreciation 01'

lO

the inflated amount 01' time that is required to be devoted to the teaching 01'

Mark Gross, "RolesJor Computing in Schools ,?{1rchitecture and Planning,"

N, September

1994, p. ;6.

technology and practice, both as independent courses and as topics which 11

The list

if criteriaJor Canadian accreditation was modeled on ,,"CARB as to if theJuture benefits under the

require integration into the teaching 01' design studios. This is not to say that in

legitimize Canadian professional status in light

light 01' the current situation in architectural practice that this is not wise or

:\"orrh American Free Trade Agreement. !2 "Conditions

warranted, only that it necessarily reflects in the inevitable deerease in

and Procedures,"(Canadian Architeetural Certification Board, April

1992, p. 9).

!1

attention that can be paid to liberal studies. The liberal requirements are stated to constitute only a minimum 01' 20% 01' the content al' the curriculum as

BOJer and Mitgang, p. 63.

recommended by the NAAB. Although the resultant accredited curriculum is not completely devoid al' liberal content, the primary focus has largely shifted to more specific issues al' problem soh-ing, design, and technology. Should such a direction eontinue to evoh-e, it willlikely erode program variety. In recognition 01' this situation and in an effort to maintain diversity, the Boyer Report suggests that the current requirements be altered to cn'ate a state of"standards without standardization." Such requirements would be less prescriptive amI stress modes ofthought rather than blocks ofknowledge. l l

Preparing Graduates forVaried Employment Opportunities External pressures and ultimately, the specific interventions 01' the arehitectural certification boards, have ¡",en successful in conservativcly tailoring the "professional" degree to meet the nceds 01' the registration and licensing pron'ss, and to serve as a high quality preparation for the practice 01' architecture. During the height 01' the building boom 01' the 1980's, when the architectural certification boards began to seriously address the issues associated with directed education, teehnology, practice, and the design curriculum, the majority 01' graduates with professional architectural degrees went on to become licensed practicing professionals. To this end, the directed education was both effective and appropriate. Graduates were adequately prepared to tackle increasingly more difficult and complex registration exams and all aspects al' traditional architectural practice.


..

The current fluctuating economic situation may beg

.1

different response. Although the "professional"

degree still serves as an excellent preparation for those competing in the rcduced architel"tural market, "profcssional" architcctural degrees are becoming so specifically preparatory f"r employment as traditional practicing architects (with high-level computer skills) , that both students and graduates are finding themsdves iIl prepared to create or llnd alternative work in the context of recurring economic recessions. '4 Additionally, professional education is often criticized as providing "training" versus "knowledge." Current employment entertains a combined venue of traditional architectural offices, government agencies, alternative design fidds, and entrepreneurial self employment. Students and reeent graduates are trying to find or create alternative avenues which serve to support a broader difinition

ifarchitecture.

Such alternative work

may largely be found in design related fields which .lre more "liberal" and less "professional practice" oriented in their interpretation.

Many graduates find career paths that are downright lateral, more in the tradition of the list of onceaspiring architects who went on to do other things for which they were more notorious _. Jimmy Skwart, Alfred Butts, (the recently deceased author of Serabble) - or of the legendary architecture students who went on to become rock stars - I)avid Byrne, Roger Waters, John Denver.... Closer to home, people are curating exhibitions, opening their own restaurants, creating sculpture amI art, starting magazines. 25

A recent study conducted by the OntarĂ­o Association of Architects (this province, during the mid 1990's, being particularly oversupplied with architects and students and undersupplied with work) found that in 1995 13% . of its members were employed in jobs they l'Onsidered to be outside of the traditional realm of architecture. 26 Such . ÂĄobs included management, teaching, related design, artistic, construction, trades, and sales. An additional 25% felt that they would not be engaged in a traditional practice in 5 years time. They cited low pay, insufficient work and retirement as their reasons. This same study polled members for thcir thoughts on important changes which should be made to the schools. The foremost responses were to provide better trainino in business administration, more practical experience by eneouraging coop education programs, trainino for thc "real world", stronger technical education, more construction relatcd courses ,md

.1

reduction in enrollment. This type of feedback from practicing

architects highlights the conflict present in the prokssion. These recommendations are in direct opposition to older models of architectural curricula (which the Boyer Report would suggest we revive) that tended to prepare - architects for more diverse arcas of study (and employment) via liberal education and lateral thinking.


"What docs not dcstroy me makcs me stronger." Friedrich Nietzsche The movc to stanclarclizc curricular contcnt has rcsultccl in a shift lo\\"arcls professionalism ami a\\"a~' from libcralism. 11 \\"ould SCl'm thal thc current state of architectural cclucation clescribes an eclucation, which due to the cxternal pressures that shape the requirements for eclucating a professionol, has indeccl taken a Icss liberal ancl morc conservati\'e c1irection as thc means to instruct graduates ti)r a vcry specific lraclitional plus computcr-rclatecl ¡ob markcl. ft rcmains to be seen whcthcr or not this c1ircction in architcctural cducation is ultimatcly succcssful in prcparing graduatcs for thc current, ancl constantly changing, state of architecture ancl the neccl to aclclrcss an increasing numbcr

...

-""Vhools oJarchiteeture ha"e always srooJ a lillle aparlJrom the everyday

of morc Iibcral altcrnati\'cs in the broadcning c1d'inition of the "practice of architccture_" In light of thc immccliate situation in cclucation and thc

JemanJ'?f the proJession and oJ the marketplace, anJ i' i.< riah, thar ,hac should be so. But howJar can ¡JJQt Ji"eraence ao before the link between ,he school unJ the profession becomes Janaerouslj' tenuous, anJ ,he jmplicic

profcssion, il \mulel appcar that dircctccl profcssional eclucation may not bc satisfactory. Fcclings arc increasing that thc return to, or aelclitional

auarantee that ,he ,chool prepares che swJenrJor ,he worl" ,!fwork "eraes on JishonC'ty.'''(/-lisrorian :lnJrew SaJnt .jrom o paper JelivereJ ar the /-Iafl'arJ GraJuate School ofDesian, Ocrober 23, 1993.) (Thomas Fisher."Can This

prov-ision 01', an altcrnati\T, morc liberal architccturall'ducation is rcquircd to rcspond to the clwinelling ficlel ol'traditional architcctural cmplo~·mcnl.

Whilc thc magnituclc 01' the problcm is already grcat, it is bcing cxaccrbatccl by the current move to stanclarclize clegrcc nomenclaturc.

Pr?feSSion Be SOI'ed'," Pragre",si" _Üchitecture, February 199~, p.~7). '; I\apusta, p. ~ 1 (/¡ /s incerestina ro note that Beth B'aJuateJ Inth a professional B._-Irch. durina the 1980's and was employedJull time as ,he Assisran, EJiror oJThe CanaJian .1rchitect.._')

The mov-c lo climinatc the Bachclor 01' Architccturc dcgrec as thc cml prol'essional degrcc ancl rcplace it "'ith a Profcssional Mastcr 01' Architecturc will bcgin to erodc other aspccts 01' Iibcral bascd varicly in architcctural programs. Thrcc )"car professional programs must aclelrcss a comprchcnsi\'e range 01' issucs, morc tcchnicallhan libcral, in a compressecl timc framc. Non-prol'cssional Masters in Architecture programs, \\"hich traclitionally li)lIowccl thc profcssional Bachelor of Architccture, will c1wincllc in numbcr as thc quantily 01' professional Mastcrs 01'

Pall taken by the Ontario Association oJArchitcas, reaarJina members'

:\rchitecturc programs incrcases. In thl' future, purcl)" acaclemic or rescarch bascd

non-profcssional- intercsl in the I'ielel m,l)" only bc servcd

emp/o.yment status.

by thc eloctoratc degree - a c1cgrcc bcyoncl the grasp 01' many. Can

"II'IIliam C. .lIiller, "Forests and Orchards: Thouahcs on the SranJarJization oJ Dearee Somenc/awre:·.-ICS.I Sell's, vol. 26, no. 9, May 1997, p.~.

\1'<'

learn I'rom our mistakcs anel circumstanccs, both currenl anel pre\'ious, ancl use this information to ultimatel~' achic\'L' a

superior I'orm 01' archilectural eclucation? HOWC\Tr O\crly iclealistic, the bcst course is likely to create a diversily 01' choice within thc singular eclucation 01' the ,lrchitect ralher than to create 1\\'() distinct streams 01' stucly, libcral versus professional, which manelatc a career choice from thc outset. Thc Boyer Rcport has gi\cn architectural schooling a thorough rcvicw ancl has sct out a comprehensive array 01' goals to assist in the ele\'clopmcnt 01' this type 01' inclusive eelucation. These goals may or may nol result in serious changes in our approach to eclucation. At prescnl, The

BO~Tr

Report has netteel much eliscussion hut Icss apparcnt anion_

.-\n important focus for us to remembcr is that lhe knowlcclge, values, and faculties 01' critical thinking associatccl with a libcral education are both a basis ti)r ancl a constant companion 01' architectural eelucation ancI practi(T _ _.. Programs neecl to foster attitudcs that arise from a curiosity for ",hat is and a hope for whal could be, couplccl with del'<'loping creali\'L' talcnt to chart courses through thcsc interaeti\(' complexities. 17

¡'''los1 institutions are no longer able to provide an inclepenelcnlly I'unctioning liberal eclucation thal satisfies 011

01' the requircments 01' the

professjon anel its v-arious agencies ancllicensing boarels. Giv-en the state 01' Oux apparent in architcetural eclucation in the 1990's, the existcncc 01' a

truly liberal posture in archit,·ctural education must be seriously questionccl.


MacBRIDE

o "A

'iS

1(

1

MUSCHAMP OTI RO-PAII P 11 R 11

~

O~

R 1 \ J

OCHSHORN T

~

PI 1

With the purpo

1 11 D J

PASNIK " 1J "

e 0.\

whieh, in the eomror

J J 1 J I ,1/ S

SCHACK war possible. This thesis use thcs

lourist sit

as

vehicles to explore the poteney ancl limils or arehiteeturc as a rcpresentational and I gibl devi e in a pla e whcr thc built environment has b en in pocli eonlli t wilh its intended re ult . ..::

------ -

AROVl: REAl """CARD

K-25

--

I'tANT

RIGHT: IDEAL 1l()"iTCARO ANO "ITf NO

2 O\fRlOOti.


-----

Through a series of mappings, both

roan kcl on a sl'an:h homh iN路1f. The

nt

ofthis c\cnt in modcrn h


Epithet: translating the unspoken word: translating the embedded connotations and stereotypes in architectural scriptures. '""

BOAKE

~

A Catalog RITA.N/OS

1I~\\1

RI TTI-R

GENSLER ..:: e

H

o

I

...

FIJIR

This

HEYMANN

thesis

examines

how

architccturc reflects idcntity throughout the

GUTIIRRFZ

analysis and subsequcnt re-programming of

HIIANG

gendered space. Thc proposition questions

LEWIS

stereotypical notions of domesticity as a

11 A l G N A N

woman's domain; exposing gender biases

MacBRIDE

embedded in architcctural works.

O,jfANSKY

gendered space is constructed through

MUSCHAMP

idcology, then it can only be understood

OTfRO-PAILOS PIlO R 1I A R 1

If

through that particular socil't)' 's cncoded

:v l

language. As a means to qucstion how one

OCHSHORN

re-defines domestic spacl"s (program)

/4 PI A

within a "home," I examined iconic

VA/O/S

appliances amI fixturcs that allow one to

PASNIK call or signify a space domestic. The WlfCO\

problem/project rcsulted with a program H' l / 1 lA 1I S

SCHACK

~

that challcnges the traditional social I

...

cultural gender roles within the Colombian domicile through thc design of six hybrid mechanismsl fixtures. Thesc hybridizations altered, rcvealcd, or reinforced the inhcrent social biascs within thc conventional domcstic rcalm.

r----------------------------------------' ------------------

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text: (2): a work comaininB edited or emended copy

cif an original work

The thcsis providcd a text, a rc-writing of ('onvcntional architcctural representations. Operating under the assumption of a male 's standard 5' -1 1" station point, a re-drafting of perspectival views \Vas explorcd to include the "Iower," 5' -2" female station point. Thc objcctive

'

..

\Vas to gain accessibility to both genders' pcrccptual inhabitation of space. The drawings produce a double reading, in which one engages both

11

inhabitors' "gaze." The project secks to include both points of view and avoids the EX-clusion of an audience. 1al so explored the possibilities of t\Vo sites, one being writings of a 1951 t..xt; as a catalog of conventions that gcnerated the fixtures. The second site; th.. si te of cultural application, Colomhia, South America.

The tension created through

these two reprcsentational conditions of an architectural site reveals the construction of biases inherent \Vithin thc reality of th.. publication and the r..atit y of a physical place.

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ensler


Gens/er and Associates began \\"ith Arthur Gensler's direct relationships \\"ith his clientele, but the practice has since grown to define

what sorne have called a corporate \Trnacular for late capitalism. Grounded simply in the complete sen'ice it provides to its c1ients, Gens/er and Associates is no\\" one

01' the largest design firms in the \\"orld and has defined a practice that businesses large and small have come to

trust. Whilc the Genslcr phenomenon includes sixteen offlces worldwide, it also serves as a curricular engine at Cornell by bringing noted practitioners to teach a fourth year design studio in collaboration lIith a facult Y' member. The Genslcr Family Yisiting Critic Studio has brought principal architects from such noted firms as Kohn Pederson Fox, Michael Sorkin, Skidmore O\\"ings & Merril, Reiser + Umemoto, Simon Ungers, I'olshek & Partners, ami Morris + Sato to teach here in Ithaca, NY. Much has been versed on the benents 01' the Genslcr FamilY'Yisiting Critic Studio, as it is mutually' beneficial to all parties inmked. The Gensler Family' Yisiting Critic position that - each year since 1991- has allo\\"ed many' distinguished ami inspiring practicing architects to he invited to the department to teach in fourth year studios... Beyol1d this the Cornell Architecture community has also benefitted fmm its special relationship \\"ith Art Genslcr, with numerous summer intl'rnships for students, freguent hires for new graduates, and facultv involvement ami interaction with Gensler and Associates, as well as his leadership role on the college's ackisory board, numerous campaign committees ami much more.

l

Such dirl'ct inmh'ement at Cornell has earned Arthur Gensler numerous awards including the Frank H.T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Sen'ice A\\"ard ami the Entrepreneur-of-the- Year J 995. In light 01' the recognition that Arthur Gensler has received from Cornell University' alone-not to mention national and international recognition - \\"e deeided to further examine his direl'l invol\'l'ment \\"ith our curriculum. In conjunction \\"ith this Journal's theme, liT \\"ondered ho\\" his global practice interchanged \\"ith his c10se relationship to Cornell Architecture and how this sets a standard for a gradation 01' practices. Fe\\" could doubt that Gens/er anJ Associates is one 01' the largest ami most ubiguitous on the spectrum 01' architl'ctural practices. One cannot wholly understand this praC'lice as a practice alone, but as a phenomenon. A phenomenon that is worth examining. While implying an absence 01' agency' in an exceptional or signitlcant event, a phenomenon is something that one is a\\"are 01' through the senses rather than discerned hy thought or intuition. Should one Iw made more a\\"are 01' such a phenomenon? Or rather should one examine the processes \\"hich allo\\" such phenomena to occur? Intrigued hy' ho\\" Mr. Genslcr's goals as a global practitioner interchange \\"ith his hopes and inml\'l'ment in the future 01' architectural education, lI'e prepared eight guestions to instigate a discussion 01' these issues with him in the form 01' an interview. We J

3,328 So/urians. Gensler and Assaciales. .1nnual Repart. 1998. hOIJl" that our discussion \\"ith Mr. Gensler will spur more inguest from students, educators, ami practitioners regarding ho\\" the Gensler

'.llark CrUl-ellicr. "The Genslcr Familyl"J,itina Crilic Sil/dios," CalleĂ­Je al' ArchJleClure An anJ PlannJnĂ­J .\"ell"sle!ter. Fall 1998. p, 6.

phenolllenon affects and shapes the collaborative practice ami the education 01' individual architccts. E.G. j.T. M.W.

..


CJA: Cornell has long been known to provide a strong theoretical and professional architectural education. HaYing been a Cornell architectural student in a developing postwar economy, could you characterize your education at Cornell relative to the mass production of a corporate American modernism? Can )'ou now recognize a consistent theme in the problems assigned to you then in the studio?

:: Gensler: 1 was a studcnt at Cornell from 1953 to 1958 in the College of Architccture, Art and Planning. I'm not sure 1 would characterize In)' education as rclating to thc mass production of corporate American modernismo What we had was an opportunity to explore all aspects of design, construction and technology, as well as the history of architecture and how it applies to these issul's. The problems we were given to design Wl'IT, in many ways, very similar to the problems that I see the students undertaking today. We were always gi\l'n opportunities to express ourselves and were not encouraged to focus our attention on any one style or direction, although, a clearl)' modernistic approach was encouraged in our design efforts. Although there \\('Te sorne team projects, the thesis project in the Fall of our fifth year was the most collaborative. We studied the planning and design for Brasilia, the nl'\\ capital for Brazil--a site that had been identified by a group of Cornell professors from the engineering school. While 111)' own thesis was the design of the Winter Olympics facilities, others too k on theatres, resorts, museums and a .<'

variety of design projects. GENSLE'< ARe"!

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Erie:

Tbe followmg are my response¡¡ to your mtervlew qucstions. 1, 1 WiIS a. studcnt lit Comell from 1953 10 l!:lSa in the College oí Arcb.ltecture A.Tt and P1a:oll.in~, l' 111 no! sute 1would charactenze my edlM:lltlOn as relating 10 lhe mass produetlOll of l:OIpOIáte American modernism. \VbAt we Ilad w~s an oppoItUnity to ~xplQJ'(! allll$'pl:cLS of design, eonstnlction and lechnology. ai well as lhe hl.tory of llIchilectu.'"e lIIId how il applies to thcU I.!isues. The problems we were given 10 design ',Vere. i.l\. many waY9, very illnilar ro me problems that I see tbe smaents undertalting loday. We were always g¡ven opportunities (O expfess ourselves and were not encouraged lO foct\s our aneution on allY one st) le or direction, a1thOl.lgh. A elearly modemistie approaeh WjlS encouraged in our design effoltS Although there -

-

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~l)I!Ile~.,.e~opI'OJONt~f-lllolf~IlW'J~.Ql;l ~r¡¡¡,¡¡~ We srudiecl the planrung and design fo1' Bra.ilie., tbe new eapitol fOl Bruil- a SJle lhat had been iden1i.ñed by a group oí Comell profe~sQrs from tbe. engmefrnllg schao\. \\'hile my 0111\1 t1l~s WllS the design ofthe Wmter Olympics facihties, others tOO\( on mearer" resorts, rnuse'Jms and a variery of design pr0.lecrs 2. During the rime 1 WQ. a srudenl al Comell there WllS no emphasis on the intelior component oí a buildmg, As 1remember il, we would open the Klloll ClItalogue and selecl h

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.. KNOLL INDEX OF CONTEMPORARY DESIG

MIES VAN DER ROHE DESIGN 251 "re.lona stool

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CJA: You mentioned in an inlen'j('w in a recent issue of ArchileCLUra/ Record that your first break was when a college

friend asked you to do the tenant space planning of one building. Oid you feel sufficientl~' prepared for this commission, or was it a stretch from what mu did in school? B.O\RULOSA C/1AIR BY MIES VAS DER ROH[ REPRINHD FROM KNOII INOfX OF (OlllTP1PORARY D~')I(IN.

______________ ..J

I QS4

Gensler: Ouring the time I was a student at Comell, there was no emphasis on the interior component of a building. As 1 remember it, we would open the Knoll catalogue amI select a Barcelona or Mies chair. If anything at all \\as addressed about the interior, that was about as far as it wenl. Programming, space planning, and requirements of the workers w('re not issues that were addressed, However, although there were sonw KNOll ยกNOfX OF CONTEMPORARY DESlGN,

1954

COVER

eady efforts by sorne architects to look at the interior spaces of commercial buildings, it was probably not an issue that was commonly addresscd in the commercial buildings of that era. It was sorne of the work I did during my earlier training that allowed me to undertake a more .lnalylil'.ll C1n

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and systematic approach to solving a tenant space planning problem,


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mfFlCUIfY INlF.(JRATlNG THEIR IDEAS, EAeH slUDENT WANlING lO WORK ALONE, HOWfVER, 'BY WORKIN(¡ IN GROlJPS YOU ECHO lHE REAl WORIO.'I

r-----4. lt seems 10 me milI 1 professionals aUows lU1 t;. ~ oe~gn-oriented-busiD

llmits the creativity Iba

CJA: You once stated that you e

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yourself as a 'design

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oriented business architeet' and not onl\' is \'Our lIrm a leader

uchitect. TlJe emplwi thoughtful, ethical, and experienced. Much of!he experiencc ono g;AÍns comes aflcr Olle fiIl.i.shcs lheir college education. In Caet, wi!h !he rete of ehllDge U,ai 1S happenmg III om industry and ID soci8ty, continuing ec1ucation is an on-2Qing necesSlty. What!he profcsslOna.l eoo¡;.;¡tiOll dotsand should - providc is !he creaúon of a well·rounded person w¡1h !he Ilbiliry to understand cvaything from bistol}' to cthics, from design and color Il1ld forro ID law ¡md M;ll:nCC. AJld., almost more importandy than anytlung,lhc abilily lo CommuruCll1= onc's idC=a$ both grapbicaJly and verbaJly are lhe keys to providing a true professiooal eduC800n.

in interior design but you ha\'l' also enabled it to venture into

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Gensler: MY goals were to be a part 01' the leadership of a design lIrm. However, I can honestly state that ¡ never

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anticipated being a principal and major owner of a large, multi-

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discipline dcsign firmo Gensler is an architectural lIrm that has

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stretched the scr\'iees 01' a traditional architectural lIrm into

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interiors, product design, lighting, carpets, textiles, graphics

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6. 1'lVould expect students who MW completed the curriculum lD this .tudio to have bener lUlderstlndíng o!bow to put thelt otller acadOlIlIc clllsses mIO a cooten of our profeuion. Ido not expect UieIU 10 become instanl experts in lhe llrelltion, development and design of I building or tile management of a projee!. However, 1 do believe !ha! the expO$uro 10 people who 11m IivUlJ! day 10 day with tbe issues Ihat 3ll111chitccr faces ami who wi!! Yuirc !ha! wlth lhe studl:Dls wiU

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did these ideas evolve? "DAC

education. Jt is importanl to gel the bll.SIC foundations of dcsi&D and relA.ltd academu: COUIie$ ¡hat go with a well-tounded education through your professors and coUege úcv.l¡y. Bul Ibe exposure 10 a pl1lCricmg profOS6lODlll pUIS al! of!hose expmenccs mto a C{¡fj~X!. 1 was fornmare [O have had 11 number of outstllnding crilics dunng my fourth year al Comel!. From people like Buclanlnslcr fuller lo HellT)' Hlll, a wonderful San FranCISco archltect, these people had 3 profound impact on my approach lo my career. In tact, ¡ would nOloe l1\ California íf lt were not for lhe encoun.gerncnt of HclU'}' Hill duru1g Ius sttly as a vls1ting critic lo Camello Ir 5eemed appropriatc to me and to rey family, sin~ t\ús 1/llJuable program bad been abandoned a[ Comen because of ¡acle of funding, tlrat wc fl)' to ::eÍl1.>'11tute w~t 1tl10ught was one oi my more V31uable experiences al Camell. Ido nol llave a dlrect s,y \1\ lile selecuor. of tlJe practicing archíreelS fer the studlO !nIt I bave encoUtaged the Dem ;u¡d Chairman of the Department to sel~t praeticing architect8. bllBed ID the Uru1=d Sláte$, who have an Ull~ntandmg ofboth tlre deSlgn lS'Ues md !he business 1saues effectin¡ our profession. 1 ¡un hOllo¡ed lhat fll'lDS such as Skidmore Owillgs & Merrill. Kohn Pedersen Fax. and olhcrs have a¡rced ro participa le in lile srudio. It ts apparenr ro me that. lllthough the Col1e¡¡c h/l$ many outstand¡o¡; profej¡iQfs. many lack curren! e"l'eríenl:e workin¡ in a pta.cticlng office M~b of thrs 1& caused by Comell's JocatiOD ID lthaca

-

'arehitectural design package' part of your goals? 11' not, how

The ida for lhe Gensler Family VlSltin& Cntics Sh¡dío WiS ilD OlltgfOwth of my beJief

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a student, was this idea 01' offering clients a complete

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lllat índíviduals should be exposed lO a pTllcricing design professlonal as 11 pan oí illlll:rChittctutal

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other areas sueh as furniture, Iighting, earpets and textiles. As


------SOM Humo fiNAL CRITIOUE, fAll

1997,

MUS"E SOl OLE ANU M'GlIAN BROWN

ALl PUOTOGRAP!is nulO, PAtil BY AlISON

Kwo.. .

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_________________ -.1

1997,

GEORGE HAscuP, MIClIAEL SUIlVART"G, Hu<.II HA'IJY, MUSTMA ABAUAN, B,WE TSlEN, ARTlIUR GLNSlER, RA"El VIテ前IY, MoslH SO""" ANO juul1" CIIO\V --

SOM STUUlO.

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1997.

HaG" HARIJY, BIUIE TSlEN, MICIIAIl S<WARflNG, RAfAEl Viテ前lV, ANU CARIDS I"ANZON

--~--------------------------------~

CJA: .\1am students in to<!ay's economic climate emphasize the word "professional" in a "professional education," In a professional education, do you see the need for students to have a comprehensive grasp of all aspects of design to prepare them for the business of architecture?

Gensler: It seems to me that the proper skills and an assemblage of a multi-disciplined group of talented professionals allow an organization to provide a broad range of design ser vices to a client, I am a design-oriented-business architect ami proud of it. However, that in no way detracts from or Iimits the creatiyity. That I belicyc is a requirement and the responsibility of a prqfessional architect. The emphasis on the word prifessional Eliツソabech L. Kim, "Condado Beach rno," Col/e[/.e cfArchllecwre An and Plannin[/. elVsletEer, Fol/ 1998, p. 9.

J

is important to me, that means competent, thoughtful, ethical, and experienced. Much of the experience one gains comes after one finishes their college education. In fact, with the rate of change that is happening in our industry and in society, continuing education is an ongoing necessity. What the professional education does--and should-provide is the creation of a well-rounded person with the ability to understand everything

"

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STlIUfNTS CARlOS RAMIRIl, OWfN O'ROl:RKI, ANU PENflOP' CRASII WITII MARIA RosSI

CONOAIJO BIAI" TRIO. fAu

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1998

SoLllTlONS. G"'IfR ANO ASSOClAlES

from history to ethics, from design amI color and form, to law ami science. And, almost more importantly than anything, the ability to communicate one's idea both graphically ami H~rbally are the keys to providing a true professional education.


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Far Esteban ennJe), the Genslu swdia has been a H very rare, ve')' e.\citina, anJ ve,:}'

enlinhLeninn"experience. and a unique opporwnity LO col/abarate lViLh swdems and

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--....---CJA: The Gensler Family Visiting Critie Studio has been a stable component of the design eurrieulum hcre at Cornell for almost eight years now. How did the idea for the Gensler Family Visiting Critic Studio come about? Do you have a say in selecting the praeticing architects for the studio?

Gcnsler: The idea for the Gensler Family Visiting Critics Studio was an outgrowth of my belief that individuals should be exposed to a practicing design professional as a part of an arehiteetural education. It is important to get the basie foundations of design and rclated aeademie eourses along with a wcll-rounded education through your profcssors and eollcge faculty. But the cxposure to a practicing profcssional puts all of those experiemTs into a eontl'xt. 1 was fortunate to have had a number of outstanding crities during my fourth year at Cornell. [From peoplc like Buekminster Fuller to Hcnry Hill, a wonderful San Francisco arehiteet, these peoplc had a profound impact on my approach to my carecr. In faet, I would not be in California if it \\'ere not for the eneouragement of Henn Hill during his stay as a \isiting critie to Corncll. It seemed appropriate to mc and to my

l.

¡;ll11i1y, sinee this valuable program had been abandoned at Cornell because of a lack of funding, that \\c try to reinstitute what 1 thought "as one of my more \aluable expcrienees at Cornell. 1 do not

~ J _¡have a direet say in the sclection of the practicing architeets for the studio but 1 have encouraged the Dean and Chairman of the Department to scleet practicing arehiteets based in the United States; \\T ha\'l' an understanding of both the design issues and the business issues effeeting our profession. 1 am honored that firms such as Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Kohn Pcderson Fox and others have agreed to participate in the studio. It is apparent to me that although the Colkge has many outstanding TIMI51lARE

profcssors, many lack current cxperience working in a practieing omee. Much of this is caused by Cornell's loeation in Ithaea.


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CJA: Through Genslcr's worldwide range of projects and offices, you export what has been described as an American corporate "ernacular. After having prepared for the new millennium of the 'global marketplace' over Ihe past 10 years, do the changes in your practice (with the rise of the internet and the increasing ease of global interactivity) warrant a major re-evaluation of the way in which architects are taught in U.S. architecture schools?

Gensler: 1 think thcre are always opportunities to improve Ihe curriculum of an architectural programo 1 believe it is important that the Conege provides the basic skills required of the profession and required for licensing, but 1believe that it is equally important ' and probably more important than ever before-, Ihat we anow the student to have an opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful breadth of courses that are available at Cornell. There is no one clear path leading to becoming a good architect. Our field otlers many opportunities and manyapproaches. Being a part of a global firm, the requirements of our staff of professionals is, in sorne ways, diffcrent from those of a smaller, more regionally oriented firm or a firm that specializes in a particular discipline or project type. Neither is better or worse than the other, but 1believe that in today's world, a rich and a broad education is absolutely critical, and that the ability to communkale one's ideas--cspecially verbany-has become more than ever before: a critical and essential part of the educational experience. 1am less concerned with people becoming technically skilled-I am more concerned with their being rounded individuals. cornen, with its vast array of programs, can provide those opportunities.


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erule< is m.de up of pcople wlth ou.:epuon.al ,h.a"l..tCf and encrgy. who <el tbe passiun and u.t of our onguuJ vulQn-(O d~hvu qu.IIIY des'gn in lh...rví« of Out dimts' C'nrerpriscs. The vwon Chal we M'" will.Iway b< tbe soul of Gmdcr E.tch of UJ is dcdicaecd eo f<glWding and ",inforcing 11.

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CJA: Terry Eagleton, a noted Iiterary thcorist, once stated that "Thc greatcst frcedom is making something of that which makes you. In short, that word is histor),." How do your goals as a global practitioner interchangc with your goals as an innuential alumnus on the curriculum of your alma mater?

Gensler: M)' interest in Comell has grown over a long period of time. I wantcd to go to Comcll for as long as I can remcmber. I was fortunatc to bc accepted, and I have enjoyed and cherished my long association with the institution. I am proud of thc quality of thc students that Comell has graduated and I have been fortunatc to have many of thcm join mc at my firmo Ido cnjoy the opportunity to shan' my thoughts and ideas about thc way that the profession is cvolving and changing with the faculty and discuss it with other alumnac from thc College. I bclicH' thc reason for much of my personal and profcssional SUCCl'SS

is a result of my relationship with Comell: the peoplc 1 have

met, the experiences I havc had and thc knowlcdgc that 1gaincd, all

My intcrm ID Co:nell b grown OY ilIon¡; pe

d oftunc. 1 w U) 80 [O Comell for as long 1 CllIl remember 1 as fortunate lO be accepted and 1ha e et1Joyed and chenshcd rny long ociaban wlm me mstitutí n. 1AIII proud oC !he quality of that ComeU lw graduated and 1nave been fortun:l e to h ve tI1lIIly oflbem JOll1 me al my fumo J do eI1JOY the opportunity to share my tho gbts and lCJeas abo [the y t profe slon 1$ evo vmg d on e gmg 'Nllh the faculty d discuss u w fu other a umnae.frorn thc colle:e I b licvc lb rOl much oC my penoTl31 mld preCe IOnal !Uece u a result of my relationslllp mth Comen: 'lhc ~op¡e 1bllvc meto me ~cnccs 1have bad IUld the Imowlw e thllt 1 8~ el, Iill eotnnbuwl ro lIWly oC the opportnníties llave and the accompl 6hments 1 VI: bccn ble to emeve P

MAO:

don'l hCSltate te callle you have

y

stlons 11

•fol"PW to Ihe upcommg artlc

contributed to man)' of the opportunitics I have had ami thc accomplishmcnts I havc bccn able to achieve.


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Once thc oU 'ctor uf Rom •

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rClitaliún T th Til r a a ('ollector to prOlidc a placc for rcmll 'ction

11 11 CO V

hi tor • ami lO stiteh i hack into the ity fahric as a positin' loiel.

11 1 E 1 1 lIT S

This sitc is al lh

"C"Ttex ofVi Giuli anel Ponl Sisto, and th

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SCHACK

mus Un1 al' lhe Tib r Riler. The mus 'Um proper sits at tllC' presently und bned ~

tl'rrninus of'Via Giulia and lorm: a n '\\ urhao gat

to .nel

m thc

our "ard is a dstern lhal collce;t" potable \\ al r lll\\ing thrOl~gh ut fu ultimalc'ly empties oul inte) t11e river in a rC'miniscent gl·sture. Th gall 'ri .~ sh ar


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Representation ofProgram:[cin matic inte SCHACK

uality] into

an architecture evoked a language of per eption. The s4Jperimpo ition of pest / buda marked by time developed a rang of misé en se e ues for expressing the city/citie mood: static po ure smiles that fad ,aimless walks, emotion-filled I nJ SlT

COy

rt gla ces,

'e, th trran ient

t caro The amera hduses conve lioos of expr ssive realism which can

shap spatitl represe tation. The verlapped frames of two equ nce


window Each frame referred to its impli d past and hinted futurc, howcver the rrame served as "halting points," a familyor spatial -

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Why We Work at the Big TabIe

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he relationship ol' the practice ol' architecture to its pedagogy today incites discussion and disagreement in the school at which I teach, as 1suspect it ma~' at ~'()urs (it is ol' cyclical interest). The

PASNIK primary source l'or the debate is rumored to be practitioners, with JI' II.

e 0.\ their need for the hirahle. But 1doubt that. The real instigators are ;,

11' 11. l. 1 A .11 S

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SCHACK

~

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students, who-not horo yesterday-intend to get jobs in spite 01' thcir sense ol' a darkening l'uture. Increasingly, l'or them, profcssional is the operative term in prol'essional education.

:..; Yet what is "prol'essional" as defined by students' desires? would venture that it means something like prepared. But prepared for what? Thc first task I ever undertook working l'or an architect involved c1caning the pigeon excrement off ol' a skylight over the dral'ting room. And then 1 filed slides and made coffee. Latcr that da\'


Au

PllfHOGMPtl$ 8'1' AUTBuR UNltSS OlHEIIWbf NOTlO

1carri da large sum of cash in a pap

bag across Manhattan. A an

cond, a frequ ntly explicaled pre umption: archit cts can invenllh

archilect, 1have choreographed the simultaneous f1rsl biles inlo one

world and hay a fairly important say therein, ignoring ule knowl dgc

hundr d Fuji apples by one hundred Unitarians. Th following day I

lhat architeclure as an activity is only directly re ponsible for rt"latively

wa hanging oul of an open

few buildings while as a noun we use it to lay claim lo the entir world,

l'

e na, photographing farmland (and

'0

on). Admittedly, the e are nol categories of the lnlern Dev lopm nI THf BIG TABlE. STAGf

1

AUVANClD SrUDlO,

SrRING

1995

Programo

till, at the lime of ach of thes

uccess or failure of practice

(e.g. architecture by non-archilects? An impossibilily!)

vents, il e med as if th

building the building itself

The.e threats are too daunting.

was

o we liptoe praxis inlo the

d sign sludio in hower-fresh, sanitized form, usually as a re'luirem nt

uriously dependent on the su ce sful outcome of lhe peculiar

for a sorl of heightened lechnical compet n e on the stud nt's part,

perver ion on the ag nda.

01'

o, I a k my tudents, which of th e skills

in the form of the program giyen

as a generalized or neutral set

of normalized behaviors. BUI are we doing our sludenl a favor,

would you like me to teach? To pursue practice as a paradigm for pedagogy-as our mark t-conscious student think we oughl

even satisfying th ir demands, by generalizing and sanitizing praxi ?

is to admit to

l'

are we missing th point entire1y?

the probabilily that, while archilecture may be able to

It is my contention that g neralized practice tea hes you very

tand a a noun, pra tic is f1rst and foremost a verbo

..

little about actual pra lice, as any tudent returning from

the ill-deflned and omplicated actテ構'ities undertaken by the people who call themselves architects.

01'

A

re ツ。den y willlel! you. Practi e may have a fe", broad realities and qualities, but il is ruled and deflned by compromise and circumstan e.

pedagogy vest d in the p rverse ri hness 01' a

A few particulars com to mind: the particular power and behavioral

practice deflned as such can be rafted.

structure of an office ... the particular trengths and weakn sses of a

HoY\' ver, if followed, this pedagogy will

site and program ... the parti ular demands of a building and zoning

not look very mu h like many

code ... the particular tate of Ule building economy ... the particular

curricula. It cannot ey n disgui e

open

ilself as a curriculum, as i traditionally understood, since it does not have buiJdings as ils cenlerline, nor does it subslilule the word practi al for praxis. This possibility lhreatens two fairly fundamenlal presumption'

01'

closed-mindedness of a mortgage banker ... the parti ular

mood of a neighborhood board ... lhe parLi ular skills of a con tractor ... the particular whim and whistle of a client, and aside [rom tncse , the parti ular economic circum tan ces in whi h you find yoursclf. uccessful practi e, in the sense of bringing strong and hcallhy

common to the teaching of archite ture. Firsl, an implicil

building into the world, can be undcrstood in this Iight as a onspiracy

pre umption: we make buildings by concenlrating on buildings, rath r

wilh compromise. But to design a pcdagogical strategy wilh r gard

lhan on the mechanisms and processes by which buildings come inlo

lhereto neccssarily re'luir s sorne diametrically opposed options. On

the world (テシk concentraling on the newborn and not th act).

lh one hand, ther is compromise, and it is evil. It und rculs lhe


11

right of the author-the architect I -to know better. On the other

Also, it champions individual genius, a notion that seems to be under

hand, there is compromise, and it is the author. The architect is only a

assault everywhere clse.

witness and lackey -at the very best midwife-to the far more powerful forces unleashed by the meeting oflandscape and culture. The first of these options is the modern conceit, vested in the

The second optíon (compromise is the author) is, arguably, an after-modern conceit, one \"C,ted in the notion that authority or meaningfulness is granted to a building b~' factors mostly external to

idea of a traceable authorship. Here, a building's success is measurecl

the architect ancl his or her biography. In theory, a building 's success is

with regard to concerns internal to architecture: form, structure,

measured by particulars (hence the after-modern ascenclance of site),

materials, as well as how these determine composition, convention,

which may not even include clesign or anything that we can recognize

and proprict y. The student seeks to devclop an íncreasingly consistent

as authorship. In this mode there can be no singularly true conception

oeuvre, the over-riding qualities of which dictate how the student

of beauty, only a rather large number of particular ideas of beauty,

resoh'cs thc dilemmas presented ",ithin the course of study. In this

triggered by circumstantial factors-somc cxceptionally complcx-

mode, we can speak of a generally true conception of beauty that

that have nothing to do with buildings.

remains the clominant operating modcl in architectural schools. It is the basic vocabulary of most instructors (and it is easier to grade).

My favorite examplc of such complexity involves friends who are attempting to creat,· a sustainable cattle rancho When the fecal coliform count in the \\'ater tank is high, the ranch (including the buildings) is ugly. When the count is

10\\'

the ranch (including the

buildings) is beautiful. Archítecture, a ¡i1ted Im'er, fumes impotently on the side. This type of complex triggering external to form may seem bevond the reach of architecture, Sut there are architects who raise awareness of such circumstances. Rcnzo Piano 's Menil Collection, for example, establishes a symbiotic comprehension of both the city of Houston ami the artwork in the collection by carefully calibratíng the cxperience of each in regarcl to the other. Adding to the complexity of the perception of the thing itself, there is the problematic relationship of the manner by which a building is made-the clomain of practiC('

lo

the quality of the inhabitation of

the building itself. This is difficult to describe. It is roughly the


karma of the process that affects how the inhabitant values the thing. I

tended to see these (and others: consider the drcaeled building l'Ode) as

call this the "ugly pet" syndrome: familiarity (arising from commitment

unfortunate realities, I am trying to see these as unavoidable ideals. The

to a dimcult process) over-riding one's better judgment. There are

remainder of this paper very briefly describes a series of experiments

some well-known examples brought to the extreme: the housing in

undertaken with various stuelents at the University ofTexas in pursuit

Vienna by' the artist Hundert",asser, where each dweller has a certain

of this agenda, Underlying this pursuit is a necessary revision of what it

autonomy to define the public presence ofhis or her dwelling within

means for something to be beautiful in the era after the modern.

the overall appearance of the collective. Many finel it a startlingly ugly building; ne\'ertheless, it is much belO\'CC1 by its inhabitants. The waiting list stretches well into the coming century,

l. The BigTable

Recognizing the complcxit), of meaning does little to credit architecture as a cultural activity; rather, it marginalizes architecture as a building process, But if such meaningfulness has not translated wcll

people (increasingly compounded by additional voiees

into pedagogy, it is the heart and soul of successful praxis, In my

neighborhood re\'iew boards, et. al.) guestions the artist-in-isolation

experience, people ",ho are spending a lot of money are not fools. They

paradigm that remains the operative mode in most architectural

are usually mature enough to see beyond the usual \'ision of orderlincss

education. While there are strong reasons to holel on to that paradigm,

offered by architcets. They are simultaneously too a",are of the rclativc

there is the curious matter of an ongoing cultural shift that increasingly

un-importanee of architecture (which ranks below orthodontics

favors group (conscnsus is good) authorship of any form, regardlcss of

c\'ery",here outside the aeademy), and the absolute importance of their

the result!

mm needs. Every practicing architect understands that this ranking

11

AOVANlED STlIDlO. SPRING

1995

..

Working in a group is an extremcly complicated matter. This is

neeessitates what stands to normal pedagogy as the most egregious

already ('\ident at le\'l'ls far simpler than making design decisions,

comprise - the negotiation of authorship, However, the bulk of the

There are a number of problems. For example, there is the aetivily of

architects that I know- e\'Cn those most seemingly in command of

making a set of drawings: a logistics problem. An attendant activity is

their oeuvre~-will aelmit that such compromise has the effeet of

deciding who is going to make which drawing: a political problcm.

eritieall)' sharpening their designs,

Usually, given the nature of inter-personal rclations \\'ithin a group,

If one \'ie\\'s this amI other compromises of practice as a form of

TIIE BIG TABLE, 'TAGE

The assertion that most buildings are authored by a group of

interaction is a socio-political problem. Clearly, these are not building-

Ideal, it becomcs possible to generate a radical pedagogy of

specific guestions-the building coulcl care less-yet the successful

engagement. Consider the follo"'ing tautologies as the starting point

resolution of each remains critical to the realization of the projelt

for a design studio: "circumstances outside your control \\'ill tend to

(designing well in a group stands to designing well alone as duck-hilled

dietate the course of design"; "your c1ients \\'ill freguently be

platypuses stand to d ucks: they are not the same thing, amI they do not

loathsome"; "you will rarely make anything alone", etc. If the modero

really cven look alikc).


ugly pet:.""

11

So, 1 assigned the following problem to a group of thirteen first and third semester graduate students as part of their first

and uniform drafting surface. Eaeh student was given a

professional degree: As a group, design one agreed upon solution, with one agreed upon set of doeumentations, of a eo-

removable drawer: initially there was no set "property" at the

housing eomplex for yourse!ves and an equal number of strangers. The issue was to let the design arise as a method of

table (although this did not play out partieularly well in the

agreement, and the projeet proeeeded by the usual rules for sueh engagements (which invol\'e painfully hammering out and

long run).

endlcssly testing methods). With the expeeted inter-personal fireworks, eaeh student sought to protect that portion of the arehiteeture that they eould tolerate. The result [illustration 1] represents the problem of this approaeh. The design is breath-takingly ugly. In faet, it is an ugly

For the first projeet designed on the table, the sl'ts of parallel bars opposite eaeh other were wired together on single loops (Le., two students with two parallel sharing one

pet. The levcl of eommitment required for thirteen people to make it that far essentially blinded its authors, proud parents,

wire, with no barrier between the bars. The students were

who chauvinistically defended the thing itself from all detraetors.

asked to work in teams on double sheet drawings. The

To side-step this particular dilemma, 1 developed a seeond approaeh- working at the big table. The methods wen' set,

projeet: re-monumentalize Mount Rushmore. It is unclear

but the problems given, and the tools used, foreed the question in far less eonventional manners. The initial stage of this projeet

whieh was more eomplex: resohing politieal differenees in

ealled for the group to eonstruct the table, by bolting all the drafting tables in the studio together, and then to eonstruet a leve!

favor of the design, or eoordinating the movement of


ILLUSTRATlON

1:

Co-HOUSING. VERTICAL S111010.

triangles.

FA11 1994

HO\\'CYlT

it is c1ear, from discussions with the students, that

each had an effect on the other. The second project on the table required a revision of the drafting surface: now all of the parallel bars were Iinked on a single continuous loop, over a single, gigantic sheet of paper (4' x 36'). While the project assigned involved the dcsign of a suburban block, the particular nature of the project was process oricnted. In its inception, each student was rcquired to develop, by drawing (but not speaking about), a boundary condition between him or herself and all adjaeent students. This drawing was then respondcd to hy adjacent students in drawing form, that is, without speaking. This process went on for

..

se\'cral hours, back and forth. At the end of the day the drawing was shaded, hung in the hallway, and criticized in favor of the overall idcntity of the block. Thc drawing was thcn repositioned on the table, tracing paper was laid over it, and the proecss was begun again. For cach layer, one element such as a fenee, patio, or foundation, was required for each student's property.

I I I I I

IUlI'lRA110S

2:

hlU5TRATlOS

PROjlO

1 Hf.

1:

Tm BI" TABII. 'lAGL

3:

11

(IIRIS Ho\YM~ A\'D ASIUSII

M1.

AOVANClO SruOIO. SI'RING

S"IIiFIlA

RlI'HMORI RL-MosumN1All/.ATlOS.

BIG TABll. STAGE

l.

AOV."LrD S111010. SPR""

(OURlIS'I Uf S(HOOl Of AROIlTEcrl+IH, U~I~lH.~ln 01

Tu.A.\

1995. Al AUSTIN

1995

::"_...J


This procedure went on for about two weeks, ending with the drawing shown in illustration 5. The results were surprising, and surprisingly beautifu!. Because of the working method's oddness, the students had no preconception of what would resulto Hence, working within the group, each individual had little to protect. As a consequence, the sort of free conspiracy that is the hallmark of successful collaboration was very much presento 1 have recently spoken to several of these students - and all swear by the lesson Icarned.

2. The Loathsome Client

The final project given on the tahle sought to apply the various issues of collahoration and the politics of the group indirectly. The students devcloped individual projects out of a program emhedded with these issues. A conservative think tank and political-actioncommittee, with a substantial public forum was to be sited on a church ground across from the state capitol, and adjacent to a gay club. This final project introduced a new practice-based paradigm into the studio, specifically: the loathsome client. One of the great and startling lessons one learns quickly in practice has to do with the relatinJy complex humanity of the \'arious individuals who are your clients, ami how this complexity undercuts any of the oversimplifications (Le., artists are good, developers are evil) that frequently become the doubtful basis of design decisions in schoo!. More complex descriptions of clients are often given in design studios. Still, the percentage of enlightened, enYironmentally responsible, socially conscious, aesthetically minimal (yct fabulously wealthy) persons that tend to be the clients one runs into in school projects does not accuratcly represent the bulk of clil'l1ls in the marketplace.


One does occasionally see the loathsome client brought into the ~

Ii LUSTRATION

THE BIG T '.LE, SfAGE

11

ADVANCED STllDlO, SeR IN',

1995

studio, rnost frequently as a sort of straw rnan to be set up and knocked down. But to really pursue the humanity of the loathsome client requires a mindset we are not often willing to admit in school, yct required to adrnit in practice. That is not to say that we should, merely that if we are tcaching practice such humanity requires consideration. The loathsome client as assigned at the big table carne with the shortcoming of an exceptionally particular programo This became an escape for the students from confronting the clients' values and politics. In response, 1started the following semester's studentslLUUSTRTAIION PROlfCT

3:

6:

DOUGLAS WRIGHT, T", BIG TA.LE, STAGE

(ON- TA"

AOVANUD STUDlO, SPRING

1995

11I.

(fHE IOATllSOME 'UfNT)

again fi.r1t ~~d third scmcstcr first dcgrec graduatcs-w~~only the titic "Christian Radio Station". One of thc most cxtraordinary projects is panly shown in iIIustrations 7, 8, & 9. Here thc student began by trying to define "Christian" as an acculturated character dcfincd by a style of clothing---ankles, neck, and wrists covered, layers to obscurc the figure, a fairly mutcd color palette-and from these scale figures began to draw a world in response. At the same timc, the spatial consequences of thesc drawings were pursucd in technical sketches toward a fairly accomplished building.

3. Circumstances Outside Your Control

Central to the problcm of"Christian Radio Station" ,,'as a requirement that thc students invent convincing sets of circumstanccs in which to ground thcir projects. For the purpose of this paper, the final issue that I wish to bring up with regard to teaching practice is thc presence of the particular terms in the world as \'l'rsus the general tcrms in the academ),- For exarnple, you will sometirncs hear a critic attempt to dissuadc a student by arguing that sornc decision of the student's would not be meaningful to a client, when in fact such criticisrn is rarely warranted. 1have had clicnts ask I'or sorne prctty odd ILUJSTRATlON

5

PRDjrcr

TH' BII, T,"LE, STAG'

11.

2

SU8UR8AN BLOCK

ADVAN([Il SrUDlO, SPRING

1995

things, and agree to cn'n odder.

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ILLUSTRATION

7:

ROBlRT DONNELLY, CHRISTIAN RAolo STAlION. V"TlfAL SruOlO, FAU

(()URTfsr Of ScHOOl Of AR<:HmOURE Al rm UNIVUtSHY OF TlXAS Ar

1995

Ali~m~

.. IUUSTRATION 8A: ROBtR' DONNIILY. C!IRISIIAN RAIlIO SlATlON. VtRTlCAI STOoIO, FA"

1995

COURTE.W Of $(HOOlOf AR(HITECll'MJ Al mE UNIHRSITY Of TrxAS Af ALJS11~

IlLUSTRAIION

10:

RORER' DONNHY.

2206

MATlHlWS STUOIO. VeRTICAL SlUOIO, FAU

1995

COl!IUl5Y OF SclfOOl Of AROIIlECTUR[ Al THE U"IHRSlTY Of TEXAS Al AHSTlN

IlLUSlRATlON 8B. 11

I¡¡I:~Y Ot ScHOOI

ROBIR1 DONNELLY, CHRISTIAN RAOIO S rA1 ION VIRTIIAL SIUOIO. fALL

or

1995

This problematic fact of practice is not limited to the qualitati\'l·. For example, in Austin, a sealed and polished concretl' slab is generally

AR{IIllfCTURF AT TH( UNIVIK'iITY Of TlXA.'i Al Al 'il!"

more expensive than saltilo tile mud-set on the same concrete slab. However, currently the reverse is tme (as a consequence of the temporary demand for the polished-concrete-floor-Iook). In truth such conditions ---ranging across the spectrum from the personal to the pragmatic control most buildings to the extent that it is difficult to speak of a building's general identity, much less its general place within a large development ofhistory or culture. Nondheless, that is usually how we frame the meaningfulness ofbuildings in architecture studios, and particularly in history and theory courses. In the same studio in which the students were gi\'l'n "Christian Radio Station", I assigned a project-a freestanding painting studio-- which was entircly defined by complex, competing, and smothering demands, regulations, and circumstances. The studio had to be able to be turned into a garage within fifteen minutes, since by zoning code, a home business was only quasi-Iegal. Its presence was going to infuriate the neighbor, a dentist, who was certain to inform the authorities unless certain other conditions were meto Not the least of which was the ten large limestone boulders that the dentist wished the client to purchase IllUS1RATlON mURHSY 01

9:

ROBERT DoNNlLLY, CHRISTIAN RADIO SrATION. V'RlIfAL S'UOIO, FALL

Se. HOOl Of

ARI HITECILJRE Al THE Uo.¡¡VERSIIY OF TLXAS Al AlJ\ll:>l

1995

parameters ran on for several pages.

a circumstance entirely outside the architect's control. This list of competing


At issue herl' is a fundamental condition of aesthetic prcsl'nce. In practice, the particularity of the circumstances surrounding the building become the mechanisms for the discovery of an aesthetic, while in the architecture studio circumstances are problematic to an aesthetic defined by the student's desire. Still, the best projects in the studio [IIlustration. 10] drew a line with regard to the extent that the form of the building was defined by the particular: a difficult and critical lesson. Of course there are other paradigms that arise from practice especially the necl'ssary use and mastery of public language, the arbitrariness of the public proccss, etc." and these can be modeled in the design studio quite dircctly and terrif~路ingly. Perhaps these too should be required for any practice-based pedagogy, since each affects form and the probability of the construction as powerfullY as formal dcsign skill. But it is entirely possible that to do so is not the point of the academy at all. It is the intention of this paper merely to suggest that a concern for practicl' challenges how we consider the meaningfulness of buildings in a very fundamental way.


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AO'ANClO SIL DIO, SPRING

AovANcm SllJOIO, SPR'N',

1'195

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_____ .-rr·

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

rHO,. Lo

IE]ER

HEYMANN

'" S'CrlON

10\1 GUflJ:RREL H 11'..1 "G

LEWIS ."

I/ G

Episodes [with]in the Narrative: Re-presenting the feasts of San Juan Bautista

-

.v Á .v

MacBRIDE () 11 .1

.v oS

K

1'his inwstigation explor 'd t111' cultural ·1 ments 01' the '·casl. ni aint John the Bapti t and tht

r

MUSCHAMP

l'

·latcd archill'ctural cnndilions sshich al" containtd s\ithin thc' cil) olOld an Juan, Puerto Rico. 1'hl' L

or

archilcctural narratin' wa dri\'en by lhe religious ami prosaic rituals 01' the panish 'olonial p riod.

l' RO - P.I / L O,~

P / I R.l1 A R /

.v /

OCHSHORN

::

1 he. l' saried from religioU'> pron:s~ions aOllcommunal off rings in honor 01' San Juan (St, John thl Baptist), lo lhe popul"r tradilions rdatt'e1 to lh . iconograph) uf the 'aint's !'eats: the monumental honhre, the drinking, and th three immasions in waler al midnight.

1'A P / A

The (ity'sWater Gale(St. John Ih' Baptist Cate) becoml's th' onl) point along Ih' pl'rimett'r 01'

, . .1 /. [) / S

PASNIK 11/1.

the s\alled cit) whcre a conlll'( linn s\ ilh the waler is establisheu. l'hts gate hecomt:s the focus 01' thl' propost'd systcm 01' al' hitectur ; it Iwcomes a windo\\' lowards Ihe San Juan Ha) and an entran e to the

e 0.\

e.:ity on axis with the

Ir / /.1 / A M S

alhedral 01' SI. John,

The inv sligation lec! to tht' creation 01' inter\entions which represent/relrame the histories 01' th'

SCHACK

Watt'r Gate (1'he city's lIrst port) ami the Feasts 01' "an Juan Bautista. 1'h se interventions were inserted in the urhan fahric 01' thc dt) within the major puhlic spaces: the Christopher Columbus Plan (a f.lcadt· lO

th f,'stivallilr Ihe visilor), tht'

risto Chapel Plaza (an island w ithin the islaml

01,

an Juan) and the

an Jose Plala (a wrtical thcater 1'01' Ihl' perlormance of th ble's ing). 1'hese are tird together, 61'. l


i

PUl RTA DE SAN JUAN. lONGITUDINAl SllTlON

!

-

dllring thc clay hy a religious prot' 'ssion, which includes me hlcssings by the hishop

giving of sea \\atl'r to he taken to the pools located in

cach of the thr e al' hitl'ctural instalbtions, amllater al night, th' 00

prosaic tradition 01' 隆mm rsing onl'self thrice in water. Thesl' intf'r\'cntions atldress the m taphors nI' sccing thc it)' as a Church ami as a stage \\ hen' the hlessings and thc Feast tah- plaee

OIK'C

ayear on

the da} 01' San Juan: the 24th of June.

\

Th fe lIrth ami principal an:hitC't:tllral intcnention i locatl'd on axis with the Cam tlral ami tlw container. A rdiear} for the transitory

\

architeC'lure which will he inserteci into the three internal intl'rvcntions amI nn the Saints day wherc the pro 'cssion begins and ends. SI enDN

This an:hitel ture comes ali, - ever)' 24th of June and fun 路tions as a theater ami ret'reational facility during the rest of the year.

crities: Jerry WeJls. Vineent Mulcahy. and Mark CruveJlier


THROUGH THE PROGRAMS OF A lAUNDROMAT. ::

BOAKE

~

CAFE. AND SIX APARTMENT HOUSING UNITS. THIS MODEL FOR A PRIVATELY-OWNED BUSI-

8fTANLOS BT./fLR

SINGLE CITY DWELLER

GENSlER

she has convinced herself that conta-

..c;

CHOL

t

J

f /

..

NESS/HOUSING COMPLEX CATERS TO THE

gions lurk within the urban environ-

R

ment, not only in denscly packcd

HEYMANN

street , bul also in s rene, but vacant

GU//ERRf,'

jO}(!

lEWIS

: 11

.If t / G N ,1:-'

EX e u s e

HWANG

me, hut is this your sock?" internal confrontations

MacBRIDE OllA

SKY

MUSCHAMP

~

::

parks. a

uburban life-style, sh

orfRO-PAILOS

thought ensures a PII RMAR/N/

OCHSHORN

ertain Icvcl of

::

o'

el anliness 多r terility, as she ould autiously prevent one housing activ-

T

j

PI A

f4 /

ity from tainting anothcr. The ights,

nI s

sounds, and smclls of ea h evcnt would

PASNIK

remain within their own spacc, or

IV//COX

compartment. IV / / l/A 1/ S

SCHACK

I CAH COIlNIl'R

<:

WHILE OFFERING PARTICUlAR AMENITIES OF THE SUBURBAN HOUSE

~

how ver, in an urban dwelling, which

in the launrlromat


lacks the expanse of space necessary for eompartmentalization, she can only shove those "dirty" things associated with the heat and discomfort of cooking and washing into the cabinet, a space which results in between the always-clean and shiny counter surface and the wall which opens (for ventilations and other reasons) into the fire stair. THROUGH ITS "SURROGATE" LIVING ROOMS, T.V. DENS, KITCHEN AND BACKYARD.

but in the laundromat downstairs, she notices that

By

ACCOMMODATING AND ELABORATING UPON THE DOMESTIC PRI-

VACY NEEDED BY THE INDIVIDUAL

bags and bags of neatly folded laundry begin to fill the shelves. at first they are only sparsely-placed items on a shelf, but as

they accumulate, they begin to behave like bricks-- they are . . flRlSTAIR

FIRl'STAIR

building blocks in the form of seemingly identkal units which can be stacked or removed to create an opaque or permeable walJ. WHILE ENCOURAGING THE INCIDENTAL ENCOUNTER BETWEEN STRANGERS IN THE QUASI-PUBLlC SPHERE. HOW MIGHT A SHOWER SIMULTANEOUSLY EXIST IN A L1MITED AREA Of SPACE AND HAVE THE CAPACITY TO EXPAND INTO A MORE COMfORTABLE, PERHAPS EVEN LUXURIOUS ENVIRONMENT. WHICH MIGHT EVEN ACCOMMODATE TWO BODIES? THE PROJECT POINTS TO THE SENSORIAL NUMBING AND SOCIAL RETROGRESSION POTENTIALLY CAUSED BY "PROGRESSIVE"

freeways are packed with a multitude ofbodies, but does anybody care to see anyone else's face? INVENTIONS SUCH AS THE CAR, TELEVISION, COMPUTER AND SUBURB.

APARIMENl PIAN

SlenON

critics: Andrea Simitch and

Lily Chi


.. Channeling Haring, Mediating Scharoun BOAKE

~

B¡'¡'ANZOS

B /. T T f R

GENSLER

~

CHO/c

:..

ffflR

1..

-< HEYMANN C;UTII.·RR¡'Z HWAN(;

David J. LEWIS MAIG.\AX

MacBRIDE O.llASSKr

MUSCHAMP

"

OTfRO-PAIIOS P 1 ,. R JI A R I N 1

OCHSHORN

;l

o

- - - ...

lA PI.4

rA I D l, S

PASNIK WII.COX

11 11. L 1 A .11 S

SCHACK

o

1

t would be folly to argue within thc pagcs of an acadcmic publication that architectural pedagogy is formcd entircly by buildings and projccts, in isolation from thc influcncc of the printcd word and imagc. If anything, thc history of modero architecturc is tcstament to thc pcdagogical importance of thc mass mcdiation of architccture. Onc could c1aim with a fair dcgrce of ccrtainty, for instancc, that the most inllucntial architect of thc twcntieth ccntun owcd his status, in part, not explicitly to the power


Yet, the importance 01' using the emerging mass media as an Cl>VER 01

LE

(ORRUSlfR. TALK' Wlfll .SruDENT< (NIW YOR•. ORION PR"'.

1(61)

integral part 01' modern architectural practice, exemplified by Le

REPRINTfO WIlII PERMlti,SION

Corbusier's cottage publishing industry, was not always matched by contemporaries or competitors. To correct this situation the historian and critic, Peter Blundell Jones, has made a concerted effort during the last twenty years to retroactively construct an alternate modernist pedagogy, a tradition 01' Organic Functionalism, Supported by fellow authors, Peter Davey and Colin Sto John Wilson, Blundell Jones sets his alternative tradition in opposition to familiar heroic modernist narratives 01' Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Gropius. This historical lineage focuses on the organic functional building

(OrBanisches Bauen) 01' Hans Scharoun and Hugo Hiiring, originates with the tcachings ofTheodor Fischer, and eventually culminates in the contemporary architecture 01' Günter Behnisch, Volker Giencke,

I--(OVER 01 PEIER I

BLUNDfU

Jo" s.

HANS SCIIAROVN (lONllON'

PIIAIOO-;;:-1995l

I

R[MU"-'fD "'ITI! PERJ'1ISSI0S fROM PH.4.I00ll( PRlli lro

HANS XHAROUN AND HUGO HilRING.

I

1950

P1IOTO(,RAPf¡ B' AltRfl) SOIH'll

ofhis work, but rather to the attention he placed on publishing. Le Corbusier acknowledged this situation and proudly held it forth to students: "To twenty )'ears 01' building between two wars, I added twenty books. What a vain and quixotic attempt."1 Recent scholarship, seeking to debunk myths and the historical fabrications

1

Le Corbusier, Talks with Students (rom the Schools ifArchitecture (New York:

Orion Press, 1961 J, pp. 78-79. é

Beatriz Colomina, Priyac¡ and Publici~Y: Modero 'lrchitecture as .lIass .I/edia

(CambridBe:IIIT Press, 1996).

fictions 01't en initiated by architects themselves---has made an exposé

01' the careful manipulation 01' the emerging forms 01' mass media and advertising to disseminate and promote ideas and work.' In addition, the equally powerful discourse 01' Siegfried Giedion, Nikolaus Pevsner, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, I'hilip Johnson, and Bruno Z,'vi, who sought to legitimate modern architecture through larger historical and teleological narrati ""S in books ami journals, substantially bolstered even the work 01' the prolific Le Corbusier.


.........................

---'+-,--1L - - -

i

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rr--IIIf==iPI"'I¡r--l------.f=T=:a;=::::::;:::z::;:::::::¡:c:::¡:=F=:¡=r---/.

. rationalists ofthe International St vle! As he passionatcly \\Tites in an introduction to an entirc issue of The Architectural Review that he edited on organic architecture:

....

The history of modern architecture is in urgent need of reconstruction. The mythology of Pevsner and Giedion which dominated it for more than half a century has gone sour on us, and remains a real impediment to deeper understanding. In recent ycars Modernism has been

Bolles/Wilson, and Frank Gehry. In effcct, Blundell Jones has taken it upon himsclf the multiple roles

damned on precisely the same grounds that it was once praised: for its pursuit of Functionalism, for exploiting modern technology and for breaking completcly with the

of historian, translator, ami publicist. As the author of two monographs on Scharoun and one on Haring,

past. 5

Blundell Jones has become to Scharoun and Haring what Le Corbusier was to his own work. In addition, he has sought to become Haring and Scharoun's Giedion, situate their work within a broader historical framework through essays on an "alternative" or "other" tradition of modern architecture. 1 Primarily published in British architectural journals-The Architectural Review, The Architects' Journal, and Architectural Association Quarterly-~Blundell Jones's articles maintain that our knowledge of modern architccture is one-sided, the result of an overemphasis on the geometric

Whereas the modernism advocated by Giedion, Pevsner, Hitchcock and Johnson emphasized the possibilities of machined universal spaces and was freed ofthe burden ofhistorical styles, Blundell Jones sees Organic Functionalism 's emphasis on the individual as a wav out of the crisis in architecture and the failure of Modernism.· Blundell Jones maintains that thp 'radition of universal-space


HA" SCHAOOUN.

I '13J.

SCHM',"' /lOUSI, LoBAU. SAXONY.

GAOO" Elf"VAIION.

(OtIR'J[50Y 01 AUD(MIE OfR Kltor<;H. 8flll:o,;

LI CORBli\llR, VilLA SA\IJ"H. PUI"''')-, 1929 31, MAl N flOOR PlAN

HI¡N\ Sí HAROl~.

SCHMINk.1'

HOl'SI, LOR\L

1933

S,\XOI\iY

tOURlL"S'r 01 J\lI.Ar)[Mlt IlfR KI~\Tf. BIIUIN

LE

CO'", 5"0. VILlA S'VI"'. PO"SY.

PUOlO(,RAPtI 8'1 JOHlIo

1929 JI

Mn I EA

'In 1995 Pecer Blundell Jones or8anized an exhibic ifHans Scharoun's work aC che Royallnslicuce if Brilish Archireccs. London. The caralo8uefor che exhibir was published as Hans Scharoun: The Alcerna¡iye Tradi¡ion: Ten Projeas (London:A3 Times. 1995). Blundell Jones has cwo mon08raphs on Scharoun, Hans Scharoun: A Mon08raph (London: Gordon Fraser, 1978). This was expanded and updared ro che recene. beauc!fully illustrared, and comprehensiYe monO[Jraph, Pecer Blundell Jones, Hans Scharoun (London: Phaidon Press Limiced, 1995).

LF

CORBUS"O, VIL LA SAVO". Po'm.

HAtü

~IiAROUN, ScUMINI'i.I HOUSE,

rouRTf~'r (JI A~M>tMll DUl

1929· 31.

loBAu,

000' PIAN

Iq 33.

SAXONY.

~

!"

loit(

O

QND FlOOR PLAN

D

KI.!N')rt. BlRUN

modernism ne\'er produced a truly functional architecture that equaled , Blundell Joness arlicles indude. bU! are noC limiced ro: "Scharoun, Harin8 and Or8anic funclionalism."Archiceccural Associa¡ion Ouarcer/v 5 (197 3): -I~'. 57; "Or8anicVersus Classic."Archicecrural Associacion Quarcer/I' /O (/978): /o.20;"Hu80 Harin8:TheArchiceccural Rel'iew 1022 (April 1982): 40·-17; "Scharoun Houses:The Archiceccure Rel'jew 10-11 (December 1983): 59·67; "Unknown Harin8,'The Archiceccure ReYiew 1060 (june 198»): 40·-1); "Where Do »c Scand? A Leccure Abouc Modernism. Posc·Modernism and che .Ye8lecced Possibilicy ifa Responsiye :lrchicecrure."d....Lf.[198 (March 1987): 1-I·30;and"Scharoun acWeissenho[:' TheArchicecrural R...iell' 1 J 59 (Sepcember 1993).' 78·84.

..

Scharoun and Haring's fitting of architectural form to a speciflc task.

In opposition to the geometric, rational, and classicizing tendencics of Le Corbusicr, Gropius, and Mies, whose vcrsion of modern

O [00

~~I~I~

t-

J

I

architccturc dominated architcctural education after World War 11, an organic functional pedagogy would privilege thc work performance of

.

U

a project, asking thc designer to draw the form of the building from out of thc program, rather than impose an apriori, geometrically-

jones's insistcnce on thc viability of reclaiming and reinvigorating

;Pecer Blundell Jones. "From che Seo·Classical Axis Co Aperspecriye Space:The .lrchiceclUral Re¡'iew 1093 (March 1988): 19.

determined flgure.

, BlundellJones, "From che .Veo·Classical.his ro Aperspeeciye Space:'p. 19.

and form, Le Corbusier and Mies could ne\'er produce, according to

the sccmingly indi\'idualistic, quirky, and cxpressive architecture

BlundeJl joncs, an architecturc that could address the contcmporary

practiccd by Scharoun and Haring can be taught. This strategy secks to

issues of ecology, inhabitation, and the increasingly de·humanized

counteract thc excesses of postmodcrn architccturc that presumcs the

physical world.

ossiflcation and sterility of canonical modern architecture. Not only

'Colin Rowe, "The Mmhemarics ifche IdealVilla,"in The Machemacics ofche ideal Villa and Qcher Ess'?,ys (Cambrid8e: The MIT Press. 1976), pp. 1-27.

7

In clinging to c1assical conceptions of gcometry

While illustrating that architectural traditions are in fact highly

,

"

Organic Functionalism is thc bdief that thc underlying principIes of

can an historicallineagc be constructcd to flow from thcir work into

constructcd, BlundeJl jones's polemic poses obvious issues for thinking

architccts practicing today, but a coherent design methodology can be

through contcmporary architectural pedagogy. Central to Blundell

traced through and extracted from this lineage.


.

o

o

thcories. I would like to suggest that there is something inherent within their architectural theory that resists the creation 01' an organic tradition that Blundell Jones wants to constructo In other words, the reason for their reduced role in an historical development 01' modern architecture equally lies with a discursive limitations 01' their theory 01' architecture.

o

o

t

Early in his narrative 01' an alternative tradition, B1undell Jones

I

o o

~

concerns himself with the liberation 01' Scharoun and Haring's expressionist work fram negative connotations levied upon it by numerous historians and critics. Countering these denigrating associations to the iIIogical, super/luous, or irrelevant, Blundell Jones casts Expressionism as a necessary break, a way 01' testing the limits 01' rational means, a forum 01' exploring the transformative possibilities 01'

â&#x20AC;˘

Ă&#x201C;¡

____.liIIi..",,-=-=:...=~_

lighting, and "a time 01' experiment(ation) in many directions, which already included thc raots 01' Organic Functionalism.'''' In the early

The question lurking behind Blundell Jones's efforts is the pedagogical viability 01' this new found .- alternative tradition. 11' the driving conccrn 01' Blundell Jones's revisionist history is the construction 01' an

I 920s Hans Scharoun was involved in two significant architectural organizations 01' the post- War periodo In addition to the Working

adaptable, protean, design methodology equally \alid today as it might haH' been in the first hall' 01' this

Council for Art (.-Irbeitsratjur Kunst), Scharoun was part 01' the Glass

century, then what are the possible limitations? The point here is not to condemn Blundell Joncs's

Chain (Gliiserne Kette) founded by Bruno Taut, for which Scharoun

scholarship or his desire to correct historical imbalances. Even recent histories 01' modern architecture by Kenneth Frampton, William Curtis, Reyner Banham, and Leonardo Benevolo make only passing mention 01' the work 01' the Organic Functionalists, which is usually glossed under the category 01' "expressionism." Even if Blundell Jones does at times resort to reduction in order to construct a c1ear and rccognizable opposition between Organic Functionalists ami Geometric Rationalists, he has done much to bring the work 01' -- Scharoun ami Haring to light. His arguments about the lack 01' function-specific "functionalism" especially within the work 01' Mies is at times well founded. And his work on thc translations 01' Hugo Haring's writings dcserH's more attention, particularly within the United States, 8 Rather, in wanting only to find within Scharoun and Haring a possible sah-ation for the architecture

01' today, Blundell Jones rarely offers a skeptical ward. While this may be a decidedly rhetorical strategy, it leaves sorne 01' the more troubling qucstions about organic building unanswered. In taking another look at the work 01' Scharoun and Haring, I intend with this essay to offcr a caution to the pcdagogical intentions 01' Peter Blundell Joncs by articulating a few 01' the dubious aspects 01' this functional architecture, particularly its uneasy rdationship to urbanism and the slippery agency ofthe architect within Haring and Scharoun's


HANS ScHAROUN, COMMERClAI BUII DING Al THE BOSfNHOI.KONI(,SBLR{" PRUSSIA.

1922

Berlin city architect, Ludwig HofTmann, Del Rin8 was a loose

PLAN

collection of socially activc architects, including Mies, Gropius, Bruno

(QURTESY Of A"'AIlfMIE IJER KlthSTE, 8L:RIIN

Taut, Max Taut, Adolf Behne, Hans Poelzig, Erich Mendclsohn, Ludwig

TheJorthcornina rnonograph in Enalish, the second by Peter Blundel/

8

Jones on the work ina

<if Huao Harina, shouldJurther add to the understand-

Hilbcrseimer and atto Bartning. lO With his interest in writing

<if Haring's work in the United States.

architectural theory, Haring served as secretary and spokesman for the group. Unlike Haring, Scharoun did not write about his theories of HlI<.O HARINC', CO'1PETlIION fOR FRIHlRICHSfRASSI OfflCl BUilDING, B[RIIN,

architccture until aftcr the Second World War, giving at that time

1922.

PIA/Ii

retrospectivc accounts of the Weimar period. Howevcr, the closeness

COURr[Sy Uf AMUP1lE D[R KLNSn.. BfRUN

in their approaches, a point attested to by Scharoun amI Haring, has 9

Blundel/ Jones, Hans Scharoun, p. 28.

ofTered the possibility of reading Haring as thc intcllectual JO

Peter Blundel/ Jones, "Huao Harina and the SearchJor a Responsive

Architeaure,".ll Files 13 (/986): 33. For aJurther discussion

complement to Scharoun's work, a connection that Blundell Jones

<if this

period in Berlin, see Marcel Fransciscono, Walter Crapius and the Creation,

assumes in his writing on Scharoun, and one that will be used here to

orthe Bauhaus in Weirnar: The Ideals and Artistic Theories '?fits Foundinn Years (Urbana: UnheTSlI)

examine their theory and work. 11

<if Jl/inois Press, 1971); Richard

Pornrner and Christian f atto, WelSSenho(J 927 and the Modern l/ol'emem in Architecture (Chicaao: The University

At this early point in their careers, Scharoun and Haring

<if Chicaao Press,

1991), especially chapter one; and Rose-Caral ltásh10n Lona, ed.,

explored a thcory of architecture which sought to challenge the

Cerman Expressionism: Docurnemsfrom thc End orthe Wilhe/mine Empire

10

prevailing design orthodoxies

the Rise qfNational Socjalism (,\'cwYork: C.K. Hal/ &.

Company, 1993). Lona indudes excerptsfrom the writinas Behne, Cropius, and other members imroduction

10

<if Harina,

and formal ml'thods organized

<if Der Rina, as wel/ as a short

the section on architecture by Rosmarie Haaa BleteeT.

completed sorne of the most well-known drawings labeled 11

This assocjation is made in almost every piece written on Scharoun 's

architeclural deve/opmem. In particular, see the introduction

10

"expressionist." Yet, unlike the other members of the Glass Chain who

the

rnonoaraph by j. Chris10ph Bürkle, Hans Scharoun (Zürich: Artemis Ver/aa,

chose to explore possible architectures, mostly without any intent to

1993), p. 17. For a col/ection <ifScharoun's writinas on architecture which indude his recol/eaions on Harina, see Peter ljankuch, ed., Hans Scharaun: Bauten Emwü¡jé, Texte (Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 1993), especjally

<if 'oraanic bUilding' (Oraanisches Bauen), which was based on the thinkina <if

realize the images, Hans Scharoun drew plans, sections, and c1evations to accompany his vibrant watercolors; in effect a form of architectural

paaes 15 and 177. Scharoun writes in 196-1. "Here was the beainnina

testing. In this light, Blundell Jones interprets Scharoun's exuberant

Huao Harina. In place <ifJorm-settina' (Cestaltsetzuna), there was Jorm-

<if the premise <if architectonic elemems, there was struccural order-che essential represenCation of an "erenc'

flndina' (Cestalifinduna). In place

sketchcs, crystalline schemes, and cunilinear projects of the 1920s as a means to investigate an architecture (ktermined by forces and ideas

(1 'oraanas) in theJunctional and spiritual sense."

beyond exccpted architectural conventions. At the samc time Haring was also expcrimenting with curvilinear plans and forms as a dircct exprcssion of movement and use. The similarity of their formal exploration carne out of their HA"' SeHARollN, COMMIRCIAl BUILDING Af fHE BChINHOf, KONIGSBIRG, PRlISSJA.

1922

HEVArION

mutual association in the \'ibrant architectural scene in Berlin. Haring - met Scharoun in Berlin, wherl' they \\'eTC members in Del Rin8.

(OURTfSY OrA"'Al>P1If mR KlJll5n, BERII""

Founded mainly in opposition to the conservative practices of the HUGO HARING, COMPElITlON roR fRIIDRICIlSfRA'S1 OIfICI 8lllJOING, BERlIN. fUVATlON COURnsy Of AKAI)fMIE OER KUN~It, B[RtlN

1922

according to a geometrically determined palti sketch. They rejeetcd all prior conditions and constraints of form based on aesthetic, stylistic, proportional,or iconographic preconceptions of architecture. Arguing for an architecture born out of cvcryday nCl'ds, Haring wrote:

..


New building, understood as organic building, must concern itsclf aboye all clse with the human being. It can no longer be given over to an expression 01' power, the creation 01' a stage-set, or the demonstration 01' an aesthetic arrangement. Instead its form should be bound up with and Brow out 01' its connections \Vith its environment, as a response to ground and landscape ... to daily life and its routines. 12

search for an egalitarian, socialist architecture, Haring and Scharoun resisted any use 01' architecture as a stage or backdrop for urban pomp and circumstance. II The theme re-occurring throughout Haring's writings on the Organic Functionalism is his belief that an artistic or architectural form must "arise out 01' the work performance" (/eistunBiform) alrcady endemic to the object or programo 14 In emphasizing the need for allowing the internal essence 01' the building to arise out 01' the

:".,

ยก.".,\

;~\'~ <,

,

;. 1

individual elements of the project, this theory of Organic Functionalism refused any establishment of types, universal

While calling for new architecture to be drawn out 01' the ordinary conditions 01' life, Haring granted architecture a spiritual dimension-but a spiritual dimension rooted in the patterns of everyday life and not in the overt representation 01' political po\Vcr or control. Heavily invested in a

conH'ntions, or apriori proportional systems. While forms coming out

01' the work performance, or function, are eternal, natural, and constantly regenerated by life, forms generated according to abstract, geometric properties are artificial, and "contrary to life, to the creation oflife, to movement and nature."I; Implicit in this theory is the assumption that the work performance of the building is already contained within and only needs to be drawn out by the architect or designer. Haring concisely stated this position in the short essay 01' 1925, "Wege zur Form." We must discover things ancllet them unfold their own forms, It goes against the grain to impose forms, to determine them from outside, to force them according to abstract laws. We were as wrong in using them for historical demonstrations as \\'e \Vere in making them express our individual moods. And we were also wrong in bringing things back to geometric or crystalloid basic forms because that is to exert force on them (as Corbusier does), Basic geometrical figures are not original natural shapes for forms, they are abstract and derived from intellectuallaws. The kind 01' unity which \Ve construct on the hasis 01' geometric figures is for many things mercly a unity oHorm and not a unity with life, though we want unity \Vith life and in ]ยกfe.'"

In reference to urbanism, there are three points that can be raised about the Organic Functional position as articulated by Haring. First, fitting the form directly around the function 01' the building, or even drawing that form out 01' the function, assumes that the relationship bet\Veen form and function \Viii al\Vays be stable, The limitations of this approach \Vas highlighted in an exchange between iIIustrates Hiiring and Mies. In contrast to Haring's insistence on an intimate relationship, Mies was seeking a universal space that could accommodate divergent functions. Mies reportedly urged him to, "Make your rooms large, Hugo, then you can use them however you like."17 Haring's position can not account for changes that are inevitable in architecture and urbanism as Mies's conception 01' functional spaces can, l' Their positions illustrate the difference bet",een


HUGO HARING. GARMlI FAR" PIAN. N'AR u..ECK,

1!

1924-5,

PIAN

ExtractJrom Hugo Haring, Fragmente, ed. Margot .1schcnbrenner (Berlin:

Gebr. Mann), cited in Blundell Jones, "Scharoun Houses,"p. 61.

1J

For a discussion if the politics if Haring's work, see Blundell Jones, "Hugo

Haring and the Search '; Sergio Polano, "The Modern Tradition: Hugo Haring," A

+ U 187 (April 1986): 53-60; Frank ¡lerner, "Haring, Hugo,"in Ann Lee

=

.l/organ and Co1in Saylor, ed., Contemporarv Architects, (Chicago: Sto James Press, 1987), pp. 385-387. l'

Hugo Haring, "The House as an Organic Structure,"in U1rich Conrads, ed.,

Ptograms and Mande,toes '?f20th-CenturyArchitecture (Cambridge, .IU: .l/IT Press, 1932), p. 1.!6.

Hugo Haring, "Apptoaches to Form:'Architectura1 Associauon Ouarter!y 10

(/978), transo Peter Blundell Jones: 21. Fmt published as "lIege zur Form,"Die Form (Oetoberl925).

16

Haring, "Approaches to Form,"p. 21.

::

17

Ftom information supplied to B1undell Jones by Prifessor Julius Posener

apparenttrfrom a gramophone record made by Bauwelt in which Mies describes this encounter, quoted in B1undell Jones, "Organic versus Classic," p. 11.

HuGO H \RING. GARMU FARM, NrAR LlIBECK,

::

1924-5

COURTfW OF BURKHARD VI RI.AG ERNST HEYER AROtlV(S

HANS SeIlAROON. STAATSRIBlIOTHEK. BERlIN,

19&4-79.

GROU") f100R PIAN

HANS ScHAROUN'S SrAATSBIBUOTHEK SffN HlROUGH Mu~ VAN DER ROHl:\ NAfIONAl GAIUR'f PHOTOGRAPH BY TH[ AUTlfOR

18

The critic Adolf Behne emphasizes this point in his examination ifthe organic

funetionalists. "Haring and Schatoun sometimes choose d!fJerent widthsfor their corridors, allowing them, 1ike living arteries, to narrow, to shrink, in p1aces where there is 1ess tr'!fJic. This is all right ptovided that tr'!fJic a1ways follows this same path unti1 the death ifthe building, that the same conditions

function understood diachronically (Mies) amI synchronically

architectural form should be determined from the inside out. In doing

(Haring). The history ofhis best-known project iIIustrates Haring's

so, thcy place into a secondary position the role of architectural form

problem on a small scale, While Haring's Garkau Farm project worked

to determine pubJic spaces, street walls, and urban sequences. In part,

perfectly well as a single family dairy farm, it became fumtionally

this might explain the disparity betwem the interior and exterior

obsolete when the economic poJicies of the EEC forced the farmer out

cxperimce of almost all Haring's amI Scharoun's built architectural

of milking cows and into raising pigs, 19 The inevitable mutation that

projects. The exterior of the Scharoun's Berlín Staatsbiblíothek and

occurs in the Jife of urban areas-for example, the transformation of

Haring's Garkau Farm do indeed give the impression of secondary

NewYork's SoHo district from warehouse into artist studios and now

status, the end results of design decisions made to solve interior

into an upscale shopping quarter---exposes the Jimitations of Haring's

arrangements. While the spectacular, cxhilarating, ami triumphant

synchronic functional approacSecond, Haring and Scharoun devalued

interior space of Scharoun's StaatsbibJiothek estabJishes a much desired

the role of the external shell of a building by c1aiming that the

collectivl' space for intellectuals and studcnts, the exterior has an

prevai1 as on theflrst day, in the same way as is the casefor b100d corpuseles in an organismo But it ;s wTono. and thefunctional becomes antifunctional as soon

as the tr'!fJicflnds diJJerent conditions-such as thtough a change ifowner 01' when purpose alters tr'!fJic requirements··-whereby it could be heaviest in preciseIy those places where the plan requires it to be lightest." (AdolfBehne, The Modern Functiona1 Building, transo .lllchae/ Robinson ¡Santa Monica: The Getty Research 1nstitutefor the Hwo,y ofAa and the Humanities, 1996J, p. 129). (The original text, Der moderne Zweckbau if 1926, has onIy recentIy been translated into Eng1ish. Given the elarity ifthe criticalJramework that Behne brings to the examination ifmodern architecture, it would be interesting to specu1ate how the course iftwentieth-century architecture in the English speaking world wou1d have changed

if this text wou1d have been trans1ated

earlier.) " Blundell Jones, "Hugo Haring and the Search,"p. 38.


ambivalent r('lationship to its urban situation. The building is sited as a selr-eontained monolith. The logic 01' the

01' even this early period, \\Titing that "the building demurs the

projecting exterior volumes, making the entrance dimcult to find, can only be ascertained rrom within the Iibrary.l0

em'ironment and digests it ror itselr, so that some 01' its fcatures appear

In derending Hiiring's and Scharoun's work from this and other anti-urban critiques, Blundell Jones has gone to great kngth and in much detail to convince his readers that the Staatsbibliothek, for example, was highly attentive to the vehicular tramc m""ing through the site,

0\

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individualistic in principle."ll Third, \\'hat Hiiring assumed the scale 01' the \\'hole, the "unity 01'

that the Mannheim National Theater project

life and in lik" must be called into question. By requiring an organic

was a biological extension 01' the urban

synthesis bet\\'een all elements 01' lire, the Organic Functionalist theor)'

growth 01' Mannheim, and that the Kassel

can not address the inevitable tensions- political, social, economic,

Theater scheme was a mediation between the

and cultural -that constitute dmamic urban lire. Whilc a harmonious

medieval urban blocks and the baroque citv

whole may be established on a small scale, say that 01' a house or a

grid. 11 However, such defenses can onl)' be

building, the same synthesis can not be sustained on the Icv-el 01' urban

sustained ror figure buildings in an urban

rorm. In short, the rocus on s)'nthetic unit)" applied to allle\cls 01'

setting-buildings that are given identi/lable

society, circumvents any thinking 01' architecture or urbanism as a

public functions (libraries, concert halls,

contl'sted site, rich \\'ith the possibility ror compcting political,

museums) and are thus set apart rrom the

cultural, or social arenas.

general urban fabrico By choosing buildings 1

in its functional accounting; but the result remains completel),

Hiiring substantiated the decision to isolate work perrormance

that are detached and isolated from their

as 1he sole question ror the architect by a teleological conception 01'

surroundings--and given that Scharoun and

history which subsumed any discussion 01' politics into a question 01'

Hiiring produced almost exclusively object-

rorm. According to Hiiring, the history 01' architecture has been a

buildings--Blundell Jones is \ulnerable to

conflict bel \\'een geometric and organic rorces. In this opposition,

precis('ly the same critique lewled against

echoing the debate between Hermann Muthesius and Henri \'an de

Scharoun and Hiiring in the 1920s by the

Velde, the geometric is Iinked to t11e linear t)'pes 01' Latin cultures,

architl'ltural critic Adolr Behne. In his 1926

Greece and Rome, and sl'l against the organic, exemplified by the

publication, The ModerIl Functional Building

gothic architecture 01' Nordic cultures. Hiiring maintained that onl) in

(Der Illoderoe Zweckbau), Behne

his time is the organic tradition coming into its own, breaking rree

roreshadowed the urban Iimitation 01' this

rrom the lyranny 01' geometry which has dominated architecture ror

type 01' runctionalism and cautioned against

the last 3000 years. Since Hiiring made dircct assuciations bet\\'een

universalizing an architectural approach,

cultural values, political systems, and architectural form, the "choice"

whose only appropriate urban application

01' form is also implicitly a political choice, but by the same logic, a

\\'ould be ror buildings that claimed a focus

political choice that has been reduced to a formal issue. In this sense

1

position in the city. Referring to Scharoun 's tendency to fragment a building into discretc parts, Behne stated that

Hiiring situated ancient Greece as a rectangular culture, connecting the

whilc a project's components may respond to their setting, they are essentially "e1ements that do not desire t11l' whole

rectangle to their "hard-edged c1emocracy \\'ithout any expanSi\T

but only themselves."l1 Whilc admitting that Scharoun's work did "reOect its emironment," Behne castigated the work

tendencies."14 Like\\'ise, the rise 01' Rome ancl its expansionist


!U

tendencies was matched by the development of the circle and the arch.

necessity of the organic as the only means of creating an authentic,

Only the Gothic presents a break from geometry, a break enabled by

contemporary communal life. Haring condemned Le Corbusier as "a

the rise of a communallife that forced the dissolution of rigid,

Classicist, (who) carries the line of the Greeks, the Romans, and the

geometric formo

Renaissance into our times. He stands apart from those Modernists

According to this conception of history, organic building is not a

It should be noted, hOlVever. that in Scharoun's ariainal desianjar the libraT)',

who strive for an organic building."25 As the only German

the main hiahlVay that no", cuts in jron! eif the buildina lVas oriainally planned to 00 behind. Still, this does not chanae the exteriorjorms eif the buildina and

question of style, nor e\'en really a matter of choice. Haring never

representative to the first CIAM conference in S\\'itzerland, Haring

the location eif the en!ry.

clarified the lines of causality between culture and form, instead, he

opposed the principIes adopted by the group, believing that they did

left the question of agency in the generation of form to the mo\"ement

not recognize the historical imperati"e of the organic tradition, and did

of history. This lack of agency puts Haring, and by implication the

not prescribe an architecture fit for an organic societ)".26 His prophecy

promotion by Blundcll Jones, into a Hegelian paradox. Ir organic

was not accepted by other members of CIAM.

!I

Blundell Jones, Hans Scharoun, pp. 152- I 63; 198 -104. See also Peter

Blundell Jones, "I"ational Theatre,'The Architeccural Rcview I 176 (February 199»: 68-73.

!!

Behne. p. 126.

!J

Behne, p. I25.

ron...s are destined to come into being, then any attempt to advocate

"Huao Harina, "Probleme der Stilbilduna,"Dcursche Bauzeitung 43 (Oc1Ober

organic building through organs of mass media is both illogical, since it

position for architects upholding an Organic Functionalist theory of

will come into being on its own, and dubious, since any avocation

designo If Haring's tcleological history is to be accepted, then the

would indicate a lack of faith in the teleological model. This obviously

role or the architect must also be that of a mediator, not a

puts any attempt to actively establish a pedagogical tradition based on

designer. Since the form of a project is already imbedded in the

the architectural theory of Haring into a curious dilemma from the

work performance of the project, the architect 's role is to extraet

outset.

the form from ",ithin ami not impose a design from outside the

14, 193-1), Qyoted in Bürkle, Hans Scharoun, p. 19.

HAN' S< HARollN, KASSf ( STATE. THEATER. (OMPETlTION. 19~Z-54. \ITE PtA~

"Huao Harina,"Proportionen,"Deursche Bauzeitung 29 ljuly 18. 193-1). Qyoted in Bürkle, Hans Scharoun, p. 18. !<

HOWCH'r, in order for others to recognize the merits of organic

or his subjectivit y into the interior of the funetion in order to act as a

the inevitable future to come. In this capacity, Haring expressed the

medium, drawing the function out to solidify the formo

modern industrial machine on architeccure. Instead, his r~ferences ro the machine assume chat it will be incorporated into the inner workinas eifan oraanic society. In a passina altempt

"lIcHc

10

discuss the machine, Harina concluded

zur Form""'ith the statement that"To mechanize thinas is to aive them a

mechanical life, a dead life, but to mechanize the process by which the)' are made is to "'in l!fe." The statement is notJolIowed by any discussion eifthe dislinClion bClween a mechanical process and a mechanicalJorm. a aistinetion

that would seem hardly plausible considerina Harina's concatenation eif culture.jorm and architectural process which leaves Jiltle roomJor auronomy between the each sphere.

I¡.

HA ....' ScHAROlJN. MANNHLJM N,HIONAl THEATRE.. (OMPt:TlTIO"'.

1953, srrt

1"1·\1''4

imperative of the work performance. Thc architect must sublimate her

building, in his time, Haring did act as an oracle, channeling reports of IllundelI Jones, "Huao Harina and the Search jor a Responsive Architecture,"p.

-11, UnJike Le Corbusier, Harina never directly addr<ssed the irif1uence eifthe

This conception of historical inevitability (Teates a tenuous

!Ifñ'~~


so on .. : . are all subjective choices. The ide~ that a proj~ct's work performance is separate from the intervention 01' a designer or a client is a weak proposition, but one essential to Haring's conception 01' the architect's role. Indeed, the sublimation 01' the architect's role is actually a radical empowerment 01' her or his role not only to design form, but to determine the very social and cultural conflgurations that constitute the work performance or function 01' a project. But by claiming that the work performance is already inside the project, Haring cleverly masks this expansion 01' the architcct's role into the project's social dimensiono In light 01' the dis-empowerment 01' the architect by mechanical reproduction, mass industrialization, and a taylorization 01' the building trades, Organic Functionalist theory is actually quite defensive in trying to reclaim a lost power 01' the architcct to shape amI control society. Paradoxically, Haring is in agreement with the geometric rationalists like Le Corbusier in arguing that the architect must enact a fundamental transformation 01' society through form; a basic position

01' Modern architecture that links Le Corbusier, Scharoun, and Haring to Expressionism, to Ruskin and to the Arts and Crafts 01' Morris. Hiiring writes:

What differentiates them is how they articulate the role 01' the architect: between a mediator 01' organic form, or a designer 01'

The artist stands in the most essential contradiction to the form 01' work performance so long as he refuses to give up his individuality; for in operating with the form arising out 01' work performance the artist is no longer concerned with the expressions 01' his own individuality but with the expression 01' the essence 01' as perfect as possible a utilitarian object. AII "indi viduals" and the stronger they are as personalities, and at times the louder they are, the more this applies-are an obstacle in the path 01' development, and in fact progress takes place in spitc 01' them. 27

geometric order. When Hans Scharoun began to write his theories 01' architecture, he adopted Haring's conception 01' history mming from geometric to organic architecture, and shared his belief that only organic building was capable 01' expressing and housing an authentic,

By setting his architectural theory at the culminating point 01' a teleological progression ofhistory, Haring has

egalitarian society. 28 Although the work 01' Haring and Scharoun are in

constructed a fail-safe theory that will win in spite 01' any resistance. It would seem that the architect is without any

agreement on the basic principies 01' organic building, there is one

agency in the movement from geometric to organic formo

important difference between their theories 01' architecture. Hugo

Yet, what Hiiring actually constructs is a magical displacement 01' the agency 01' the architect. 11' his theory is to

Haring constructed a theory that would account for aH aspects 01' the

be accepted, the work performance 01' the project must already be completely configured prior to the intervention 01'

design process, one that stringently restricts the architect to a

the architect. However, defining what constitutes the totality 01' a project's work performance: the size and use 01'

manifestation 01' the work performance 01' the project. Accordingly,

rooms; the adequatc dimensions for movement through spaces; the actual physical configuration 01' intangible acts; and

every aspect 01' the design would be subject to a critical and rational


HANS $cHAROUN, SIEMENSsrADl APARTMI NTS, BERlIN,

1930

in"estigation in order to pull the form out of the function to insure

categorical exterior styles. Each one of their buildings must, according

that the final form would appear to be the inevitable result of an

to their architectural theories, create a new and unique architectural

organic conception of designo While agreeing \\'ith the position that

form fitting the specific problems of \\'ork performance of tlll' project

PBOTOGRAPH BY THf AUTHOR

Because Haring and Scharoun claimed that the exterior form of the building should be derived from the work per/cJrmance of each

and not that of a type or style. Moreover, the rejection of abstract, geometric, or apriori forms

indi"idual project, it \\'ould be antithetical to their theories to try and

is tantamount to a renunciation of the enduring staplc of the

identify any consistent exterior form or type throughout their work.

architectural design process: the parti. This generatin' sketch is

While Blundell Jones may be right in arguing that the \\'ork of Haring

saturated with and dependent on its associations to proportion,

and Scharoun has been consciously repressed hy historians of

geometry, and its ability to stand-in as an abstract representation of a

Modernism, it may be the case that their work resists the Wolfflinian

full-blown project. Perhaps as a testament to the integrity of

\\Titing of architectural history as the history of identifiahlc and

Scharoun's amI Haring's adherence to their theory, it is nearly impossihle to imagine an appropriate parti sketch for their work. Thcir plans have the quality of heing conceived as an accrue", instant set

Hl (,0 H IRING, SIEMENSSTAD1 APAR1Mf"S, BERlIN, l'liI)TOGRAPH B)

TH~

1930

Al lOOR

of fully developed individual moments. Lacking an overall organizing principIe, no reduction of the plans to a prior conceptual stage is possible. To do so, would he to violate the driving principIe of their architecture, which is entircly dependent upon specific functional momcnts and operations. This resistance to abstraction is indicative of the architel't should not apply prior systems of geometry or proportion to a project, Scharoun differcd from Haring in acknowlcdging irrational aspeLts in the designo Unlike Haring, Scharoun made a distinction hct\\'een practical form and organic form·-"the practical form derives from function, \\'hereas the organic

17

Harina, ''The House as an Oraanic Structure,"p. 126.

!8

For a discussion

of Scharoun 's 1ater writinas, see Rürk1e, Hans Scharoun, p.

.22-24, and Scharoun's essays in Pjánkuch, ed. Hans Scharoun, pp. 120-150,

175-178.182--183,266-168. !'

Hans Scharoun, quoted in Bürk1e, Hans Scharoun, p. 23.

form is determined by the range of physiological and psychological relationships llL't\\'ecn thc suhject and the object.,,'9 Granting organic form a certain level of artistic autonomy, Scharoun left room for irrational clements that did not simply follow the dictates of function, as long as these elements did not hinder the intcnded working of the building. an intent to avoid establishing or "e"doping any primar)' t)'pe or organizing principIes through their architecture that could he adopted, used, or learned by others through the processes of abstraction, in other words, a parti.


As a point of contrast, Le Corbusier's interest in establishing

Blundell Jones's constructed tradition follows Hiiring's teleological

type according to e1ements of a

conception ofhistory that rejects outright any attempt to create a set

building-the ยกhe points, for

of rules and constraints, leaving the creative relationship between form

instance~was an

and culture to the architect sublimated into historical progress. Given

essential drive in

his early work. lO By establishing a

the absence of tangible rules, conventions, or types, Blundell Jones

clear set of elemental types,

must construct a recognizable tradition that flows from Hiiring and

understood as an identifiable order

Scharoun into contemporary architecture as the primary device

with rules and conventions, Le

through which he can argue the pedagogical vehicle ofhis argument.

Corbusier set the conditions, as

-

1

ยก

-

O Oi :

-~--

-

Ji

By focusing on the particular ami not the type or the model,

Bruno Reichlin has argued, for

Haring's and Scharoun's work pose dubious implications for

seemingly endless play and formal

pedagogical appropriation. Lacking any commonly heId criteria or

development, by himself and by

rules by which to examine the efficacy of the sublimation of the

others.

1 .[]]Ji 1' J 1

thought process that is passed down, as ifby genetic pre-disposition.

31

This structural scquence of

architecture into the embedded functional performance of the project,

rules and types created limits as

the criteria for judgment ultimately resides in the authority of the

absolutely essential preconditions

individual. While Hiiring and Scharoun could draw upon their

for innovation, exploration, and

rigorous education and training for de"eloping their own work, a

experimentation.

32

Against a

pedagogical approach, dcrived from their work, grants unprecedentcd

tyranny of freedom that

authority to the architect or student to determine both the function

accompanies the absence of rules or

and the appropriate form for that function, without a previous

requirements, Le Corbusier's types established the criteria for

understanding of the constraints, conventions, and limitations of both

commonly understood critical judgment.

form and function. In effect, Organic Functionalism runs the serious

By resisting any clear set of rules, types, and recognizable

risk of undermining the collective discourse of architecture, by

conventions, Hiiring's and Scharoun's architectural theories can only be

asserting that personallived cxperience, more than the study of the

disseminated through speculative text and prior examplc. But while an

history, possibilities, and past failures of architecture, should be thc

underlying conception may be drawn out of the example, it can not be

basis for architectural thought and the primary guide for mediating

imitated, for each project must begin again from the specific already

architectural form for a client. Their emphasis on the subject,

embedded work performance. It is clear, then, why Blundell Jones

including the subjective choices of function made by the architecture,

insists on using the term, "tradition," when advocating for the

render their theoretical position both highly personal, and potentially

contemporary validity of the architectural theories of Scharoun and

antithetical to collectiYe discussion or critique, since the authority of

Hiiring. Tradition implies a set of collectively shared cultural habits

the individual's experience has little foundation or criteria for being

that need not be taught, but is already generally understood: an organic

called into question.


HUGO H IRING. HOUSE PROJICT Of 1946. PLAN ANO ,l!VATION

Perhaps indicative of the oifriculty of disseminating a highly

Given the choice between Le Corbusier's heroic exaltation and

COUlmSY Of AKADEMIE DER KUNsn, 8FRllN

Bruno Reichlin, "The SinBlejami/y DwellinB '!f Le Corbusier anJ Pierre jeanneree ae rhe lIemenhof."in Cario Polauolo and Riccardo I'io. ed., In ehe Fooeseeps orLe Corbusier 30

subjecti"', architectural approach, neither Scharoun nor Hiiring

Hiiring's complex sublimation of tlle' architect, one can see why the

completed a book articulating their architectural theory. In this

former was more quickly ano readily aecepted by the profession. An

regard, Peter Blundell Jones has been instrumental in hringing the

Organic Functionalist architectural theory, resting on the tenuous

\\'ork of Hugo Hiiring ami Hans Scharoun hack into public attention,

assumption that the work performance is already eontained in the

ano has, as a result, enli\'eneo the discussion of contemporary

project, is hardly a model of c1arity or logical coherellce. Indeed, if the

architecture and its historical legacy. He has passionately and

modernism of Hiiring and Scharoun became an appropriated

consistently argued for a rethinking the canon of Modernism in famr

pedagogical tradition, as Blundell jOlles would dcsire, it is quite likely

of an alternative traclition. Yet, in his eagerness to aSSl'rt the

that not onl: the dubious implications of their work \\'ould be ignored,

possibilities of Hiiring's and Scharoun's \\'ork, Blundell Jones ooes not

but that the complexities of their theory probably would be simplified

hold their \\'ork to the same skeptical examination that he hrings

in the process of popular dissemination, to a point in contlict with their

against Le Corbusier and Mies \'an c1er Rohe. Paradoxically, in seeking

intended theoretical premise. If it is unlikely that their work will form

to broaoen the understanding of Modernism, Blundell Jones often

a protean pedagogical alternative, comparable to that deri\'l'd from

flattens the complex \\'ork of the more \\'ell·known modernist into

other mooernists, then what can be certainly gained from

single dimensional c1iché·s. In the process of framing Hiiring and

BllIndell jones's tireless efforts on the part of Hugo Hiiring and

Scharoun's \\'ork into a recognizable pedagogical position, B1undell

Hans Scharoun is the incredible challenge faced in constructing a

jOlles replicates the reductive tendencies he decries at play in the

new tradition out of the increasingly complex discourse of twentieth-

architecture of Mies ancl Le Corhusier.

celltllryarchitecture.

(XewYork: Rizzoli, 1991),p.)3.

¡¡

"The work '!f are is 'a Bame'jor which ehe auchor has creared ehe rules. The

auehor-r he paineer-has creaeeJ ehe rules '!f hls Bame anJ ehe rules should be apparene LO rhose who lIish ro play. le is made '!f suJJicienr/y inrelliBible siBns. le would noe be able eo make use of ne ... unpublished, unexpecreJ. unknown objeces; nobody woulJ recoBnize rhem. He needs experimenral, obsoleee, useJ objecrs, Bround down by habir. recoBni,wble as a base LO a simple desiBn."ll'rirten b) Le Corbusier as commenear)' lO L'oeurre p/astique and quoreJ in Reichlin. "The SinBlejamily DwellinB:'p, 56.

J}

Far

Q

discussion efrhc transJouon í!ILe Corbusier inspired Modernism jnla

American archi!cc!ural educarjon, see AJexander CaraBonne. Texas Ranacrs:

Xoe es from an Archieecrural UnJernround (CambridBe: \lIT Press, 1995). For a cril ique '!f rhis approprial ion. see Kazys Varnelis, "The Educaeion '!f ehe Innocenr Eye:'lournol 'iFhchieeccurol EJucarion. 51 (\la)' 1998): 212·223.

H.-s SOIAROUN. STAATSBIBUOTHEK, BE"UN. 1964-79, l>HOTOGRAPli IIr TH[ AU1HOR


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A Thought About Los AJamos.

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paradigms; Sciencc ami Art. Each has

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N 17745

values over time. This proposal givcs thought

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to a place b), drawing relationships bctwccn

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thcse t\\'o realms. Spccifically, a moment of scicntific discovery is rc-dcscribcd thTOUgh

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thc aperturc of art criticism (authenticity within rcprcsentation.)

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The use of the computer as our means of discussion certainly adds an informality at times, including (but not limited to) Ken's

StIAlH> CONtll'l (INIIlAI (OMPUrrR 1'100El) DIAlIlI,1I1 PAR....

AN UlUlAN PIWj{1 ((ION)

ArRO~S 1'111

EASl RIViR

I

failure to capitalize his self-referential "i" and Rob's distrust of the (ONP[TIIION INIRY,

1998

------.

paragraph break. The only legitimate excuse 1 can think of for these lapses is perhaps having a broken \\Tist.

BOAKE BILI.'\ZOS

This collection is (at least) a \ery well positioned snapshot of

BITTIR

where three 29 year old architects have been since they graduated

GENSLER ..c:

together seven years earlier:

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MAl B"lOf, D,AlOGUI P'"K, SITf "0011,

I '198

A Critical Yadda

.1/.4 I G (\i A N

Charles MacBRIDE 0,1/ 路1 N S K Y

MUSCHAMP

"

Introduction

OII路RO-PoIIIOS lo

P I f. R .11 A R 1

,s' 1

OCHSHORN

CM:

:J

:

The following e-mail conversation took place between the end of February and April 1998, and included myself and two of my

lA P 1'1

more intrigued/intriguing comrades. It started after 1began

Robert Narracci is an architect and project manager in New Haven.

IAl.D/S

thinking about the topic at hand, architectural education and its

PASNIK 11 J l.

relationship to the profession to<lay. In preparation for the writing

e ox

W JI L 1路1.11 S

SCHACK

~

of an essay on the subject (yet unwritten), I fired off an e-mail to

c:

various friends regarding their personal experiences and thoughts.

Ken Roscioli is an architect who variously teaches and practices and

I 1L

raises babies in Philadelphia.

_

lo

o '..J

was hoping for sorne feelings regarding the AlA, their eurrent role in their workplace, had they received registration yet, ctc. It turned quickly (happily) into a renewed interest in Architecture, capital A. The only lesson 1have fully concluded from all of it is that both the profession and the academy should really be following Architecture, and worrying kss about each other.

Charles MacBride is an architect who practices ami teaches in Boulder and lives in Denver.


PART 1 ARCH EDUCATION

1have been selected to be included in the forthcoming Cornell

What and how important is the commonly held image of

Journal of:\rchitecture 6 based on an abstract which I wrote no ¡ess

25 Feb 1998

architeets?

than seven months ago. (1 was informed this past week.) How important is design studio?

Subject: A Critical Discussion ...yadda

CM: Helio ladies and gentlemen and greetings from Denver City.

The topic is a "critical discussion of the interchange between

What did you not learn at school that you feel you should have?

architectural education and practice." 1am telling you this because I would like your input. I would Iike to see if sorne of my bleary, hot-

1do not expect you to answer .111 or any of these. 1would like to

summer, leftist feelings towards both the profession and the academy

gauge the mood of the world and at least hope to begin sorne

ha\'e anything in common with your own theories. 1am looking for

discussions.

editors, or sounding-boards, and mostly. hostile and honest critics to help make it a paper with both sorne smarts and sorne teeth.

Here is the beginning of the abstract, which is based on a old research project, and as 1 see it, still the basis for education programs

Consider the following:

Is there a model being followcd today in architectural education? Should there be?

today:

>Established American architectural education, at least sincc the

rise and acceptance ofthe modern movement in the 1950s, can be . . described as a mixture of thrcc basic models:

Is the academy failing the profession? Must the academy answer to the profession? (these are complex questions and can be returned to)

1 the autonomy of the Academy as a place of higher cducation, Le., theory, history, and studio;

Are )'ou a member ofthe AlA? Did you complete I[)l'? Do you have a council record? Are you Iicensed? HO\\ important is a Iicense?

2 training for the profession and the learned ideas of professionalism, communication and prescntation, working drawings and computer skills;

Should your workplace prepare you for the exam or should the unin:rsit\"

- - - - •••••m~:m·m·lI·a·IlDIIIIl_Bl'I!1;. What is your view on the work (in your office) that today's interns and recently graduated studcnts are doing? How is it different for them than it was for us?

3 the art of craft and (therefore) of construction;

This modcl exists more or less intact today. It's biggest challengcs carne decades ago, in the 1950s with the rise of thc modern movement, and in the 1960s with the rcstructuring of thc teacher / student relationship. üld age has solidified this position as the

Do you feel that architens represent society?

American Academic model.

>


So, do these models exist today at all? I believe they do, however, I don't believe that anyone knows or cares why. This modcl

have embraced and fostered the notion of the individual over the colketive.

theoretical position ... chuck there are a lot of issues in this email, are you \\Titing a book?? have to get back to you on style, my brain juice is

of the system is extremely old, based on the transplanted Bauhaus (1 940s), and modified by student (and henceforth faculty)

back ... anyway just sorne rabblings. as for style or higher

Please don't be shy.

curdled.

dissatisfaction in the I 960s and 70s. Does the lack of focus of the schools have any rclationship to the lack of stylistic dogma seen in today's profession? Does there need to be a style 2!. highly regar~~d ~eo!.~tical position .~l1.s!?mmon for there to be a more harmonious rclationship? I think that it would be easier if

Subject: Re: A Critical Discussion...gurgle gurgle

Subject: Arch Education

26 Feb 1998

01 Mar 1998

KR:

RN:

this is sorne heavy sh!t!!!

Here is a more measured response to your questions from e-

there was(note the adherenee that modernism brought, amI, to a lesser extent, post-modernism, and then to a lesser extent,

mail of 2-25. This is taking a lot out of me, I will go a paragraph at a just sorne thoughts...

time and send you whate\'l'r I come up with amI or revise.

deeonstructivism), but this seems unrealistic looking at how the 1990s it seems that architectural education is confined to its own methodology. the need to divide and categorize theory /history into theory dass; professional training into professional practice dass; art

Q: Is there a model being followed today in architectural education? Should there be?

of eraft into materials or construction dass in order to quantil)" what is

111

learned i.e. I passed theory therefore 1 know theon.

architeeture is sueh a vast intertwined monster that the

A: Discussing "Styles and Pragmatics Ys. Process"

A single frame of reference with which to judge architl'et ural

profession (or architeet) cannot divorce itsclffrom theory/history;

education at American Universities would naturallv be unfairh' biased

nor construction from the academy.

by the educational souree of the critico Identification of differences and a leve! at which eurriculum might be discussed civilly are of the utmost

architectural education is more like an architectural birthing. all

importance. 1 wiII note that, \\ith a few exceptions, the training

diseussions on this topic focus on the transition between education and

provided by our architeetural institutions has invariably been pointed

the profession, but consider from where and what students are:

one of two directions. Training available to undergraduates has either

young, largely inexperienced, frcsh out ofhigh school zombies. for me

been focused upon the strictly pragmatic or the unaecountably edectic.

school was a de-education mostly dealing with the misconceptions of

The former leaves little to be said other than that it inevitably fans

what architecture was. i think architectural edueation's overall

short of technically training a student for the ,dde scope of knowledge

objcetive is to open the students to the possibilities of what

that a professional requires. That knowledge not only indudes

architecture could be.

technical issues, but also market forces amI marketing skilIs. The latter (edeeticism) can be quite exciting but often crosses the design line

okay smoke break ?'?!?' K

from "Stylistic" goals to "Style-centric" goals. :vluch has been said of

R,NIĂ&#x153;II

FOlDW KNU AI)I)llION, SOUTlI (LEVA.fION (ONSl RU( 1I0N PI(I\AII R[SID~Nn - PHIIADHPIUA,

approaching goals with either pragmatic or stylistic nurtured by a

PA

rigorous design "Process" and methods of problem soh-ing. It is


Therc is a l'Omhination 01' the following:

1- the univcrsil y as a social strueture whose time has come and gone: This model is like the old Beaux Ans hold-outs in the 1940s, amI alot Iike

--

R. N'RRACCI. C.WR No 2. 1992 WOOD CHAIRS, DOY.fl5. GWE, 6 GRA'l" PRIMER fRONT

A.~D

otre Dame and the ilk today - the teaching 01' Style as

language. 01' course, isn't e\'cryone guilty 01' teaehing style? Or am I

REAR \'IF:Vo'\

giving them too mueh credit?!

2- the unin:rsity as training for the profession (this includes design studio, and all 01' the various thcories & lack thereof on how to teaeh design studio).

What is true I believe, more today than 5 years ago, is that there

possible that using these approaches is an insular manner where the

eurrently fragmented cducational environment this seems nearly

educJtional system has stumbled. Visual Centrisms, enhanced by the

impossible. Howcvcr, in the web-nurtured \"Oid 01' style following the

is less training by the schools beeause there is less training required by

abuse 01' an aging, one-way visual mass media, have contributed to the

late 80s/early 90s, and the hyper evolution 01' technical issues through

the profession. Training required today includes AutoCad, ami maybe . .

apathy regarding goal orientation. The use 01' visual mass media has

produet development, it might be possible to impose a new general

physical model building. Guess which onl' the profession feels is more

histori<:all~' been perceived by idealists to be an educational tool but it

critique 01' current education and propose a working model 01'

important?

has also, throughout history, been t\\"ÍSted by zcalots and special-

"Proeess" which transcends issues of"Stylc and Pragmaties." Firstly I

interest groups into a manipulative deviee. The Catch-22 01' using

would critique the educational system as a wholc within the general

visual mass media for distribution 01' information is that the

framework 01' "Method Vs. Style", in order to avoid a dysfunctional

the same as the number

distribution platforms, by law 01' c\"Olution, are required to continually

state 01' argumentation where eaeh side is preaching to its own ehoir,

set

get more sexy; and axiomatically more potent. The abuse 01' this visual

in its

0\\

The number 01' ofllees today looking for a good designer is about 01'

ofllees looking 1'01' someone to hand write a

01' spees.

n chureh, and on difTerent worlds. So what do you think happened, Seullyr

potcney evolves as well, and the stakes for damage rise; like an infocrack, it ¡s immediately highly addicti\'(~ and dangerous. Having touehed lightly upon eommunication issucs, I will get back to my priman' issue, which is a ¡evel plane

01'

evaluation tór our Architectural

institutions. Den:loping a critique 01' the edueational s~'stem as a whole neeessitates an unbiased judgment 01' eaeh individual institution.

Subject: X-Files wisdom

Subject: Re: X-Files wisdom

01 Mar 1998

03 Mar 1998

CM:

KR:

Sorne X-Files wisdom:

teaehes a style

Unhiased judgment 01' an indi\idual institution def¡nill'l~ needs to incorporate a frame 01' reference construeted from a wisp 01' intelleetual and aesthetic consensus among the entire body. In our

i'm not surc what you mean by style. i don't think everyone

To reply to both Kcn and Rob, and to forward the point about the philosophical and/or pedagogieal eomposition 01' the academy today...

01'

in a style. the idea that architeets can piek what style

they want to design in beeomes absurd because meaning gets lost when you simpl~' borrow fórmal aesthctics from history. the biggest failure

01' post-modernism was the misguided hope that by re\'i\'ing c1assical


elements strippcd of their ornament,

not a trademark for a good designer. (i dont think because we draw on

architecture would become meaningful.

mylar vs. linen that we are lesser designers) the computer detlnitely moves the architect further from the reality of a constructed building.

with style lightly touched upon, there

i don't view (and cannot lwcause they're here to stay) computers as an

: are a lot of professors and universities who

necessarily obstructive tool in designo the problem arises when it

- don't understand this historical perspective,

becomes a catch all. details are stored and simply plugged into a

_ thus believe 1) in order for architecture to

building without much scrutiny.

- have collective meaning it must hark back to .~

sorne comfortable, recognizable form or 2)

. without the formal historical 'context' architecture becomes a closed subjective

Subjeet: Adding to the good point ofDasCoon 04 Mar 1998

f /"

RN:

design game only architects understand. these two interpretations are not exclusive and have other implications as well.

A quick response to Ken's statement, "i don't dew... computers C.

as an necessarily obstructivc tool in designo the problem arises when it

M"cBRlIlI, DiAlOGUE

P,,"",

1RAN<I'ORI 'IOOU,

1'198

-

--

-

becomes a catch all." what is your thinking on style? I have noticed a marked lack of productivity and creativity associated with computer aided design. The problem stems from the studio design theory or lack thereof ? confusion created when one attempts to keep up with good software, , there are two issues in this: tlrst is what is complicated software, funky visual output, glitches, bugs, crashes, etc. : taught in architecture. many professors This problem can be distilled quite simply (and 1 am constantly using : confuse style with theory and therefore miss this as an argument for people to turn off their pes 贸nce in a while) : the central focus of architecture-meaning and BETA5K ORIENTED, NOTTOOL ORIENTED.

.- a basic question for design WHY? the second issue and somewhat more mundane is how to

Subjeet: stylin'

teach. how to get the students from point A

06 Mar 1998

to point B? how to teach someone to think

CM:

. for themselves? i'm not sure what you want to focus on?

1 understand "style" in t\Hl ways: as for nuts amI bolts training for the 1 - a description of something (a dress, a hair-cut, a skyscraper) profession, yea i think you'rc on the money as being the most current in popular tastes; and (almost oppositc) computer skills is what the profession looks 2 - a manner by which historians group objects & ideas by e

for in interns. although drawing, putting 隆ead R

onto paper, facilitates design sensibilities it is

NARRMCI, CiIAIR No

2.

10P VIIW.

19'12

similarities in their appearance, construction, tendencies, etc.


Examples-

1am the most stylin' cat in the Mountain time zane. (see 1 aboye)

=

OK, how about this (true) slory.

Have A Nice Day!

A well respected, medium sized office here has made it clear to ;

KR:

prospective employees, that, based on past success, they are

true story

(especially) interested in hiring you if you bring your own tools to the;

i'm not sure its a big issue that you bring your own tools

office. Of course, by tools today we mean computers. So if you don 't :

(computer other than the logistic pain in the ass it would be). its no

historian. We should not (desplte the popular cry ofthe schools)

mind buying a S2,000 computer and if you don't mind learning

problem to bring my own pencils, triangles,etc to draw. its a finance

discredit the importance of style. Style is best learned the way one

AutoCad (since you only had one semester of it), you might get a jobo

Architectural styles are fundamentally the tool of the

Alberti), structure (Vitruvius), politics (Russian constructivism),

dilemma: should the employer or employee supply the tools thus bear the cost?

might learn a foreign language. There are rules, and there are reasons for the rules. They ma)' be based on philosophy (Boullee,

,I

Am I making a stink out of nothing? Am 1 just stoopid because this is an excuse lo buyo a new computer as a "Tite-off every year?

RN: If it were to the financial benefit of the employee I would

and on and on. You can learn that there is a formula for the proportion of Greek columns just as there is a "formula" for a modcrnist box.

1 think it is an example of how the profession is moving away from its mm tradition. I also think that if this is the inevitable path of

endorse it but 1 find it hard to believe for several reasons. 1) Non-homeowners usually don 't itemize items such as computers on their tax returns. I'm certainly no expert at the tax

1 would suggest that the teaching of style is dead until you enter the profession. 1believe that better architects understand

the profession, that there should be an equal understanding that architecture has just about been eliminated from the mix.

how to "read" rules of style, and how to (if necessary) build wilhin a slyle. I also think that too many architecture teachers are unsure ofhow lo teach PROCESS and must defer to what they know besl K RCN:IiJII. FmOfo KNH

(this generation's 40 year olds are liYing the Morphosis thing; this generation's 50 year olds are living the Rowe/Rossi/Meier thing). Ken is correct in saying that method is the best ruute for the making of great architecture. Knowing style is important just ยกike knowing the building code is important.

And lasth' 1am the most sldin' cat in the Mountain time .' . zone.

PART 2 TRUE STORIES

Subject: true stories

03 Mar 1998 CM:

A(JfJll\u~

saUTH ((['tAlION. BUORl AND AfifR (ONSTRlil1I01"4


code, but as I understand. it is hardly worth itemizing unless you O\m property or a business. 2) The life span of a PC is about 3-4 years if you are lucky. IBM

Mentioning your greedy prospecti\'l' employer was good email strategy; it got me mad enough to \\Tite before I could think about an answer.

has Pentium 1000s in the lab right now for commercial release in the early 2000s. An office can rotate machines in and out with much less

PART 3 ARCHITECTURE AND THE CRISIS Of

pain than an individual.

MODERN SCIENCE '

3) Does the employee get a chunk of the offices overhead? Probably noto 4) A nice set of traditional drafting tools can run you around

R

NARRAlCI, Ü¡A1R No

3,

'RONT flfVMION,

Subject: Re: stylin' 07 Mar 1998

5500. If an employer wants an increase in productivity associated with

KR:

computers, then he or she must pay the overhead of the PCs.

you wanted teeth. right?

1992

5) Increasing demand for productivity ami frustrating your employees into buying their own PCs by stalling the upgrade of your office equipment is ultimately destructive.

the topic, as per 2/25 "A Critical Discussion ... yadda,"is a "critical discussion of the interchange between architectural education and practice." as per 2/26 "A Critical Discussion ... yadda" you ha\'e

I'erhaps this architect should divert sorne of his creative energies

reduced the scope of the abstract to only "Established American

into solYing his o\erhead problems instead of passing them along to his

architectural education. at least since the rise and acccptance of the

employees. An established architect should have the balls to bill a

modern movement in the 19S0s...."

client and not think otherwise. Young architects don't have that prerogati\e. To address your point of mo\ing away from tradition;

why have you restricted the focus to "Establishcd American

providing middle class Americans with accessibility to college degrees

architectural education" sincc the modero mO\'l'ment of the Hfties? b\

was an attempt at leveling the playing Held for non-gentlemen

limiting yoursclf to these parameters. you are not only neglecting the

(architects and oth,·rwise). By gentleman architect I mean the

history of architecture that established architel'lural thought for the

independently wealthy architect. Accessible college degrees .lIso

last two centuries but .lIso the dilcmma of architeeture to reconcile

simultaneously saturated the job market in a profession that is, in

man in the "world as li\'l·d." .lIso implicit in the topic, as originally

traditional \·iew. employed by a numerical minority. the rich. One

statcd. is the assumption that education, and therefore theory taught, is

would think the efficiencks of new technologies would make the

distinguishable from practice. it is important to understand the source

broader architect base available to the broader publico Unfortunately,

of this separation and the dC\'elopment of architectural thought

the lack of focus in the schools has left a profession ridden with

through 1) theories of traditional (as in the ancients) architecture, 2) to

business ineptitude. In addition. the AlA is just realizing that it should

the transformation of architectural thought brought on initially by

be usingTV to market the profession. Helio; TV has been around for

Galilean science, eventually reducing architecture to a set 01'

hall' a century and snobbishness doesn't pay.

prescriptive formulas and 3) amI Hnally to the transition to inductive philosophies fostering the notion 01' progressi\'l' science and the

Gotta go to work.

priority 01' technology in modero architecture.


what is the importance 01' stylc?

your inquiry has encouraged me to do sorne rereading. i highly

each one being customizable to suit their taste. number and

recommend you read "ARCHITECTURE ANDTHE CRISIS üF

gt'ometrical form, proportion, lost thcir symbolic intentions associated

MüDERN SCIENCE"by Alberto Perez-Gomez at the \cry least read

with ancient architecture and became signs 01' technological values.

make it a valíd design strategy for architecture. a prevalent

thc introduction, ami the first and last chapters. the last chapter 01' the

the geometry 01' the Bauhaus, Interoational Stylc and Modero

misunderstanding 01' style is that the "formula for the proportion 01'

book focuses on the writings amI teaching 01' Jacques-Nicolas-Louis

Movement are cssentially a continuation 01' this "technological world

greek columns" is equivalent to the "formula for the modernist

Durand (1760-1834). it is about this time that architecture, and hencc

view ... not the world ofman."

box" thus making them interchangeable and implying their use

architectural education, carne to be "understood as formallanguage or

anytimc, any place, by anyone. the formula for the modern

style." where" .. .Ianguage whose possible meaning depended entirely

movement is essentially just that a formula is a rational, self

on syntax, ... obeying only those rules accommodated by mathematical

model of'Process' whkh transcends issues of'Style amI Pragmatics'" it

referential system with no basis for meaning in the here ami now.

reason, not by the logic 01' everyday lík." durand's theory finally

is necessary to address the dosely related contL'xt 01' style and

the "formula", you re/á to, 01' the ancients was not initially

reduced the task 01' the architect to problem solving, efficiency was the

pragmatics today, and historically. method or process do not,

understood as a system in which you simply plug in variables.

primary goal. architecture was taught by analyzing elements 01'

necessarily, offer a better understanding 01' the dilemma facing

proportion was a privileged communication with the divine mind.

buildings i.e.: columns, walls, openings, rool< etc. which were

architects. theoretical projects 01' Piranesi, Gaudi, Lequeu and into the

geometry amI number werc evidence 01' the transcendental cosmos

considered in t wo respects 1) the material and construction and 2)

present are probably thc best embodiment 01' a meaningful architecture

in which man dCTived meaning for himself and his existencc in the

according to their form and proportion; next combining these

and implicitly question the primacy 01' an objective, tcchnologícal

world. it becomes critical for an architect to define the realm 01'

elements in to larger segments 01' the building i.e.: porticoes, rooms,

science O\cr an intersubjective poetic imagination 01' which

architccture. is the central thrust architecture to reconcile man in

atriums amI on; finally once these parts are well formulated they are

architecture originates.

the ambiguities and mysteries 01' the world, thus meaning? or is

combined in to a structure. design became a formal game devoid 01'

the primary goal to supply an aesthetkally pleasing, structurally

meaning. L. A. Dubut, a contemporary 01' Durand amI adopting his

Subject: Architecture and the crisis ofmodern scicnce

sound cnvironment in which man can dwell?

theories, published a book primarily a catalog ofhous<;s whic~.c()uld.!?e_. _,

08 Mar 1998

used, by any one, to build a house without knowing about architecture,

RN:

because stylc is a fundamental tool 01' historians docs not

although l' m not sure what rob is referring to as "a working

..

In response to Ken Rosciolís well footnoted tirade and without having read Perez Gomcz's text, 1'11 try to clarify previous thoughts by examining Ken's.

Ken Q: Why have you restrictcd the focus to "Established R N'.RACCI.

CHAl.

NO.

3.

BOTTOM V¡[W. 1992

American architectural education" since the modero movement 01' the fifties?(etc.)

Rob A: Ken is probably right about laying the foundations 01' your article with a broad historical review outlining manners 01' K RO'ClOll. FOlllm KNH AOOIllON. DETAlL Of

[A~

r ElEVATlüN

1thought which have led us to now. I wouldn't dwell upon historical ¡ analysis though. Ken acknowledges that this subject has been, 1


believe, "a critical discussion of architectural education TODAY." The

distinguishable from practice. it is important to understand the

environment? 1belieH' that unprecedented formative cireumstanees in Post WWII America are:

pragmatic dill'iculties of the now are th"se that can be critiqued and

source of this separation and the devdopment (,f architntural thought

addressed in a useful manner which reaches backward, but remains

through 1) theories oftraditional (as in the ancients) architecture, 2) to

forward thinking.

the transformation of architectural thought brought on initially by

a)TV

Galilean science, eventually reducing architecture to a set of

b) Computers

prescriptiH' formulas and 3) and finally to the transition to inductive

c) Aecessible sccondary education

Ken: "also implicit in the topic, as originally stated, is the

assumption that education, and therefore theory taught, is ..! );

philosophies fostering the notion of progressive sciencc

1) Information

2) Poliey

and the priorit)' of technology in modern architecture."

a) Direct gm"t subsidy of substandard suburban development through tax credit

Rob: 1believe that Ken is muddling two

b) Indirect gov't subsidy ofthe same through Interstate

scparate issues. One is the shear bet"cen art and

Construction. (And 1 don 't swallow the idea that Nuclear War Paranoia

sciencc. The other is the shear between education and

precipitated the dissembling of our eities. Mutually Assured

practice. If anything, the shear between art and science

Destruetion "as recognized very early by the superpowers.)

is a common struggle internal in both L'ducation and the

3) Economy

profession. The shear bet"een art and science has been

â&#x20AC;˘

a) An all eneompassing issue, mega-eeonomies have enabled

addressed and some"hat understood by architects, but

the forces of greed to abuse information and poliey to meet their

understanding this does little to change the external

necds. Again, "e are battling pretty big guns, when trying to sway

forces which drive the architectural profession such as

publie opinion.

0\\

n

economy, public policy and taste. Yikes, 1hate to reducc architeeturc to commodit)', but hasn 't it always been the

K

Far be it from me to reduce arehiteeture to pragmaties though.

L'<lSC that somebody has to pay for it. It just so happens

appreciate that one shado" is nicer than another, and, although my

that the af()rementioned market conditions are vcr\'

appreciation of sueh phenomena and their ability to spark the poetic

bcyond our control. Going from the freedom of school

cannot be redueed to formula, I strive to ereate spaees in which nicer

to the priorities of a client is \\¡hen the shear bct"ccn

shadows are found. As to the efforts of sorne "cll intentioned

school and profession becomes apparent. far from the

architeets, 1disagree with Ken's argument that integral to modern

need to educate ourse1H's, we need to kno" how to

architecture "f the 50s "as an institutional formulaic aloofness. Mies

educate our clients. Tough job in an environment "here

madI" glass boxes ten timcs as good as anyone else could, because he

public opinion is so easily swayed by ephemeral media

understood and nourished the poetic spark. Sorne madI" them less

message saturation.

good, others madI" them abysmally. AmI this formulaie argument is al so

ROSClOII. F<HDI:D KN~~ Alml1l0N. [AST I LrVAllON

rebutted by sorne very sensuous and taetile stufT done, at thc timc, all I keep coming around to the question, "What has aggressively ami inevitably f()rmed (not informed) today's arehitectural professional

over the world by guys like Wright, Seharoun, Aalto, amI what's his name that did all of thc funk y cantilever glass houses in L. A. Kahn 's British Art reallife.

ecnter eouldn 't be more eaustie on paper yL't sensuous in


e

MAtBRJDE, D'AWGm PAR", PlIA'ES 1,

COMPlITER MOllrLS.

2,

&

3

1998

=

What do I mean by "Proeess transcending issucs of"Style and Pragmatics"? What I really meant to say is that pragmaties

I - I " I I ., I

alonc, de\oid 01' poetry, is unexciting and not what an architect should aspire to. Style, either localized or eo-opted, can similarly be mistakcn for a legitimized vocahulary, Iike a catalogue 01' prcfab architectural parts. I was am sceing process as a healthy balance 01'

Subject: teetb

today. I belie\'e that the last wholesak shift in academia was the

the two, hopefully including design methods that produce

08 Mar 1998

adoption 01' modernism. This haplwncd a long time ago, especially

unexpected results. I am trying to identify process in today's

CM:

when you use the profcssional world as a gauge. Since that time, the

studio as a more analytical as \\cll as open-minded means to an

Ken, 1apprcciat the fury in your last message. This is a

schools ha\e all driftcd in ways that do not represent a dear eonsensus.

cnd. As far as alien imposition 01' style upon a contcxt, I mostiy

complex subject, and the dehal<' on-r the importance 01' style has been

"Established" schools are the easiest to research; fringe programs (non-

find that selflsh amI inappropriate unkss one 01' two conditions

one 01' the most important 01' the last 30 or so years. As has the debate

accredited, atcliers, etc.) are around (1 guess) amI probably stick to

exist: A context exists whieh is aIready untamably monstrous Iike

o\er process/ methodology.

their own philosophies on teaching. The one that comes to mind is

parts 01' Los Angeles. :\ context in which the fahric is so full 01' holes as to need redefinition ยกike Berlin.

Tigerman's school in Chicago'. I appreciate your broader views amI I Let me answer

~'our questions:

why have you restrictcd the foeus to "Established American Gops, thcrc gocs a couple 01' hours and I need to work.

generally agree with them, howe\'er 1don't see much connection at all with today's "academia/profession" debate.

architectural education" sinec the modern mO\cment 01' the fifties?

Chew on this guys and don't pull any punches. 11' you can't change

This topic must relate the schools with the profession, and, while I am

what is the importance 01' styk?

my mind, you can at least organized my scattered and prohably

as interested in history as much as anyone, I want to concentrate on

As 1 have mentioned, 1 belien' that style is important because,

sometimes eontradictory thoughts.

like language, it is something that is inherently understandable. Which


is not to say that style cannot be expanded

~---------------------------------------,

upon, altered, etc. Knowing style and its development (why did modernism mme to look like modernism?) is an excellent way to understand the importanec & history 01' . ideas. It leads eventually to the knowledge . that style in particular is unimportant, but o

~:

the development 01' style is a natural process in working out personal meaning (in architecture). This idea is very similar to your idea: "method or proccss do not, necessarily, ofkr a bctter understanding 01' the dilemma facing arehitects."

I I I

This said - how can wc come baek

-

around to the profession? Is it safe to assume

-

e

M,cBRII", D,ALOGUE PARk. RRIOGES WIRffRAME '100".

--

-

.J

1998

that 99% 01' practicing architects follow the 000

o

natural force s 01' the marketplace & economy?

in a way, that is what happens today - school, then three years as

with the transition in practical terms. i guess i'm one 01' the 1% ?????

How / what should the schools be doing to

interno

help??

,. prepare students for this?

art and sciencc: as for architecture and science i don't think it has been

More later - I am off to play in the

understood by most architects -somewhat doesn't cut it.

snow.

rob i know i simplil1ed and thus made generalizations 01' the modern movement, give me a break wiU ya. Mies' care for detail (grounding

i don't know chuck and rob, you both, and perhaps 99% 01'

down welds to ha\"e a perfeet 90' angle) cannot only be appreciated by

Subject: 1% ?????

practicing architects, seem to see the "formati\"e circumstances" as the

the eye (mind) but also the hand (body). he definitely transcended

09 Mar 1998

focus 01' the debate. i'm not so sure. yea they do laya hcavy burden on

mere formal games. corbu is a bit puzzling. on the one hand he wants

KR:

architects but rob as you state they are beyond our control. thus

to raze hall' 01' Paris to build monolithic towers, and on the other

yea, i can see where i was muddling.

should we prepare students f'lr something they can't control? sure

Ronchamp o????

education and practice:

there could be more professional c1asses, marketing, contract,

i was mistakenly referring to when

customer relations, computer c1asses. arehitect minoring in marketing

architectural education 01' the 18th ceot.

doesn't secm too inspiring, although it does sound cconomical.

offered lessons on mathematics but students still apprenticed as a builder. therefore, as builder, training in the profession/practice.

i should have known "context" would be read like that. it \\"as meant to deal with style and pragmatics in their relation and de\"c1o.pment ~. history. not the context 01' a particular site.

so to the specific debate: interchange bet\\"ecn architeetural education and practice. sorry i guess i just don't have a real problem


Referring specifical!y to your phrase, "the rational system of an

process:

applied formula or legitimized vocabulary is outside the human condition."

the inductiye philosophies i referred to. induct - to form a general from the specific. since Galileo, as i understand it, a shift occurred in

Isn't it true that what changed in Galileo's time was the quantity

the way man saw the world. with the "new science" \\T were able to understand more amI more about how the cosmos and the world

of phenomena observed. The shift in general understanding of

worked. these were specific discoveries, leading us towards a singular

phenomena rose from the need to interpret these phenomena. In

unknown truth which would answer eyerything. in this mind set

other words, to qualify the phenomena through interpretation. For

everything is progressing, that is getting better. with this in mind,

instance, math was not a universallanguage discovered, but a ten digit

"opened-minded means to an end"becomes hairy.

human construct emlved from our having ten l'ingers. Then there is Cartesian space vs. curved space. Truth seems to have less to do with truth than with interpretation that, for the scientist, falls somewhere in

deduct - to form specifics from a general. in order for process

between extremely intriguing and unacceptably psychotic.

to han' sorne nlidit \ an - appropriate - frame of rekrence, probably much like a goal (goal orientation you mentioned before) having to d~

..

Is anything outside of the human condition?

with the human condition (the body's A\iD the mind's perception of the world), needs to be established then specifics (discoveries) are

And as a pleasant aside concerning Corbu, I was blown away at

reach from within. this is \'ery different than the sclf referential system i referred to in the last message. the reason i say this is ¡",cause the

La Tourette that he sprayed a whole side of the building with shot-crete

rational system of an applied formula or legitimized mcabulary is

to, I assume, soften it up a bit. Things like that have cominced me that

outside the human condition.

I shouldn't be such a systematic fascist, although I don't know that I've come \ery faro C.

MACBRIIlI

DIALOGUE

P""

CONCEPT "Olll!,

1998

intersubjective becomes important because within the frame of _. ._,/

reference, poetic individual insights need to be referenced to the totality. although i haven't read anything from him, Vico, i believe

1. We oppose the social discrimination that operates throughout

speaks about the knowledge of imagination of al! people.

the course of study, from the primary to the higher grades, to the disadvantage of working-class children and poor peasants. We want to

Subjcct: inducked

Subject: Re: Architecture and the crisis of

10 Mar 1998

modern science

RN:

10 Mar 1998

I still don't know what inductiw means. Now i have two more ~

CM:

terms to figure out; induct-to and deduct-to. Again, I didn't read

Heres a llashback to days of action:

"crisis" so J'm sort ofhelpless. This morning I just want to fire off a

......."'_...... .. .. _.,....,,¡, ~ ,~

. . . __ ~.',

o

••••

'."'_

•• , . . , . . . . " .

'._,'

_.~',

~"-~"

"'.'

quickie because its going to be a busy day for me.

_ _

.',

-ez-..-·-

'"'

-...._

....,

Wednesday, May 15, 12: 00...

fight against the system of examinations and competitions, principal means of this discrimination. 2. We oppose the content of the teaching and the pedagogical forms in which it is disseminated. Everything is organized so as to


ensure that the products of the system acquire

Have governments learned that the treatment of their people

I am going to re-rcad the Perez-Gomez article. If I recall

neither critical consciousness nor knowledge

with passive smiles is theTRUE MEANS OF COMPLETE

corrcctiy it is onc of his best essays, but I generally think he 's kind of a

of social and economic realities.

CONTROL?

history-theory rip-off artist. Frampton discusses Durand in the first

3. We oppose the role society expects intellectuals to play: to be watchdogs of the .. system of economic production, to be

It certainly is an easy lesson after several centuries of failed totalitarian regimes, .. Does an era of non-committal, please everyone politics lead to a

few pages of his "Modern Architecture" and is more matter of fact: He "sought to establish a universal building methodology, an architectural countcrpart to the Napoleanic Code, by which economic and

technocratic managers, to see to it that each

culture where it is impossible to distinguish between history and

appropriate structures could be created through the modular

person fecls happy with his lot, especially

nostalgia?

permutation of l'ixcd plan types and alternati,c elevations.'" I guess

Does the relegation of the masses to a computer screen

when he is being exploited ...

On May 15 1968 this began a

symbolize the non-directional path that the profession of architecture

Levitt. Brian Rex thinks that he was reincarnated as Christopher

has gone for the past generation?

Alexander. i Frampton belie,es (as does Perez-Gomez) that he (and

document adopted by the student strike committee at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in

that Durand \\as sort of a 19th century Henry Ford, or maybe William

contemporaries Ledoux and Boullee) is thc starting point !(lr the Stand Up! Turn off your machine and go look outside!

modern movemcnt.

Paris one week after the strike and a day after

..

My interest in style (and this is the last time III mention it!) is

the occupation of the school. The building

Subjeet: more thoughts

was liberated five weeks later, on June 27. J

10 Mar 1998

probably based on my belief that architecture must be (to a point) a

CM:

populist pursuil. Perhaps this is true for practicing architects building buildings. To the purcly academic, this is a subject which is amided

We live in a time when there are no more protests!

and usually laughcd al. Venturi is the most recent onc to tackle this

,------

idea intelleetually. I have knO\m you (Ken) for a long time and 1 know you don't support this. The "imry tower" critique frc'>m the profession applies here.

You two have embarked on a philosophicaI discussion which should contain less semantic squabbling. The Mies & C'orb examples are duly noted and more cxamplcs nev'er hurl.

I belien~ Ken 's notion about "formativ'e circumstances" being the only concern of practking architects is absolutcly corred, This is (perhaps) a better way to critique and/or frame the "intcrchange ,"

Ha\'e ,ou looked out the window? C.

MACBIUI>I

DIALOGUE PAJI"'. I'ARI\\ WIRI fttAl'l( ~10DrI.

1998.

Subjeet: Have you looked out the window.


10 Mar 1998 RN: What's "out"? Hah, OK so much for semantic squabbling. How about Hans Scharouns Berlin Philharmonic. (Rent the Wim Wenders film, "Wings of Desire". It doesn't show

to explain a truth, then in effect theory must come about by a logical & scientific process. Now, who says which one? Husserl? Alberti? Descartes? Lacan? Derrida? This is about as universal a question in wcstern philosophy as exists! I am going to ponder this and then I will return to earth tomorrow.

the Philharmonic but it does show extensive footage Roger, Houston. We han' visual confirmation .. , of the interior of Scharoun's library across the street. Can libraries be sexy? I think so.) I haven't heard Gehry say one PS have you seen "Contact" andl or "Event Horizon"? word about his formal and material referenees to (;lass recommend, spacc fans. Chain arehiteets. Funny thing is though, Glass Chain was the best thing that Scharoun's eontemporaries could come

Subject: cosmos searching contemporaries up with to term sorne really innovative work. (read: 12 Mar 1998 pigeonholc) Scharoun mutated too qUickly away from KR: stylistic identifiers. They couldn't cateh him, he was to address the thought pro\'Oking inquiries of my fellow, fucking innoeent. sublunar dwelling, cosmos searching contemporaries.

11

chuck's ponderings first: i think Alberto was trying to show

Subject: Re: Have you looked out the that, yes, pure theory seeks to explain truth. in that truth is not

window. wholly logical or scientific, but also ambiguous and poetil' suggests that

11 Mar 1998

a logical and I or scientific process would fail as a "true knowledge" of

CM: truth. One of the biggest disappointments when 1 was in Berlin was that I didn't see the Library and the let me back up for a second to talk about what i understand to Philharmonic only briefly. This was stuff they didn 't tell us be "truth" or the "general" i was referring to in my 1%???? message. about at dear old State. rob, i believe is correct in stating that truth has more to do with interpretation. ancl yes for scientists it is somewhat unacceptable Wings of Desire is great. The shots of the Library (although leading scientifie theories are essentially knowledgeablc R

NAHHAClI. CHAl' NO

3.

ro_ VlfW. 1992

are the most memorable. The building feels so quiet and so speculations) but for an arehitect, interpretation (perception as in the gigantic. Big space is an appealing thing. body's and the mind's) is of much greater significance than the objective truth of science or reason. I have re-read the Perez-Gomez (the "Introduction" at least) and he definitl'ly has a certain authority in his history lesson of architectural theory. If pure theory seeks


i'm going to stop now, i get way to long winded on these subjects. i'm

our knowledge to understand man in the world. this is "here "truth"

Maybe it is just system shock and I \\'ill get OH'r it, but 1 feellike I am

going to lay this out in an outline:

lies, in man (01' Being) amI our interaction with t1H' world. this is the

searching really harcl 1'01' my \\'ilel siele. I think I \\'as wilel once? :'-Jowa

general i was proposing (although i will admit that it is somewhat

bourbon 1'01' me. Cheers to you and a good weekend.

the ancients:

convoluted and probably not the best way go about reading this book)

-God exists (01' gods), the Didne mind is in control.

it is then our task to dise()\'cr 01' reveal the intricacies 01' that

Subjeet: retransmission

-man discovers rules 01' nature -math, geometry, ete. these are

relationship

15 Mar 1998 KR:

understood as secrets 01' the Di\'ine (quiek note: math eould, and probahly did, come from us having ten fingers hut had meaning

quick note on the human eondition: obviously i was a bit

beca use God gave us ten fingers thus ten is symholic and significant

confused on a "rational system Iying outside the human condition." it

otherwise we would have a diffcrent number 01' digits.)

only accounts 1'01' a part 01' the human condition. aetually rational

hey guys

i was interesteel in e10ing a web site. it might be a nice

system is probably only slightly but definiti\'ely e1ifferent than the

counterpart to the diseussion (more imaged based). i not sure ho\\ to

the shift:

framework i mention. in that man 's relation to the world is also

work it, e\'l'ryone have access to uploael 01' me as a coorelinator upload

-number thus geometry, proportion, ete lose symbolic relevanee

amhiguous anel metaphoric; poetics must playa significant role.

and managing the site as people send images and texto any\\ay, \\ould you guys be interesll'd in anything like this 01' am i dreaming?'?

(ten hecomes just the number ten.) -once split from faith; math and e\'entually seienee become

okay enough babbling, i need a drink a quick note on rob's wilel side. HELLO!!!- - TRIBUL:\TION

primary source 01' knowledge.

..

-man believes through reason, logic and science we would cventually come to understand everything in a future utopia.

somewhere in here, someone kills God, i think it was Nietzsche.

Subjeet: Divinity and Delineation

99. anel HOOK UPTHAT DAMN WELDER!!

13 Mar 1998 RN: Ri".'ting discourse albeit bad grammar. f'm starting to

a brief note on my enthusiasm: although vincent has most 01' my attention the bctter part 01' the day, i really don 't ha\'e much to focus

today:

unelerstand your explanations 01' Alberto's hook. To relate a personal

on except a few small endeavors hence my somewhat psychotic

-efficiency and economy encouraged through the dominance 01'

experience involving the schism between Techne and Poesis: My

enthusiasm. not working full-time has been a great hiatus from the

pursuit 01' rational mechanical knowledge 01' internal combustion

pressures 01' the profcssion and a retransmission 1'01'

""hieles stopped my chair project dead in it's tracks. It was actually a

e",.'ntually i'lI need to start working again, but hopefull~' we'lI keep on

slow hleed, oeeurring over two years, but definite'" a shift in thinking.

truckin' .

mathmatic systems, science and logic become the norm. -man is slowly becoming aware 01' the limitations 01' reason, logic and science to, in Alberto's words, reconcile man in the world. -as 1'01' God; Heidegger suggests that we may be condemned to live in the absence 01' gods, but the void is evident.

the gist 01' it.

Motorcycle Maintenance". 1believe the rigorous mental

machine like a Triumph motoreycle, altereel my way 01' seeing the world. It was sort 01' like conditioning. No", at work, "here I am managing projects, I am forced again to make a mental shift where I'm

so where does this leave us? what i believe Alberto is getting at

wild side.

One would think I could have learned a lesson from reading "Zenl

cluantification, classification disassembly and assembly 01' e\'en a simple obviously this is simplistic and very general, but i think you get

m~'

continually coorelinating ancl tracking the strata 01' a large job, and

specifically 1'01' architecture is that we need to place perception (where

trying to project it into the future. It is very mentally taxing anel has

our physical body AND our mind engage the world) as the source 01'

restraineel my personal habits as well as my ability to self-express.

hey chooch just got your message (spraineel "rist): to turn on your computer and stay inside. rest \\ell and he careful!


Subjeet: one-arm bandit

and more eynieal (amI more brittle) in my beliefthat the profession

junior people, not just technical skills associated with produetion

olTers less now than e\"er to the young arehiteet.

(models, drawing sets, cte.) but also eritical approaehes to looking at

17 Mar 1998 CM: i went to the doe for x-rays monday and sure enough - a

things, and big pieture analyses of the process. Now 1 just wish that I you guys shuuld have seen this fall i took. i am off to the

was being paid like a mutual funds manager.

medicine chest to ha\"e sorne laughs!

Subjeet: irony

non-displaced hairline fracture in my radius at the wrist. before i knew it i had a bright blue east on that wont come off for 4

Subjeet: one-arm

18 Mar 1998

wecks. it is a huge

18 Mar 1998

CM:

RN:

isnt irony ironie?

pain in the ass. at least it is my leh "Tis\. it is hard to put on clothes and tic my' shoes and all of those idiutie things that

Regarding your guestion:

you ne\"er think about.

>in your opinion how eritical are the internships given to

i also ha\"e hegun the commute to boulcicr e\"eryday, whieh gi'TS me less time to stare at m)' e-mail window thinking

just yesterday i wrote that i dont get mueh of a ehance to sit in

unciergrad/grad stucients' does it help the office in any way' other than

front of my screen anymore and pow! a blizzard hits. we got J 2 inches

the obvious inexpensive bodies? cioes it hl'lp the students in their

in boulder today between 9am and 2: 30pm so i carne home. and here i

studies?

am in front of my screen.

about arehitecture etc. i remain interested (for oh\"ious selfish reasons) in the profession ". academia thing; i am temptcd to

It really depends upon the interno Sometimes they are really

i understand the bad cop thing. i am not so great at it either, and

11

agree with ken's feeling that the relationship as it exists is pretl y

invigorating intcllectualh-. One is constantly trying to wcasel out of

am now about to begin construction on the townhouses; i have been

mueh ok. but i also feel that this is an easy way out ...

overtime so that he can train to NewYork on weekends. Usually that

drawing them (by myself) since september and must shirt gears now to

one is come down upon with severallarge boots. 1 had to give a

handle a con tractor and owner whom i do not know 'TI"} well.

the split will ah"ays exist;

reprimand-with-a-positive-bent twice this year. Once, believe it or

the profession will always lean towards the market (a

not, to a permanent hire/recent grad who thought the world owed

guantitative view aeeording to Perez-Gomez); the aeaciemy will alway's protect itself from ehange by using its own built in politics;

tell me im wrong.

rob & ken- in your opinion how eritieal are the

him a free lunch. It is difficult to chastise someone ami not alienate

PART 5 REAL L1FE SHLEPS

them. Being the bad cop sucks. On the other hand, giving l'irm direction

lo

interns is important otherwise, you get stuck doing

Subjeet: Real Life Shleps

e,路erything. I'm not just referring to grunt work, either. I don't mean

24 Apr 1998

stuck in a sell'ish, "1 wish 1 had more time to design" sense. Rather, I

RN:

mean stuck in a sense that hcalthy design teams can only exist if one

Here's a reallife story (names and places have been changed to

engages all team members in both prosaic and poetic mallers. I stress

proteet the innocent):

internships gi'Tn to undergrad/ grad students? cioes it help the

to junior architects that tasks like modeling or drawing, which may be

offkc in any' "'ay other than the ob"ious inexpensi"c bodies?

inferred as less important than the administrati\"e duties of a manager,

does it hclp the students in their studies?

actually have a profound effeet on the l'inished artifact; the building.

and move to the gold coast of CT to work for a l'irm doing high end

The way an intern hot-glues the joints of a model or renders the lines

residential (the town is a newly rich NY CEO bedroom community

of a drawing alters the way the design is pereeived and thus,

and one of the wealthicst towns in the world. They pay millions for

incrementally, the design process. 1 am trying very hard to teaeh

crappy ranchburgers to keep the black man out). The Shleps work for

at one time i was eOIl\'ineed that internship programs like at eincinnati "Tre the eats ass, but i suppose i am growing older

Two Staters Shlcp 1 and Shlep 2 graduate from Happy Valley U


this firm for about three years and then boldly steal a client and start their own firmo

Two days later, the lad calls a former contact, a superb architect in the same CT town with 10 solid young architects, all senior enough to teach him a lot. The Senior Architect, impressed with his go-getter

Enter a new fresh faced lad, a Happy Valley U graduate who

attitude, hires him on the spot; the lad is working within a week.

happened to indenture his freshman self to Shlep 1's crummy thesis project 4 years ago. Shleps hire him, pay him little and two years later,

1:1

Two davs latcr the lad recein's a Il'tter in themail from the

the young guy decides to try another east coast city (close to family,

former bosses ATTORNEY that thev will enforce the restrictive

many friends, perhaps a better conduit for his ambition). Ayear later,

covenant and sue the lad ifhe takes a job in their town. This is

courted by the former CT bosses (who by all rights should be forever

contrary to their de facto policy which had allowed two other

indebted to his hard work) the lad goes back to l'T. When the now 24

architl'ets within the last two years to flaunt the covenant and take

year old arrives in CT he is asked to sign a restrictive covenant stating

other jobs in their town. The document holds water in CT. The new

that, upon his dismissal or kaving the firm, he shall not work in town

boss and staff are bummed and franklv stunned at the conduct

for two years. (They are obviously haunted by their own client

displayed by the former boss. Legal or not, it stinks. The new boss

pilfering misdeeds, and would rather sublimate all ambition rather than

tries to call and discuss with former boss but the two shkps won't

nurture and grow with it.) The lad is taken aback, but, having spent all

take his call (neither will they take the lads calls.) The lad soul

01' his money on tolls to get to CT, he decides it is better to sign the

searches a bit and decides that the other east coast citv, near family'

dubious pieee 01' paper and get on with life.

ami friends, isn't so bad al'ter all. A couple 01' close fricnds and colleagues in New Han'n understand the move and support their dear

Four years later, the youngster (now @28 years old) is not only

friend, but are sorry to see such a good friend and asset to the

:: 1-

running jobs for the two shleps but also bringing in clients (for the

community leave.

same amount 01' money.) Seeing several easy jobs turned down, the young guy decides to freelance the jobs, to assist his income in thc VERY EXPENSIVETOWN. Bosses find out about freelance work

Lots 01' morals in that story, good and bad. Pick a few that mur fond 01' and tell the storv to other architects.

from a dimwitted mutually used contractor. Bosses suspend the lad for a couple 01' days, and, not realizing his rock-hard will, hope that two

26 Oct 98

days out 01' work will bully him into submission. (They also change the

AFTERWARD

alarm codes at their office, knowing from their own squirrely past, 1-

what can happen when you trust your employecs.) Young architect

CM:

returns for a talk, extremcly disappointed at the paranoia and mistrust,

1 have reread this text several times and find myself interested

and decides that he is better off leaving the firmo The partners kel that

in something different caeh time through. This last time though, 1

they can handle pending jobs and grant his requcst 01' an immediate

concentrated on the l"Ontent alone (hmm), trying to forget thoughts

lcave'. Young architect packs and goes home.

01' formatting and other strictly editorial tasks, and was plcased to actually think about the issues brought up regarding education and the profession.


Q. Are you a member 01' the AlA? 1 have never been entireh' comfortable with what the

.\. I was untill moved to New York Cily and couldn 't afford it

profession tells me in regards to the fact that l am an architect.

am' more. l have no idea what my money was used for other than to

(Do the)' want a thank you or something?) Perhaps my education,

pay college interns to make phone calls asking for delinquent

with its cmphasis clearly on design, has turned me against the

payments.

Q. How important is design studio? A. Very.

establishment in \\'a~'s that l would not have thought as an 18 year

Q. What did you not ¡earn at school that you feel you should

old. Why do l al\\a~s seek the difficult path? Isn't it easier to get

Q. Did you complete IDP?

along in life if you smile pleasantly at your boss or your con tractor

A. No.

have? A. Contemporary history and theory. Why does history c1ass

or your clienl: Wouldn't the financial reward be bctter ifllocated stop at Corb? With all due respect, he's been dead for 30 years. myself in lhe middle 01' a large office and kept my mouth shut, What I'm saying, 01' course, is that architeclural eduacation,

Q. Do you have a council record' A. Yeso

as all education, is most important, most critical, when it senTs as a de\'ice to re-frame a value s~·stem. Apparently at sorne point l

Q. Are you Iicensed? 110\\ important is a license?

have decidcd that what the :\IA \'alues, what !\C:\RB \'alues, what

A. Yeso For me my license was a personal milestone, equal parts

educational institutions and professional practices value, are usually

education, experience and a perserverance 01' a rediculous ami huge

a Iittle more pointed than \vhat 1 have found to be personally

bureaucracy.

..

important. So, as l reread the IIrst email 01' 25 February, l answer these (pointed) questions as follows:

Q. Should your workplace prepare you for the exam or should the uni\'ersity?

Q. Is there a model being followed today in architectural

A. Both, but it is obviously not the reality 01' either.

education? .\. !\o (unless )'ou count departmental politics).

Q. What is your view on the work (in your office) that today's interns and recen ti)' graduated students are doing? How is it different

Q. Should there be' A. ()f course. At different levels, all education should answer to a larger vision 01' itself.

for them than it was for us? A. Interns do whatever is at the bottom 01' the list, financially and otherwise. There is scldom any adherence to the ideals 01' the IDP.

Notes 1

Alberto Perez-Gomez, ArehiteelUre anJ lhe CriSIS oCModern Seienee (MIT Press: 1983.

Q. Is the academy failing the profession?

Q. Do you feel that architects represent society"

1988).

A. No.

A. Yes (sad but true).

'Slanley Tínerman is eofounder and director of:IRCHEWORKS in Chicana.

Q. Must the academy answer to the profession?

Q. What and how important is the commonly held image 01'

'Joan Oekman, ArehileelUre Culture 1943- 1968: :\ Documentar)' Anthology (NewYork: Columbia Books ofArehiteewre: Rizzoli, 1993) pp. 456-8.

A. Yes, but not necessarily to the AlA or N CA RB or the other experts who have distinct, non-educational agendas.

architects? A. Architects are and always will be on the fringe. l think that's how most 01' us like it, but not the ones you read about all the time.

~ Kenneth Frampton, Modan ArehiteelUre:A Crilical Historv. 3rd ed. (NewYork: Thames

and Hudson, 1992.) p. 15. 'Thank you

to

Brian Rex, internalaeLie, planetary.


BOAKE BI14N/OS Blrrl.R

GENSLER e

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HEYMANN

PRE NIERE ETAGE PLAN

GUIIIRRI/ 11 W.l N G

Prosaic Pleasures:

LEWIS

A Ludic-Erotic Hybridization of Social Decorum

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MacBRIDE

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address in architectural analysis and designo Professor Val Warke defines genre as 'a malleable frame of address or

o

sll'ering device of speech communieation present in aH diseourse with focus on a responsive understanding by a

OCHSHORN r,l

I·Ji'G"$'iiUbiOP.J}

specific audience.' Working tbrough this frame is not as readily defined. The thesis explores a ludic-crotic

PI A

hybridization of social decorum through architeetural manifestations. By mingling the voice of the architect "ithin

VA L DI s

PASNIK

the discursive act, the proposed architecture reshapes thc anticipated readings by the audience to reveal the sexual subtexts already present within an existing genrc.

H'IL((J\ I,¡

11 I I l. 1 A .11 S

t:

SCHACK

..

DOOR ORIFIU MICIIANIQUE

Givens: 1) aH works are within sorne genre; 2) one always works through genre-- consciously or noto To begin working tbrough genre eonsciously, one must anticipate an audience and then seek to engage that constructed audienee with, in tbis case, the medium of architecturc. Relatin' to the genre and program

o of this thesis, an ultra chic cigar bar and lounge, the addressee is from tbe tongue-in-cheek. When 'directing a discourse to this presupposed audience with tbe U

intent for a responsive understanding,'Warke maintains that 'eomplacency or sameness within the frame only perpetuates the biases ofthe genre.' However, through subjective elaboration or designed differencing from the host by the mingling of mices, tbe hybrid work promotes subtextual readings of its host. The intent of the hybridized architecture is to reshape the anticipated actions and events, and to reshape readings of those events, aH toward the erotic. In

" Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film, Robert Stam states that 'actions are performed within a specifie texto .. contexts are shaped fundamentaHy ..o:

by the kind of time and space tbat operate within them ... different social actions and representations of thosc actions presume different kinds of time and space.'


BOAKE

'"

BE1'ANZOS BETTER

GENSlER ..c: e

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< HEYMANN GUTIERREZ 11 W.4'iG

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MacBRIDE OMANSKt路

Herbert MUSCHAMP 01'1

RO-P~ILOS

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e

TheJolIowinB is a transcription

of a leeture Biven by Herbert Musehamp on Oetober 6, J 996. at ComelI University as part of a eelebration of the ColIeBe ofArchlteeturc.路lrt and of diseussion was'The Future of Our Profession." ComelI UnivefSJty President Hunter R. Rawlinas, llJ provided the

Plannina's l25th anniversary eelebration. The weekend's topie

1'A PI A

introduction. V.41.DES

PASNIK Thank you very much Hunter. I am very honored to be here on this o('"asion. This is actualIy the first lecture I have looked forward to H' 1

r r

O X

giving in a very long time. I love hiding behind the headlines at the Times, but I also love teaching very mucho It is a great honor to be asked to say WILflAMS

a few words at a school that has eontributed so mueh towards civilization -especiaI1y in the field that I \\Tite about. I miss teaehing because ies SCHACK

easier to talk about sorne subjeets in the form of oral exehange as with a spoken word, than it is in the impersonal, inflammatory format of a printed story. I want to talk about one of those topies this evening. SpeeificalIy, I want to talk about religion. More spccificaI1y, I want to ask myself the folIowing:

How is it possible to talk about religious spaee, in the eontext of art and architeeture today? And a eorollary question: Why

should it be so diffieult to talk about religious spaee out of context? And a third question must go through all of this as welI: Why isn 't it more shocking that it is so diffieult to talk about religion out of context? Though religion plays a big part in my thinking about arehiteeture-about


Pugin felt not only comfortable but also compelled to discuss

enlightened self-censorship of religion has, I think, created a certain

religious issues in the context of art and architecture, as if it were

feeling of void in public life, it also creates a sensation of a taboo. And

the most natural thing in the world. Anyone who tries to do that

if it isn 't perhaps, prudent to break that taboo, then perhaps the path

today would most Iike!y be considered a crackpot, or a reactionary.

needs to be examined. At the very least it should be possible to talk

There is a \'ery interesting story in this week's New Republic by

about the impact this taboo has had on the making and remaking of the

Wendy Kaminer on the subject of painting. I The article is a

public realm. Religion was- after all'~an area of culture that drove

response to the political power of the Religious Right. But it is also

architecture throughout much of its history. And even beforc its

a critique of the liberal culture for its resistance to public discussion

history it was an area in which cultural meaning was substantially

of religious-or for that matter even aesthetic-issues. "It's okay,"

grounded. And then: poof! It's all gone. It is History itself: herc a

Kaminer's editor once told her, "to top an op-ed page of the New

century ago, gone today. A friend of mine said when I was talking

York Times that makes fun of ncw age ideas, Oprah Winfrey's belief

about this subject last week: "Well, the issue isn't that complicated.

in angels, or the Psychic Friends Network. But no one must say

Architecture used to be driwn by religion, and now it's driven by

anything that would offend believers of mainstream religions, in

capitalismo That's what we believc in, so there you arc." My response

mainstream publications like the Times."

was: "Well, there is nothing new about the concept of worldliness, and

This resistance is overly determined driven by a number /lJcndy KamlOer, The :\"cw Rerublic Oetober J -l. 1996, vol. 215. Issue 16 PO' N-32.

1

David Hare, Skylight (London: Faber and Faber, J 995), p. -lj.

of factors. First of all, there is this mature awkwardness, of talking

divinity." (Of course, sorne people have often said that the concept of

about spiritual experience. David Hare has a character that asks

divinity was just a form of camouflage, invented by those who wield

rhetorically: "What is meant by that bloody word, spiritual?" And

worldly power. To which one answer could he: cynicism is itself a

then after this: "It means, well for me, for me, its terribly

religion for many people, thcrc's no proofthat it is true.)

important, hut I'm fucked ifI can really say why." 2 Virginia Woolf "mm ~llllSOXIRTl-SY 125m

A~"'I\TIlSARY.

ot VU)W PaotHOlJrK.~ FI~ l)llf lHf WMI PROOUCI1U!'c:'

00 ... 6 I ~9b. CORIUl!

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UJllJ'I'fRStly

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put it somewhat more delicately when she wrote in her diary, "one can't talk directly about the soul. Looked at, it vanishes: but look at the ceiling, at Grizzle, at the cheaper beasts in the Zoo which are exposed to walkers in Regents Park & the soul slips in.'" William James, in The Varieties of Religious Experience, prefaces his book by noting that while we may have a desire to believe, and even a

J Anne

Olivier BeJl, ed., The Diar! oO'irginia IJ(JoLf ยกaJume lll: J 925-

1930 (\"ewYork: Harcourt Brace Joranovich, PubJishers, J 980), p. 62.

desirc to make ourse!ves known to other peoples of faith, we don 't want to make fools of ourselves.'

'WiJliams James, The Varietics o(Rc}ยกgJOus Experience (.\"ewYork: Triumph Books, 1991).

there 's nothing new about the conccpt of pairing it with the idea of

Then there is our tradition of religious tolerance. One is aware at this leve! as precedent. It is not hard to talk about religion in the context of a culture where a substantial majority of people profess the san1l' faith. In a culture when, this is not the case, the force of religious conviction tends to lead into the private realm. The flipside of tolerance, however, is self-censorship. When the

Another question: isn '( this division

l'things into separate

material and spiritual realms itse!! a religious problem? Perhaps there is

โ€ข


..

more of a high degree of spiritual aspiration in the publie

questioning about the dynamic place of architecture in a nomadic

realm today, as in any earlier time in history. Maybe e\-en

society and about the moral integrity of intellectual performance.

a higher degree than "'e care to recognize. Perhaps it is

Why shouldn't this be talked about? When I started to have a

only possible to recognize that aspiration by getting past

conversation with an architect whose achievement was instrumental in

this dualismo 1 think that may be the case in architecture.

opening up this fleld of inquiry, his initial reaction was very defensive.

Arthur Danto used the wonderful phrase "the

"What is this? .. Hey what's this story about? That the Je",s are taking

transflguration of the commonplace" to talk about the

over architecture?" Perhaps this skepticism was legitimate, and as part

practice of art in particularly this century. ;

of the story, it should be toldo You can recall how difficult it was 40

In the 1960's, when artists like Andy Warhol

and 50 years ago to tal k about the contribution of Jewish artists to

emerged, sorne regarded that work as a mindless embrace

abstract expressionist painting. Artists themselves feared that such talk

of the banal, the commercial, the superficial, the mundaneo

would limit the uni\l~rsalitv of their ",ork. No doubt, sorne think that the eclipse of religion from public

William DeKoonig once accused Warhol of killing art, because his paintings of mm'ie stars and soda bottles

life is a very great achievement of civilization. A great triumph over

seemed to mock the transcendent aspirations of abstract

superstition as the enlightenment perceived it. Forge a victory over

expressionist painting. In fact, Warhol's work, like the artist

intolerance - as the ACLU might see it today. I suppose for me the

himself, was deeply saturated with the eyes of Catholicism.

question is:

The work is scarccly comprehensible without a

reliBion

consideration of those values, and with his desire to bring

cyberspace. is somethinB stilllift? And if there is just the religion of

c10ser together the movie star and the saint.

religion, ",here (ifany",here) do

I do sense , especially in talking to younger architects today, not only a strong desire to believe in the

!fyou take all"ay the reliBion c!f art, the reliBion c!f science. the

c!f social pTOB'ess. the reliBion c!f money, sex, mental health and

\\T

put it? And ifthere isn't, how

well are \\-e coping with the void that remains? In sorne ways we are coping very well. First, civilization is

value of what they do, but also a sense of frustration in

unsurpassed. I can produce things, anything people can use to fllI the

attempting to connect that belief to practice in dearly,

void. Horrors, elections, Coca-Cola, buildings, newspapers, opinions,

publicly perceptible ways.

I like a nice dry hot-sleep martini ser ved straight up with a twist. Then

So my reason for wanting to address the issue of

there is plastic surgery, aerobics dasses, the protection of rainforests,

religion is twofold: the flrst place has played a very large

vitamin supplements, furniture, fashion, baseball, football, tennis,

part of my own work, and second, I am curious to uncover

basketball, casino gambling, Frisbees, Hula Hoops, the Joan Rivers

and Icarn and ",ritl" about other belief structures that are

dassic jewclry collection, domestic violence, and psychoanalysis. But

becoming architecturally amI urbanistically embodied.

not for a moment should we feel anything less than a nestled crowd,

I happen to be working on a story at the moment

but for our capacity to produce all this stufT. 1 kno", that we are really

about the extraordinary contributions currently being made

good at it. It is nice to know there is something that you're really good

by some American Jewish architects, renowned after only

al. Besides, all that stufT is evidence of our imagination, our generosity,

two years of practice. Their work has opened up a

our curiositv about the world. How not to feel overwhelmed by it is a

remarkable fleld of ideas, throughout the value and


different matter. Perhaps the cost 01' living in a secular society could

frothed on and on, historicism was taking the place 01' religion as the

put us all to an end not thought possible, in order to avoid feeling

stabilizer 01' cultural meaning. Indeed, with their writings on religious

bewildered by our imagination, our generosity, our curiosity about

architectures 01' the past, Pugin and Ruskin, despite their intentions,

the world. It is not so easy to just say no to tclevision (aIthough an

were instrumental in affecting this substitution 01' historicism for

icy, empty, white, minimalist home or apartmcnt can perhaps

religion.

provide a momentary soothing effect). I want to approach this question in a secular way, by

Arr (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Uf, 1981 j.

modernism and history. 01' course there is no substantial opposition

talking about the future 01' our profession, I would Iike to saya word

between them. Modernism was to a large extent the natural extension

about the profession 01' our futures. Let me emphasize the

01' the nineteentb century's historicist view 01' history. The modern

importance 01' using the word JutuTes here in the plural. 11' we want

faith in the future was the logical sequence to the nineteenth century's

to use tbe word

vcrsion 01' the past. Modernism not only inherited the ninetecnth

OUT,

we should keep in mind that this word refers to

many people, and with them comes the potential 01' many possible

century's belicf in tbe value 01' a style but also inherited sorne 01' the

futures, many potential spaces. This century has indeed professed

religious dimensions 01' that belief. Thus Walter Gropius put a

the future in tbe fullest sense 01' tbe declaration 01' bclief: 1believe.

cathedral on the cmcr to tbe Bauhaus Prospectus. Thus expressionist

believe in theJuture, amen. OneJuture under pTo8ress, indivisible. To talk

architects in Germany saw parallels between tbe glass architecturc 01'

about the future at the end 01' this twentieth century is to raise a

thc tWl'Otieth century, and the stained glass 01' medieval cathedrals.

religious issue, for it is to talk about an idea that very early in the

Thus, as Colin Rowe once observed, "Modern architecture is surcly

But to look back at it from the end 01' the century is to Sl'l' that this religion has fallen into decline. What was once envisioned as

6

Allan Megill, Prol'hers ofExrrcmlt!': Xierzsche Heidegger Foucault Derrida

(Berkeley. Cl: U '!fCalifornia Press, 1985).

to contend witb recently is the myth 01' an opposition between

switching around the words 01' this weekend's theme. Instead 01'

century assumed the character 01' the cl'Otury's most powerful faith. ; Arrhur C. Danto. The TansĂ&#x161;guration ofrhe Commonplace: a Philos0l'hl of

One 01' the assumptions that architccts and others have had

utopian, has materialized as the monoculture, the global homogenization promoted by Disney, Marriot, McDonald's, CocaCola, and Microsoft, ctc. I suppose one reason why the climination 01' architecture's religious dimension from the public realm has provoked so Iiule attention, is that this dimension actually vanished long ago, even while people Iike Ruskin and Pugin were still talking up a storm about spiritual experiencc. In his book, Prophcts 01' Extremity, an analysis 01' post-structural philosophy, Allan McgiIJ makcs a valuable point that the dcstabilization 01' meaning, pervading thc prescnt ccntury is not due to tbe death 01' God, it is due to the death 01' historicism: tbe ninetc('nth century's organization 01' the past into a grand narrative, a linear cultural spine. 6 Even as Ruskin and Pugin


â&#x20AC;˘

most cogently to be interpreted as a gospel, as quite literally

new (mes, or even old buildings now standing. [was struck several

a message 01' good news."7 For a time, it was ev-en an

years ago hy a report on the evening news about the hard facts for

orthodoxy.

young children in Sarajevo. They VV('fe 01' the age when many children

Postmodernism began with the feeling that

were given a task 01' drawing a picture 01' the home, with smoke curling

modernism had bcen a false religion. The "good news"

from a chimney perched aboye the pitched roof. These children,

turned out to be a considerable overstatement, if not an

however, were alI doing drawings 01' buildings ripped apart-

outright hoax. People are now living in the modern future,

in flameo And ofcourse these weren't pictures ofhomes. I think the

and it is not bringing the benefits promised in the gospel.

children 01' Sarajevo were not the only (mes who were emotionalIy

Where is utopia? Where is the rational city? More to the

drawn toward this kind 01' image. The Oklahoma City Bombing,

point, who wants the rational city? The religion ofthe

Waco, the World Trade Center bombing, these destructive ev'ents

future has prodUCl'd nightmares, huge messes that people are

resonate deeply within contemporary culture.

still trying to clean up: environmental, v'isual, and intellectual pollution. Would it not be better if architecture

ruined

Yet I remain insanely utopic. Ido not have a fixed idea 01' what a utopia should look like, but I do think there are no limits to our

simply got out 01' the business 01' morality, and just dealt purely and

power to realize dreams. There is no limit to what an individual can

directly with the business 01' art' Let's Bet beyond utopia! That was a

accomplish. How are fOU BoinB to spend your da)' How do you respond to

prevailing postmodern belief.

jrustration ondjear andjai/ure? How determined are you tofiBhtIor your

A major problem arises with postmodernism's repudiation 01' the future. In attacking the future, postmodernists were sawing off the

Boa/s? lt is safe to say that these questions sufflce.

M Ygoal is to vVTite stories that are not a complete waste 01'

very branch on which they c1aimed to be perched: the branch 01'

my, or the readers' time or the paper on which they are printed. It is

history. Without the future, the historicists' V'ine collapses and history

realIy avV'!Ăşl at times to have a job like mine, where the opportunities

becomes liule more than another big pile 01' stuff. The only tools that

are present in a fleld where one could just be treating it as a job and

still seem to carry meaning alter this collapse are the broom ami the

not have anything else at stake. I could be just colIecting more stuff,

eraser, for which Jean Baudrillard calIs "the dance 01' the fossils:" our

recounting another encounter or being clever, or appeal to people's

millennial inclination to turn history into a neutralized, sterilized,

prejudices and fears. 11' I have a hope 01' attaining my goal, it comes

museum-version 01' the past. This is a tenuous situation in which

I'rom the religion I have been practicing for about 15 years.

architecture, traditionally seen as an instrument for cultural cohesion,

Throughout that time I have drawn on the practices 01' Buddhism, not

now finds itself. The collapse 01' historicism as the essential spine 01'

just to sustain my faith in human potential, but also as a tool for critical

meaning undoubtedly has alIowed architects unprecedented freedom

writing. This is a way 01' enabling readers to appreciatc the profound

in choosing what kind 01' work they want to do. It need not all relate

power 01' art and architecture, to altlT consciousness, to affect material

to one big picture. But perhaps the practice 01' architects today relates

realitv and to reveal the connections between mind ami matter.

to a big picture in spite 01' a sense 01' colIapse. Anybody who writes about architecture today, has surely been struck hy the fact that demolished and blown-apart buildings seem paradoxicalIy to engender a greater sense 01' social cohesion, than

I want to give two examples 01' Buddhist concepts that han' influenced my view 01' architccture O\lT the years. The flrst one is calIed eshojuni, which is the contraction 01' a longer phrase, ee ho sho ho


Juni, translated literally it means: the lije and its environment are two

approach. They were concerned with values, as well as forms and the

but not two. Or in simpler terms, it stands for the oneness oflife

relationship between them. Indeed, in writing about architectural

and its environment.

history, this is the norm. It is less common perhaps for critics to take

One can envision this concept 01' oneness in the form 01' a coin. A coin has a head ano a tail; they are distinct from one

that is distinct from architectural hislory). ArtTaylor, a professor 01'

another. Fortunes and futures have been won and lost with the f1ip

religion at Williams College, is one writer who has taught currently,

01' a cain. But they could not exist without each other. You can not

consistently and rigoruusly to tease out the theological content within

have a head without a tail, and \'ice versa. They add up to one coin.

contemporary art and architecture.

When I look at a builoing, I tr\' to be conscious 01' the fact

--

'tI Cood In/en/ion<:

Retrospect. (J.ondon: :leademy. 1994).

Towords a Possible

Then you have to talk about the environment without

that this building is only one side 01' a coin. I1 is a head or it is a tail.

alluding to that dimensiono It seems to me, mistaking the shadow is to

It may be a good building, or a bad building. But to interpret the

mistake the object that casts it. Many people become architelts with

building's meaning, I have to turn it arouno anolook at the other

the noble intention 01' reforming the environment, but we can wear

side 01' the mino The building is part uf the environment; I have to

ourselves out trying to make adjustments to a shadow and not get

track down the aspect 01' life to which that part 01' the environment

anywhere with it. Ano when architects complain-as many now do-

is fundamentally joined. I suppose that is why a lot 01' my \\Titing

that the profession has become marginalized, this maybe becallse so

includes ideas I han' gleaned from psychoanalysis, writers Iike

much energy has been spent on efforts to rearrange the shadows.

Adam Philips, Christopher Bowles, ami others. 1think it is

; Colin Rowe. The ArchiLecrurr

such an approach when talking about contemporary work (architecture

And this brings me to my second concept, the spokm ten

important to talk about dreams. It is also important that if \n' are

worlds. In thc Buddhist vicw, it is said that at any momcnt alllife, all

going to honor history, to look at the dream as one 01' the binding

entities 01' life are likcly to find themselves in one 01' ten worltls or

subjects throughout thc history 01' this century: the discovery 01' the

realms. These are thcn further divided into two groups, lower and

unconscious, the surrealist mu\"ement, as well as scientific research

higher. The concept is potentially interesting in connection with

into the structure and meaning 01' sleep, the condition in which we

architecture because it offers insight into the way people interac\ with

spend a third 01' our lives. But the real reason why 1 \Vant to learn from psychology is that it is one 01' the tools the writer can use in trying to talk about the oneness 01' life, and its em-ironment. The writer 01' architecture must articulate the profound ami som('limes nearly invisible rclationship between inside and outside, subject ami object, values and forms, moH'S and places, desires and destinations, beliefs and spaces. There is nothing shockingly new about this approach to writing about architectllre. Henry Adams' Mont路Saint-Michcl and Chartres \Vas the book that probably inf1uenced me the most when I was starting out as a critic. 隆 take precisely this approach. John Summerson, Ramer Banham, and other distinguished critics 01' this century have also taken this

~


..

the environment. The lower worlds range from hell to heaven and include stops at hunger, animality, anger, and reason along the way. They are essentially reactiye. They are responses somewhat Pavlovian in kind to environmcntal stimuli, from this perspective there is not a great dcal of difference between the yery blissful or beautiful

There is a square. There is an oblong. The players take the square and place it upon the oblongo They place it veryaccurately. They make a perfect swimming place. Very little is left outside. The structure is now visible. What has been choate is here spacious; we are not so various or so mean. We haye made oblong and stood them among squares. This is our triumph. This is our consolation. s

enYironment, and a nightmarish environment Iike the battlefield. The four highcr worlds are a dillerent matter. They include realms which an institution Iike Cornell, amI an organized profession Iike architecture, might ideally aim to inhabit. In these aims which extend from learning to realization, to Bodhisatta-hood, to Buddhahood, action replaces reaction. In the world of learning, one starts to become an acting subject by acknowledging the ,-alue of acquiring information from experiences of othcr pcople. In the world of realization, one begins to dilTerentiate what is authentic and what is bogus, within one's own Iife. Bodhisatta-hood represents the realm of ser vice to others. I think about this structure in trying to appraise what is going on in my own field. There is architecture which is purely reactive, that has to do primarily with exploiting the status quo-- commerce and politics. This architecture is not necessarily bad m ignoble, sorne of it can be quite delightful, or hideous in ways that deserve ref1ection, which

These two concepts are just religious concepts. They come out of a religion, but they are yery far from being the substance of the religion itself. I do not think that I use them that way_ It does not make my \\Titing more spiritual or me a mme spiritual person, they are just sorne things I have c1inged to in the void. They do seem to me in sorne ways less destructive than sorne of the other things I might have bared. I han' noticed in moyies how much they are talking about William Lethaby, a major tlgure in any discussion of architecturc 's religious dimensiono He is also an important inf1uence on the early years ofmodernism. His bookArchitecturC', Mysticism, and Myth, tlrst published in 1891, approached architecture much as Frazer approached myth in his book, The Golden Bough. Essentially Lethaby provides an O\Tniew of the buildings created by the ,,"orld 's ancient religions. He explains the meaning of their symbols, why their symbolism is not appropriate for modern buildings, and urges architects to devise new symbolic systems fm modern Iife. In his introduction Lethaby writes,

means that this kind of architecture has yery Iittle power to feed into the future. Then there is architecture that is going somewhere. That is not about exploitation m reaction. It is not possiblc however to predict or to prescribe it. It is not to pantomime cxternal authority, it can occur in the realm of the setting, in the realm of urban philosophy, or in the realm of social service. Virginia Woolf used an architectural metaphor to describe this sensation as being a presence of a living cultural process.

Old architecture lived because it had purpose. Modern architecture, to be real, must not be a mere em-clope without contents... If we would have architecture excite an interest, real and general, we must have a symbolism, immediately comprehensible by the great majority of spectators. But this message cannot be that of the pastterror, mystery, splendor... Those colossal efforts of labor, forced on by an implacable will, are of the past, and such architecture is not for us, nor for the future" What then? Not that he asks: what will this order cif theJuture be? The message will still be one of Nature and Man, order and beauty, but all with sweetness, simplicity, freedom, contldence, and Iight. For it is


aimless to crush life. The new future is to aid and train Iife, so that beauty may float into the soullike a breeze. Lethaby's vision had an immediate impact, chieny on the work of Mackintosh, who borrowed Lethaby's ideology more or less wholesale and tried to represent it in works of architecture and designo Lethaby also had a more far-ranging influence as the director of the London Central School of Arts and Crafts. Established in 1894, it was the first school to initiate training in craft. As such it influenced the curriculum of the Bauhaus, and through the Bauhaus, schools of architecture and design worldwide. Lethaby's book is perplexing because in effect he is erasing rcligion from architecture even in the act of writing about it. He flirts with the appearance of a religious architecture without the benefit of an organized religion to support it. If when he talks about what is right for the future, he is already naming the faith to which a few years hence, many architects will find themselves converted. When there were not shortcomings, the future did provide a unifying structurc of belief and something transcendent. This collapse has left a void. , l'irgina Wool[. A Writer's Dia~y: Being extrĂşccsJrom the Dia~y ofYirginia Woo/f ed. LeonardWoolf (Sc"York: Harcourt Broce Jovanovich) 1954.

I have my own theorics about what is happening now a ccntury aftcr Lethaby. I think we are witnessing and indecd participating in a momentous encounter betwcen two forms of enlightcnment: (me of eastern and thc othcr of westcrn origino I doubt, however, that these forms

'William R. Lethaby, Architecture M,ysticism and Ac(yth intTO. (NewYork: lIacMillan Press, J 89 J) pp. 7-8.

can be reconciled with cach other. Each has its own way of channcling our capacity for conviction and for doubt and for thc intcrplay betwccn them. Pcrhaps thc task now is not just to let bcauty m(we into the soullike a brcczc, but to help bcauty flow out of the soul and into the world. Nobody can tell anybody clsc how to accomplish this task. Discovering one's own mission is enough. There is much to be gaincd now by cxchanging information about the kinds of things wc worship and why.


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filmic attcmpt to qu 11 national anxiety about engaging in World War II, Past s holar hip hacl insistcd on ngaging th se two primary facets of th city's history in

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isolation. Hut c10ser scrutiny revealed that drawing such reductive boundaries between architecture and film was irrational. While the film bore little visual resemblance to the city in Morocco, it existed and performed in symbiosis with the real Casablanca. Analyzing the history 01' each building effort vis รก vis that 01' the other, thcir disturbing similarities 01' intent, methodology, anticipated political

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effects, and relation to dominant modes 01' perception came to the lore. Hence, I argued for a more cohesive analysis 01' the site "Casablanca," and presented a previously neglected urban/l1Imic comparative study as intrinsic to our historical understanding 01' the city's colonial past and potential future. The virtual and the real emerged as equally valid, yet contradictory, aspects 01' the city that tested and contested each other's truth c1aims. In the force field between these poles emerged my proposal for .In American Center in Casablanca. The Place Mohammed V was the monumental center from which the new French metropolis was organized. In 1995, it's latin cross scheme remained unfinished. The empty plot 01' land at the northern edge 01' the square was never assigned a function. It existed both as a testimony to the unfulfilled promise 01' the colonial administration, and as a beckoning for comp1ction and perpetuation by new colonial pO\wrs. I resolved that what was needed was not a building to fill the site but a virtual project to call attention to its existence, and to problematize it. The American Center in Casablanca was that response: a sdf-consciously virtual proposal, living on paper and celluloid, but insistently threatening the real with its constructiH' potential. At the same time that it realized the project 01' the city by negating the virtuallogic 01' the film, it realized the project 01' the film by negating the reality 01' the city. In the tensions that ensued I sought to make visible the aporia 01' contemporary western design in post-colonial contexts.

eritics: Val Warke and Mark Jarzombek


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:: A Synthetic Experience t \ I 11 () \ }

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Splicing 1m age wi th Form

P 1 1: R M A R 1 N 1 The schedule of events ritualizes the behaviors of the

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audiences around the media. These rituals are employed in the

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staging of an architecture critical of this dependency. The architecture

VAIDES

One's affinity for a region has less to do with his/her bona fid" presence in the eivie realm than with the

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ability to associate himself or hersclf with its ideologies. Topophilia, or one's love of place, has been consigned to

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the world of images, a world that is mediated by the television aperture. Presence is no longer a determinant for

is choreographed with the spatio-temporal structures within the production of the spectacle. The television camera acts as the ideological determinant

our experiences of a public life. ~he world of multi-media representations offers a third window into our

for the formal organization of the work. The framed view incises the

understanding of place.

blcaeher system, revealing the way in which the spectacle presents

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The generic event of sport, situated within the typological stadium, offers the opportunit)' for an

facets of reality. The stadium as a space for the production of televised

architecture that engages the cultural biases embedded within the production of the spectacle within the urban

images is made overt. Spaces which remain continuous reinforce

realm. A region becomes redefined in terms of a singular city. The image of the city is disseminated to a region.

typological desires. Spatial discontinuities bccome sien's for

Conversely, the spaee of the cityscape is collapsed into the space ofthe stadium.

programmatic mingling.


The rifts within the crowd create an internal associative proccss; refcrring fans to fanatics, amplifying the sense 01' carnival. What was an autonomous mass is offered the guise 01' individual identity. In reality, that identity is determined by the cost 01' one's ticket stub. (Where are the chcap-seaters?) Consequently, each seating area is afforded a particular view 01' its 'constituent city.' Implementing a notion 01' the carnivalesque becomes a means by which the audience is given voice as a neccssary participant. The authority 01' the media must be inclusive 01' its constituents. The spectacle becomes infected by its addressees, smuggling them into the production. THE FORMAL TROPE:The acrylic cladding or armament, intended to protect from exterior collisions, allows the player's body to perform in a hostil e environment. This thickened 'skin' enables the body to perform in spectacular ways, deforming and exaggerating the male physique. That which defensibly protects becomes that which offensively enables. The outermost layer 01' enclosure sponsors engagement with various conditions. The acrylic cladding enables the

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peripheral and ancillary spaces 01' the stadium to absorb the grittiness

01' its context through its ability to accept various kinds 01' programming. A symbiotic relationship is fostered between the various layers 01' its interior.

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crities: John Miller and ValllilTke


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hnology, preferring to \\Testl,' with the abstractions which inform their designs.

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Within schools 01' architecture, the lack 01' interest in building science

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-either as a set 01' methodologies to soln' problems, or as a source for

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formal expression-sets the stage for the "cardboard architecture" 01'

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the studio and the inevitable caIls for greater intcgration 01' techno!ogy

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But focusing on technology, e\,'en in a superficial \\'a~', can overwhelm the task 01' fostering design consciousness in the beginning student 01' architecture. Such design consciousness appears not onk as a particular sensitil'ity or attitude toward formal relationships hut,

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more fundamentally, in the 'cr~' idea that such attitudes are themsclves

PASNIK creative constructs 01' designers, working within a multiplicity nI' W JI (o.\'

cultural contexts, which, in turn, are constantly transformed through W 1 J. L I A .1/ .\

designo Not only is this process 01' re-imenting culture

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underdetermined hy technology, hut the coherence, rationality, order, and accessibility oftechnology (at Ie'ast, the kind of"technology-astemplate" available to the beginning design student) may aet as a distraetion from the more diffieult and sometimes painful seareh for cultural identity, It is this search, manifesting itself as the development

01' an attitude toward the deployment 01' form and spaee, that eonstitutes the primary task 01' the design studio.


What also passes for technology in the design studio-a more

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cosmogonic concern with materiality, tectonics, ecology or environmental sensitivity -- - is still just an attitude about form, even when masquerading as an interest in sorne rational aspect 01' building. The virtual deification 01' sun, earth, stone, water; the search for

ResponseExcerpts

meaning in materials; the cult 01' the articulated joint; the advancement

01' the extraordinary and precious, or the ordinary and commonplace; all these attitudes towanls technology as cultural signifier have little in common with a concern for technology as building science, the Re: Technology in the Design Studio Paul Kapp, AlA

application 01' which is subtle, rigorous, nonheroic, largcly invisible (bccause it is either literally hidden from view, or, in its ubiquitous

architectural project by a student is an unlikely scenario, even from

presence, no longer noticed) and therefore 01' no particular utility as a

done well is to give its students a sound analytical foundation of â&#x20AC;˘ building, .. ,In regard to the use of computer automation in the design

carrier 01' formal agendas.

studio, the student should learn to sketch first. It is through sketches that all architects learn to see.

Conflicts 01' interest between the "art" and "science" nI' architecture will not be resolved by integrating technology within the studio (whether superficially as a formal canon of"techno-types,"

Ae ch_ CJA webpage JOU can also browse ehrough our archives <if previous jour"'ls 1,2,3,5, send email ro che seeifJ. keep up wieh our progress ehrough our n,ws bulletin, and purchase journals 3, ;, and 6...

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rigorously as the methodical application 01' building science, or symbolically as cultural signifier). The key to resolving such conflicts

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lies rather in further dis-intcgrating technological considerations from the practice 01' architecture. The two governing principIes 01' such a resolution are, in fact aIread)' well established: first, to require that design decisions reflect legally-mandated minimum standards for Re: Technology in the Design Studio Chris Georgaroudakis, AlA

building comfort, health, safet)', and so on; and second, to encourage consulting engineers, rather than architects, to design technical

ology and building Ssiences as a subject matter, must be conceived ing sciences, in Iight of newer technologies and ideas .... 1

ing's make-up, including its structure and spaces, which are t participate enough in conceptual thinking projects.

systems. Where these principIes are established (for example, with structural design and fire safety) building performance generally corresponds to the expectations 01' its users, owners, and designers .

...Towards a better understanding of Modern Architecture is not only to take simpler approaches to the understanding of usual ideas passed around the studio worlds-but also, to be creative and curious about finding newer concepts about the building sciences and

Where these principIes are not yet established (for example, with the

architectural technologies of today, from which students can develop any architecture that is conceptually pleasing. and either way

design 01' exterior wall and roofing systems) problems involving

the application of which is "subtle. rigourous. nonheroic"....

building technology continue to be the rule rather than the exception.


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The Fuwre ifPrisons, by

\oluntarily sel et this instituti nvironments that prevail in

re the inmal' i. allow,d to bysmal o, they agree and ontribute as a memb r of a

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Exp rimenls deal with intervention into what is explor d. Observation leave lhe world as we IInd it, and it is lhe beginning of all research. It is nol just eeing: it i s eing with el la hment-- the su pension of knowleelge end of observation

nning of theory. The theory leads to und r tanding, and ee the world as we coulel not ce it before. It allows us to see, which may

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NORTII E1F\oATlON fROAt El M.MEe


Though largely froz n

111

time sincel959, Havana continues lO grow

and evolve, constantly reinvenling ilself. Havana is the produ t 01' bolh a syslem 01' fun lions and pla cs hapcd by architect and planners and a process !hat involves inlera tion b lw en lhe public and the environmenl. Thcre is a necd to sludy the forces behind !he urban fabri and ho\\ lh y interrclate through time lo produ e !he cily's "olution. The olonial hell 01' Ila\'ana contain building with old patlern 01' u~

, and complex historie. O ign d emironmenls are rare in lhese

buildings, bUI artifacts, thc produet, 01' human a tion and not human design, ar' prc\"al nI. ["oh d emironm nls, adju ted piec by piece to changing

ti

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01' us , lude precribed funclion and meaning whil incorporating

man) stimulating parts. uch conditions force the production 01' an ar hitecture innu nced by economic and so ial conclitions.

paces depict an urban evolution whil establislĂşng a context for

the conlinuou approa'h lo building and solving lhe problems 01' lh city. An ntiTely hidd n clem 'nt cxists in the inl rior al' Havana building; v rti al

gmenlalion

I'ragments lh space to a commodal multipl inhabilanls by creating a lype 01' scaffolding lhat subdivides the spacc into so-called Barbacoas. B ause Barbacoa ' lack lh outward manifeslations

01' cultural ornament, they ha\ not ndear d th ms Ive to s holars. In r cent years, chang innuenced pa

in th politicalland ape have

planning as well as decoration. logans swarm

most surfa es and architecture is for ed to multipl . inward. Pragmatism invad d tall room ,for in tan e, forcing them to yi Id their heighls for additionalliving spa e; the ity is relayer horizonlally. Grand entran es facing thei I walk customarily 1001 th

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...e.ye: designed lo match!h enlarged proportions al' overb aring fa ades, they in fa t provicle separale entrances to individual

dwellings. Lik most solution 01' great design sensibilily, this one minds b lh human and urban scales. With gale that double a doors and in turn perform a fenc s, Havana is n \' r shorl 01' trategi s for handling the city's many 11. sure . Ironically, Havana's spatial r ativity is better evid n d in el verly r sol\' d artifa

like Barba oas than in palatial but tyli tically derivalive

r sidences. crllles:

Archur O."aska anc1 Mark Jarzombek


contemporary architecture theory seems to have fallen out of favor with all three groups. Within the discipline, a sentiment prevails that theory has become esoteric, that it originates from people who know little about building and too much about philosophy. The argument of many of these critics :J

reduces to the following: when architecture theory became a distinct

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field separated from design practice, it lost its object of study and Il/ "lA S Z O S

became irrelevant to practicing architects. Consequently, theory B/11FR

bashing has become a popular pastime. This relatiH'ly new phenom-

GENSLER C H O l'

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enon has developed in the time since theory's explosive growth during

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the late eighties and early nineties. Only in the mid-nineties, when ffJER

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theof\' has matured to a state theorist Beatriz Colomina caHs "middle-

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has the backlash against architecture theory become so

GUrlERREZ

pronounced and widespread. H 1101 .'1 (;

This backlash, howe\'er, originates in a misreading of theory, an

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assumption that theory is homogeneous in nature, that aH theorists

.II.4/GNAN

commonly agree with one another. An extension of the presumcd

MacBRIDE opposition between practice and the academy, this misreading has led OJ1ANIKI

MUSCHAMP

many practitioners to exclude theory from their own work. However,

..

the changes theory has undergone in recent years within the journals 01/RO-PAILOS

and publications, within certain design practices, and in the manner in P J E R ."1 .-t R 1 X l : : :

OCHSHORN

which it is infiltrating the profession aH demonstrate theory's

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continued relevance, usefulness, and, moreover, foundational 1 A PI A

importance to contemporary architecture. VA 1. D E S

Mark PASNIK

Who's Afraid of Architecture Theory?

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SCHACK


Attacks on Theory

intcrprets this to mean "that \\T know larchitel'turel instincti\'ely rather

Attacks against architecturetheory and theorists have regularly

J

Bealriz Colomina, "The .lfeJIU Housc,",lssemblagc 27 (Auausr 1995): 56.

!Elizabcrh S. Padjen, ArchirectureBoston 1 (1998): l. J

lI'illiam CUrlis, "AlA AlI'ard lI'inners,".lrchicecwral Record (#a)' 1998): 104.

than inteJlectuaJly." " Taniguchi 's architecture is an example 01' the

appeared in magazines, newspapers, and journals O\Tr the last five

1990s breed 01' modernism that stands forthrightly against the kind 01'

years. For example, in establishing an editorial agenda for Architecrure

"haggage" that theory presumably attaches to a building. Many in the

Boscon (a design magazine started in 1998 by the Boston Society 01'

generation that helped formulate the theory movement 01' the 1970s

Architects), editor Elizabeth S. Padien promised to present ideas "in

share Taniguchi 's \·iewpoint. Professionals such as Fred Koettl'r,

c1ear, jargon-free language," implying that this would distinguish the

Robert Venturi, and Denise Scott Brown have consistently used theory

magazine from the majority 01' journals today that fail to do SO.2 Along

as a stepping stone to building practices that are disinterested in

similar lines, \\'hen evaluating the 1998 AlA Honor A\\'ards in Archirec-

contemporary theory. "Since we have been busy," Scott Brown

'Paul Goldberaer, "Bricks and Morrar," \'e'" York Time.<, Book RevielV (:lfarch 10, 1996): 5-6. 'Herberr Muschamp, .\'clI'lork Times, Scprember 1994, quored in Cacherine Inaraham, "SpeakersJor che House,".Üsemblage 27: 96.

_ rurol Record, the British critic William Curtis remarked that the avantgarde in America "has retreated into the arms 01' one 01' its traditional enemies, academia. Here it spends much 01' its energy avoiding social

'Suzannah Les.<ard, "Q¡;ier/y He Gre,,' on Them,"NeIl'Yark Times Magazine (April

explained, presumably meaning busy building rather than making theory, \\'e have heard distant rumors 01' mO\'l'ments among the critics -de-this amI re-that. When 1 come here Ito

12, /998): 57. ;Deni.<e Scoer Broll'n. quored in K.. I/,chael Hays and Carol Burm, eds" Thinking rhe Present (Princeron: Princeton .-!rchirectllral Press, 1990): /28.

realities and \\'ithdrawing into arcane theoretical discourses." 1 New

Harvard[1 find I am, at une level, a fossil, and, at another, a

York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger crystallized the

working stiff; I don't understand this un-understandable discourse. 7

sentiment in his support 01' Kenneth Frampton 's book, Srudies in Tecconic 'Fred Koeerer, unpubli.<hed remarh. Colin ROlVe Fe.<rschrifr (lrhaca: Cornell Unil'Crsir)', Apri/ /996). Ar che lime, Koeerer was dean rhe archicecwre .<chool

Cu/rure. He chastised contemporary theory for "wallowing in [its ownl

al Yale.

hermetic amI self-referential world," instead calling for architecture to

oJ

find essential meaning in its material nature and construction OlllER • ScOFIDlO. "THI: AMERICAN l.AWN

CENTRE fOR ARCIUTECfURC,

I 'l'lB,

4

Two

Never has deliberate ignorance carried su eh cachet. Even the academy is stirring against architecture theory as a "shaky intellectualized" acti\'ity, not rooted in visual observation and

years earlier, Goldberger's coJleague Herbert Muschamp chimed in,

occupation 01' the world, but internalized and-for these critics-

reviewing the Wexner Center's exhibit "House Rules." He blasted the

ultimately useless. 8 Harvard's GSD News de\'Oted a portion 01' its

work prescnted as "examples 01' a hermetic, self-suftkient strain 01'

summer 1996 issue to the topic 01' design publishing. 01' the

SURFACE Of EVEJnOAY LlfE," CANAOIAN

VIfW Of 1HE iNSTALlATlON "COMPHlflVl LAWN'

lotlUl'" 01 DllLut 4SiOftolO

_ contemporary architectural culture, one so self-absorbed that it

~

ninetee~

pages with essays, twel\'l' had veiled or, in sorne cases, stark naked

-

neither expects nor desires to make a significant impact on the

rej('rences to theory journals as being "arcane,''''jargon-Iaden,''''self-

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material world." \

important," or "impenetrable." Many within academic circles are less

Neither does theory escape such derision from professionals. In /' a .\'ell'York Times Ma8azine cover-story on the Museum 01' Modern Art's

dismissive, but equaJly concerned. Cornell doctoral student (and former Pro8ressive Architecrure senior editor) Suzanne Stephens has been

selection ofYoshio Taniguchi for its expansion project, author Suzannah

researching American architectural criticismo In a comprehensive

Lessard recountsTaniguchi's confession, "What he resists most 01' all is

article appearing in Architecrurol Record on criticism in today's press, she

theorizing. 'Architecture is Iike wearing c1othes, or eating.'" Lessard

acknowledges smaJl academic journals as si tes 01' the most intense


criticism occurring today, where "theory appears to be a growth industry." But quickly, her comments turn to apology:

separation mirrors the similar opposition betwcen profession and

"here, language is 01'ten too abstract amI the content so arcane that a larger public, even archilects, can't understand it." 9

academy, a polarity rooted in the misconception that academics are

Where did this fear 01' theory devclop? Why the need to dismiss critical theory as irrclc"ant, esoteric, opaque,

al\\'ays only theoretical and practicing architects are nen:r so. We ha"e

insular, hnmetic, self-absorbcd--the list 01' epithets

come to develop m~·thical charactl'l"izations 01' either position. On one

goes on? En:r since the early 1970s \\'hcn architecture

hand, employers and professionals scek out CAD drones -·fresh

theory became a formal ficld 01' study enfolded within

graduates thc~' can lock in \\'indO\dess cells fi)r sixteen hours a day to

American institutions and uniwrsities, the growth and

input redlines on visionless construction sets. On the other, teachers

popularization 01' theoretical research has been astound-

and theorists produce students \\'ho ha\'e no knowledge 01' or care for

ing. Universities across the nation have appointed

building, but who can recite whole chapters 01' Deleuze and \\'ho

professors 01' architecture theory who were trained as

communicate in tongues unknown lo anyone outside the academy.

theorists, not necessarily as architects (although 01't en

These polcmics obviously exaggerale the present condition, particu-

times, they were trained as both). Ph.D. programs in

larly since man~' distinguished architects al so write theory and teach.

the field have gained strength and, more significantly,

But they do belie \\'hat are seen as serious disciplinary boundaries

sceured funds to support graduate research with

between theory and practice, boundaríes that theory bashing attempts

enrollments remaining small but steady. During the

to counter. 11

assemblage 'COIII.:,11 Jnulll.l1

(lf

\rdllh: rUle .1Iltll)l:"1~1I Cullu

27

same time period, nume'rous journals appeared, among them Modu/us (1979), Precis (1979), Harvard .1rchicecture

Review (1980), Cornell Journal (1981), Princet.on Journal (1983), ami :"'~mblaBe (1986).

Counter-Responses Howe\'er, the complexit~· and "ariation 01' responses lO theory bashing alone rebuke the reading 01' theory as a monumentalized field

Subsequently, the late 1980s and early 1990s

01' study in which theorists conspire daily to legitimize one another, a

witnessed an entire baby boomer generation 01' theorists

false basis for many reproaches against theory. J2 As one case in point,

come 01' age and achicn~ tenure, while producing a nc\\'

.1ssemblaBe published a thematic issue in 1995, a portion 01' which

body 01' writings that locate architecture in its social,

examined how archilecture theory, in the midst 01' all this criticism,

political, or cult ural contexts.

10

From other disciplines,

situates itself relative to the practice 01' design and the built object.

academics such as Jacques Derrida and Frederic Jameson

Robert McAnulty's introductory statement makes clear the discor-

have adopted architecture as a field 01' research. More

dance 01' this collection 01' papers dclivered by the AssemblaBe board:

recently, architecture theory itsclf has gained a critical

"The passionate rhetoric that surfaccs in the occasionally heated

sense 01' self-awareness, bccoming its own, sclf-reflcxivc

exchanges bears witness to AssemblaBe's commitment to registering

field 01' inquiry. A number 01' authors are now research-

multipk discourses amI chalIenges of"t-heard criticisms 01' the journal's

- ing theory's own history and impact, evident in the anthologies edited by Joan Ockman (Architecture Culture 1943-1968

hermetic homogeneity." " In particular, thc papers dclin'red by Mark

(1993», Kate Nesbilt (TheorizinB a New ABendaJor Architecture (1996)), Neil Leach (RethinkinB Architecture (19971), and K.

Wigle)' and Jorge Siln'tti distinctly oppose one anothcr and demon-

Michacl Hays (Architecture Theory Since 1968 (1998) and Oppositions Reader (19981).

strate the tensions and conllicting "oices lhat occur within .hsemblaBe

These varying force s within architecture theory have led to what many label a predicament 01' architecture _ culture, where the academic discipline has detached from the more pragmatic practice 01' architeeture. In part, this

and, by extension, the various practices 01' theory today. Mark Wigley boldly excused himself from the praclicl' 01' design


altogether, at the time encouraging "a gap between theory and design"

·Suzanne Stephens, "The State <if,lrchitectural Criticism," Architectural Record (lIarch 199S): 64.

JII

where "different modes of operation are needed" for each independent

For example, consider the wave <if'books on sexualíty and

discipline.

gender in archltecture: SexualiV and .'ira,e (1992); Space,

Mark Wigley ·Story·Time"

Place and Gender (1994); Building Sex (/ 995); STUD (/ 996);The Sex ifArchitecture (/ 996); Queer Space (1997). Several

The architectural media hasJueled the notion

theory isolates itself from practice, then ho\\' can this self-eontained

<if this

discipline threaten the profession? Here the theory naysayers such as

division in numerous publícations, Two signIJlcant artides come

10

His polarization of theory ami practice exposed a notable paradox \\'ithin the logie of tlll'ory hashing: if a hermetie strain of

<if these publícations were reviewed in

Harvard Design Magazine (winter/ spring 1997): 70-S5.

11

14

architects Seott Bro\\'n, Venturi, Miehacl Grayes, or former Casabella

mind·- MichaelI Crosbie, "The Schools: How

They're Failíng the Profession."Progressive Architecture

editor Vittorio Gregotti found a surprising eonfederate in a tenured

(September 1995): -JI -51, 94. 96 and Reed Krolof]:"How

professor of theory at Princeton. Thus two seemingly opposing

the Profession is Failíng the Schools,",lrchitecture (August 1996): 92-93.

ideologies championed polarization: one seeking theory disengaged, the other seeking praetiee disengaged. Jorge Silyetti counterposed that "theory can no longer be separated from praetiee," cmisioning instead "a thcory that inhabits

"TUIANE PAP'RS' THE POIITlCS OF CONHMPORARY DISLOUR.SE," ASSEMBLAGF (AuGUST ((M1t

1995)

27

practiLT." I i The professional ramifieations of this reconciliation should

COVER

PttOT()('IlAPt! In' 8UU'lARD HI.lMA.__'"

disturb the advocates of polarization, espeeially if inhabitation means MAR. W,GlLY. "STORY·TIME." AS"MBLAGE

27

(Al.GUST

1995).80·81

RfPIUNTm WTTH PUI.MI~~I()1>¡

that theory "disrupts" from \\'ithin the act of making and that "architec· ture should also disrupt theory."

16

Still, metaphorie inhabitation

implies that theory can only clean the carpets or adjust the furniture, JORGI SIl,ml "AmR WORDS." A'''''BLAGE

27

(AUGUST

1995) 74·75

rather than initiate more substantial alterations to the "en struaure of

IllPIUIllTEDWJTlt Pf.lMI!óIO"

architectural production. Eaeh position (ami these are only t\\'o ofmany) hrings with it IlKenny Berger and Eric Howeler. "Revisiting the Praeticc- Theory Problem "Paratactics 2 (Cambridge• .lIassachusetts: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Oetober 1997): 13-16. The artide entiques the

<if theol)' as a monolíthic praetice. In response 10 <if this paper, the authors instead see theory as a "network <if elastic and interconnectedflelds reading

legitimate concerns. Wiglcy's vie\\' is more nuaneed than simply maintaining a separation between arehitectural practitioners and theorists. He distinguishes between the operations of each

an earlíer version

where diJferent practices continuously irifleet. rupture and reconstitute each other, but where no single practice ever

practice rather than biasing separation or union~or en'n strietly

..

defining either one. Writing, he contends, differs from building. Eaeh

legitimates. determines, or dpnes itselfor the rest."

has independent charaeteristies, histories, tools, ami critical

"Robert ,Ifdnulty, "lntroduction,"Assemblage 27: 7.

meehanisms, Contrary to saying they are fixed, Wiglcy eneourages "a

"lIark lI'igley, "Stol)" Time,"Assemblage 2/: liS. "Jorge Silvetti,"AfierWords,"Assemblage 27: 79. "Jorge Si/vetti,

/O

"Assemb&' 3,"Asscmblage 27: 100.

free-ranging, less predictablc role for both." He eontinues:

the discrete identities 01' the \\'riter and the architL'ct can be preserved eyen if embodied in one person-while opening up a wider range of roles for both, an open range that keeps the rclationship between theory and praetice ambiguous or unreliablc. 17


This ambiguity and unreliability Wigley simply deems "good"-an uncertain, unpredictable but fertile ground for

anything but form itsclf. In many cases, deconstructivist architecture

invention.

merely caricatures formal disorder, an ostensibly anti-theoretical point

In contrast, Silvetti more strongly seeks to define and reconcile theory and practice. A similar desire to merge theory and practice appears in the tectonics movement that has surfaced in theoretical circIes and architectural

that Casabella's former editor Vittorio Gregotti has made. 11 He blames the problem on theory. For me, it is a misuse of theory at fault, a

practices, in part due to Kenneth Frampton's Studies in Tectonic

misuse that devalues complex theories into ilJustratiw form, a misuse

Culture ..4NY devoted a thematic issue to the topie. Aimed

dangerously contagious in design studios and architecture firms alike.

against tectonics as a search for truth in materials and construction, most ofthe articIes in ANY 14 nT\'aluated nineteenthcentury theories in order to suggest that present-day tectonics

Repositioning Theory Despite these dangers, the argument that architecture theory

should center around a culture of representation, where

has run its course is unconvincing if we accept the most basic tenets of

operations from within architecture comment on fields outside

poststructuralism: that history is interpreted, not objective; that

itself. l' In other words, as Mark Rakatansky warns, we must not

meaning is malleable, transient, constructed rather than fixed; and that

see "(predous) tectonic details as ends in and of themselves,

knowledge is not universal but contingent upon who is doing the

rather as a means of critical thought."

knowing and what is being known. If, as cultural theoristTerry

19

The agenda of this

position incites theory to infiltrate and retool practice, equip-

Eaglet.on. deQ~es it, theory }_~simply human activity bendingb}~k upon

ping it with implications beyond form-making by abstracdy

itself as a form of self-awareness, then we continually need critical

relating to the realm of contemporary culture.

theory to reevaluate action, to destabilize or reaffirm, and "to make

As with the separatist position, dangers Iie in the

knowledge relevant to the cultural and political circumstances in which

reconciliation process. Architects today frequently rely on

it is formulated." 11 This type of thinking is Iiberating, rather than

"theory lite" 20 in their work, a type of theory effortlessly

shackling as Goldberger and Scott Brown suggest; it enablcs the

transfigured into form because it is inherently architecturaJ and

continued and "systematic search for frecdoms" in practice sought by

usually prescriptive. Architects often succumb to theory lite by

Rem Koolhaas and figures such as John Hejduk, Bernard Tschumi,

fetishizing-at the expense of a conceptual approach -the

Daniel Liebeskind, or Zaha Hadid, who all maintain critical and,

tectonic aspects of a project, particularly when tactile materials,

moreover, speculative practices. 23 In short, theory must be present in

precious joinery, and seductive details are expected to follow

this constantly shifting terrain of architectural research, discovery, and

certain established behavioral patterns. Unfortunately, such

production, but in what form? Just as architecture after the past

tendencies neutralize theory's instigative potential in exchange

twenty years of theory necessarily cannot be the same, so theory has

for convenient-but often constraining-rules of convention. Equally problematic is the instrumentalization of theory. In seeking to architecturalize the theoretical,

matured and continues to evolve, as evident in the historicizing anthologies by Ockman, Nesbitt, Leach, and Hays. At present, we see

architects risk merely constructing ilJustrations of a theory, designing projects that only look theoretical. When

further proof of this refashioned theory in several ways: with the

architects build Deleuze, we get folding layers, sinewy forms, smoothness, pliancy, rather than a rhizomic logic that

changes occurring in publishing; with the theorization of aspects of

dispenses with traditional hierarchies in favor of calculated-~thoughseemingly disordcred --Iinks among ideas. When

architl'l'tural practice as seen in the work of a number of emerging

architects build Derrida, we get flying planes, decomposing wall structures, interference, conllicts-all presumably

architects; and with the professionalization of theory as a tool for

destabilizing architectural form, but comfortably doing so from within formal strategies ilJ.equipped to criticize

architects to represent themselves.


"One In/ahr Ihmk.jor e.<ample. '!Jrhe Jilwgenr rulrura/,mplicul/ons '!Jrll'o

More than simple pragmatic responses to producing journals

icanie ~lruClural sJstems: 1/1C:;'5 chromjum-plarcd Barcelona co/umns (prccisc/y

s

machineJ. Imaulur. mJuIlrial) aI compared 10 I\ahn concrele l'Oult

01

rhe

I"mball (JrapeJ in Iiahr. I·olumelric. crafreJ).

Ta b Io j d Th e o r y

,. I/urk RakOlansky, "Teaonic AaI '!J DeIire anJ Doubr. 19-15-/980:II'ha' I\ahn II~nrslO

ancl enlarging readerships, lhese l'hanges also renel'l pokmical

Be.". 1.\ r 1-1 (/996):39.

e!clclopments in the profession. As an example, it is helpfullo refer to

Thc character and content 01' the theory journals havc been

the life-span 01' .-IssembJaBe, ",hich ",ill cnd ",ith its final issue 41 (lhe

adapting to lhis constantly changing architeclural sn'ne, c\'(llving to

flrsl in 2000). The journal has considered its future for several years,

face ne'" problems 01' the pre,,'nt historical momenl. For example,

and particularly in the time since its lenth anni\'Crsary issuc 30.

Il.uemblaBe and A.\T represent a trajcl'tory a",ay from tradilional

Discussions on this subject ranged from reconceptualizing AssembJaBc as

academic journals that presenl papers loosely tied togethcr. Instead,

a new project, with a new board ancl new editors, to drawing the

..I.\'Y altempts to repackage theory in a more palatable manner at a time

journal to a c1ose. At stake for the editors and board members was

",hcn il is held in contempt rathcr than embraced. As a result, cnticing

whether the journall'Ontinued to sene as the most effective forum for

graphics and exc('rpted lexls characterize ils labloid format, issues

the architl'l'lllre community. In eSSeI1lT, they asked themseh-es, hu",

ccnter on gripping themes, ",hile intenlionally connicting \'ie"'poinls

has the need for journals changed? AssembJaBe ",as seen as a response to

presented side-by-side energize the conlent. Aimed al a broader

certain disciplinary issues at the lime 01' its founding in 1986, and the

readership (although one thal is still highly specialized), articles are

projec! was nearing its end, a point made c1ear in the editorial

shorter, less scholarly, and more timely; 01'ten there is a more direct

announcement 01' the journal 's closure:

""CreJII here rI Jue lO I/IChael HapJar brlnama IhrI cerm ro myaC/enl/on. See GreaorC/ s eJirorlO1 on .I/urk II'rale/" 'Trolence Space"mue '!J. I 'Iemblage, encaleJ"CullUral ThearrlCI,"CaIabe/la 606 (\ol'Cmncr 1993): 2-3,71.

11

!!KCIlh

.lfoxe.. .r. The Procure orTheo'J"; POSL'itrll( W(d/hm Cultural Po/u J('i und ..In

Hisror)' (I,haco: Cornell Unll'ersiry Press, I 'N-I): !-I. !J"Rem /.:oolhaas m Com'ersarion II"Lh Georae BOIrJ."(;SD .\'eU'.1 (summcr 1996): See also :l/elanJro Zaera. "Fmdma Freedoms: ComwsaC/ons lI'ah Rem Koolhaas." E/ Croquis) 3 (/99-1): 6-31. The¡;eeJoms preIenred arefr0m r ies,

-le).

Slrueture. moJels, iJeoloaies, orders, aenealoareI, anJ an un II'rI C/enJreedom fr0m freeJoms (Iee che seconJ inrerl'iell' in El Croquis 79). NI/urk lI'ialey, quored in Stephens: 6-1.

"TEClONICS UN80UNO"

ANY 14

(1996), (OVER.

IlPfUHTlO W1111

PUMI~

parallcl bel \\l'('n huildings and the published texts. Essentially, ANY }; One sampler, m riference 10 Philippe Swrck's I'iell' on desianina IlrOnaJormI: ThiI lI'aI beC/er rhcory rhan chaL '!J Lhe rheorlsrs, smee.jor all our complicOled accoums '!J Lhefree play '!JIianifiers and Ihe subvelSll'e potenLlal '!J decemered subjeail'iLY, lI'e had nel'er}aured out a lI'ay LO buJ' desi8nerjurmture and sm"c che rairiforeSl. .\'0 n JOT lheJirsl rIme, iL seemed. lI'e didn '1 hOl'e ro hlde our Alessi lamps II'hen our LiftHLfrlends came 10 dmner (K .. I/Ichael Hays."PS. /PC.,"Harvard Design I/u¡/u/me' /summer 1998/: 1,- l 7).

estahlishes an aggressin' and timely

although perhaps less

considered - - image for theory. And lhis is no isolated case, The now defunct Harvard Architeeture Review has, in a sense, been replaced by - Harvard DesiBn MaBazine. The format ofthe former is academic journal,

thc lalter, intellenual tabloid. Other academic journals in architeclure schools have shut down because 01' publishers' demands. Quick

We feel that AssemblaBe's projel'l is completed, though this is far fmm saying that the architecture theorelical projecl is exhausted. For t111' discourses of"architel'ture and design culture" (our subtitle) now demand new formats, new styles, new modalilies, sorne quicker, sorne slower, sorne smaller and more concise, sorne larger and more encompassing than A.uembJaBe can ever be. And yet the material gathered in ASIembJaBe will be woven into the genealogies 01' many 01' these projects to come. 26

'OK. ,\fichael Hays and Alieia Kennedy, "Edicorlal,"AHemblose 37 (Deeember

1998): 7. 17

Preeedma Lhese commems lI'ere chouahrs on Assemblage itse!f

= tllrnaround times and regular issues weigh heavily against the pace 01' -" scholarly research. Even the ",riting is changing, evidenced in many 01' the lalcst

Many chinas have chanaed Iince Lhe maaazine IWrLed. Some '!J UI did nor even have "real"(Ju/l-rime) jobs yel. Severalpeople on lhe board noll' hal'e rcnure. ASIemblage is becomina "middle-aaed"and somehow It has to Jace ils Dwn mid-/!fe crisis. I am rcminded ~ whOL Le CorbuIier Iap II'hen he swps produeina [,EspriL .\'oul·eau m 192S, afier his break lI'ilh Ozerifam :"Fi ve years is a 101 Jor a maaa/ine. One ouahL nOL repeal oneselfconrinuously. Olhers, younaer people lI'i/l have younaer ideas" (Colomina: 56).

articles by the academic theorists. In one case, Mark Wigley discusses "microwavable" theory 24 while in anothcr, Michael Hays bounces comfortably between "the subversin' pOlential 01' decentered subjcctiv- ity" and the "eco-humanism" 01' a "chubby Barbie" doll. 2\ Whether or -; not a rcaetían to the critics ofUjargon," sueh prose utilizes suave

Colomina produeed lhe same quole in her response ro Grea lynn's reviell' '!J lhe OrlSins qfrhe Avanl-sarde co/loquium. Beatriz Colomina, "re:assemblaae,"

sarcastic humor more familiar to the writings 01' the cultural critics.

A.<semblase 30 (Auausr 1996): l l l.

The shift has created a type 01' bitingly critical, bllt charmingly accessible theory.

The decision to c10se the journal also reOected a belief that doing 'So mighl make way for a younger gencration to initiate new projecls . As Colomina invoked Le Corbusier in her "Tulane Papers" address

..

and again in an editorial appearing in issue 30, "Five years is a long time for a magazine. One ought not to repeat onesl'lf continuously. Others, younger people will have younger ideas." 27 Will these younger ideas -these new formats and new modalities-appear in the future' Almost certainly they will. We have already seen eddence 01' such with the appearance 01' Appendx in 1993 to explore African American identity in architcl'ture, In the course 01'


researching this paper, I have also encountered several forming joumals, l'ach responding to ncw and divergent mids in architectural research that are particular to today. Among these, Grey Room is a scholarly joumal being formed by Branden Joseph, Reinhold Martin, and Felicity Scott to address multi-disciplinary discourses in contemporary art, architecture, and media technologies. Thc proposl'd joumal seeks to enhance theory's capacity to raise questions shared by other aesthetic disciplines, while confronting architecture ami art with these questions in Iight 01' today 's technological and media devclopments. By contrast, Praxis: A Journal ifWritin8 and Buildin8 will focus more directly on the present relationship between architecture theory and practice. Editors Amanda Recser and Ashley Schafer envision Praxis to fall, in Recsc 's words, "betwccn Assembla8e and Record."" They intend to corrcct a failing 01' today's archih"cture media: that "currcntly no publication discusses both 01' the increasingly separate aspects 01' American architecturl'

writing and building." Rather than seeking to mend a percl'in·d gap in this relationship bctwel'O theory ami practicc, the editors plan to do

. the reverse. They have devised a format to document practices that already "emphasize the interdependence 01' technology, design, theory, and history." 29 Each issue will couple together an .. architect's theoretical writing and built work, accompanied by an outside critic's response. 11', as the theory bashers contend, theory and practice were truly detached from one another, this l'ditorial technique would be powerless. Al'ter all, how would the editors find an architect who \\Tites theory? Praxis instead o!Ters a ncw forum in which to express the already-present, unanlidable corrclation and codependency 01' theory and professional practice.

Research Practices Younger ideas are Iikewise appcaring in the way architccts utilize theory. In contrast to the type 01' - instrumentalized theory driving many projects earlier this decade or even the theorized technologic 01' Greg Lynn or Jeff Kipnis, the work 01' a ncw breed 01' designers is stepping beyond tl1l' image 01' theory in practice, to projects whose process embraces theory. As a case in point, Monica Ponce de Leon ami NaderTehrani·--who together form Office dA---do not self-consl'Íously project the scenography 01' theory in their work. Yet theory structures their design proccss, an inquisitive search for ideas through built form--a t ypc 01' material research through designo Office dA 's most signitlcant material cxplorations thereby use conventional building systems as a basis for tectonic inn'ntion. For examplc, the Mili Road House in Alabama examines standard balloon-frame construction, transforming cO!1Ycntional wooden c1apboard siding into a skin that delicately screens window openings while monumentalizing the small house. Casa La Roca in Venezuela explores terra-cotta blocks, bricks, and tiles as building units. Here, a pleated wall retkcts upon the structural principies ofThomas Jefferson, but destabilized through the very potential offered by the construction technique. What appear as solid terra-


" ..tmanda Reeser. lelephone conversarion wirh rhe aurhor, '\'ovcmbcr l l.

1998. '"Amanda Reeser and ,lshlc)' Shafer. "Praxis: Starement

of Intent."

OHJU DA, Mili RUA.D HOU~E. S[QION MOOEl SHOWIN<.i TRAN'ioFORM[D CIAPBOARU CHillhl 'lfOIlI([ nA

cotta blocks in typical construction hl'rl' t\\'ยกst in on thcmsclves to exposc their hollow interiors. Thus, a transparcnt garden scrccn gradually emerges from a solid building wall at the \'l'ry moment where the wall's JclTcrsonian-inspired plcats are most OfflC[ nA. CUl. IHt-Sl'

01

CAq

LA

RocA. SfCTlON MOO1l SHO'WINC,

rm

Plt:Alro WAIL

O'/lU DA

pr~mounced. The potential (but underuti~zcd)ee~cm;ralqualitics inhcrcnt to the matcrial, as ~ conscqut'nce, call into CJucstion

the \Val! 's unsuspccting structural principals.

.. OHICl:. nA. MlIl COllln,>, ot OHIรš 04

ROAD HOL\l, SEOIONAf PERSPECTIVE Of Ttlf LIVING SPAC[


Thus, Olfin' dA deliberatcly contradicts cxpcctcd constructionallll'hador with thc building's pcrceived image. In his intrOllul"tion to the book. Phoenix Central Librar)". Tehrani commenls on Will Bruder amI Wendcll Burnettc's work., at once revealing thc underpinnings of amce dA 's own principies. "By rcsearching mcthods of assembly, products, and manufacturers, (Bruder and BurnetteJ were ahlc to de"isl' lean design strah'gies that capitalized on the potential for radical ยกm'ention with convcntional matt-rials and methods of construction." lO Tchrani and Ponce de Leon's own radil'al in""ntions opposc Louis Kahn's ubiquitous question: thcy do cxactly what a brick. doesn't want---or rather t'xpect---to do. Thcy


KfNNW\ {¡ VIOllCIl ARUIIIl:aURE. PlIBLlC BAfHf(OOM PROJIC I FOR mE ilosrON ([N1[R fOO TH' ARIS. CtJhArr"l\' ot

---

-

Kt, .. tcn

-

1993. MI'"

ROOM

G VlOlllH AlI.(Hlnfllltf

-

KL"IDl G V'OllCH McHlTfenRf. PUBlIC B'lHROOH PROJlCl.

OfT'"

1993.

!

Al TU E WAIl PlIllJ'R

!

ÚUTID Of 1\aMpr, VIOlO ~1lOliIl

I

Kt''IIHJY ti Vl01ICH ARCHllfllVRl. INHRI"1 8RJOGlS PROJlCTlOR BO... 1O''., ([;'\lIRA! ARHR't.

1992

Co¡,;R11sr Of kf ..... IIJt G VlunOl AIt( 'Ulf~

----

K, "EDY

--

-- -

G VURICII ARC:lll1fTIURE. INnRIM BRUX.F' PROJlCT.

OllAU OF SPlIT Al

2x8

--

1992.

BOARDWAl'

,

ea.., . . K.- G VIOUQI AAOlITlC11I«f ---- -----

---

-------

--

--

-

mil in\'crt the conventional hy collapsing fine-grained tectonics and ¡".\'adcr Tchrani. "/ntroJuaion: On Researeh and CoJlaboration."in Osear Riera Ojeda, ed" Phoenix Central Ubra~y: Bruda DWL Arehitec<s (Gloueesur,

material investigations with pereeptual manipulations and suhwrsi\'e imagery--all-the-while crcating a "contriH'd tension bet\H'l'J1 faet and

Massaehusects: Roekport Publishers, 1999) monuseript,

iIIusion," where "what things ¡ook fike chey are doioS is as mueh JI Rodolphe

el-Khou'J', "Ajter",orJ: the /ndisereet Charm '!fOffiee dA ,";n Osear

Riera OjeJa. ed., (!CJce dA (Gloucester, .lfassochusett.<: Roekport Publishers,

important as what the are aClUafly doio8'"

11

Much like the entire

/999) manuscript.

debate on theory and practice, these designers profit trom

"/bid.

"unexpected allianccs"'l amI never-resolved contradietions in their


professional practice and continuing to prove that theory need not merely explain architecture or attach itself after-the-fact as implied by its critics. Instead, theory can guide, occupy, and ultimately emancipate the design process through research. This emancipatory research finds its genealogy woven into the practices of several other designers, who continue to expand the delimiting borders of architecture into the realms of social critique, built research, staging, exhibits, industrial product design, emerging technologies, etc. These designers are diversifying architecture's sphere of influence with non-traditional projects and installations. A few projects come to mind: the AlA award-winning public bathrooms for the Boston Center for the Arts and the Interim Bridges Project, both by Kennedy & Violich Architecture; or "BAO Press" and the installation for "The American Lawn: Surfacc of Evcryday Life" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture by Diller

+ Scofidio.

Such works capitalize on theoretical design research, and they emblematize practices that see architecture as a constant

indeterminatc investigation.


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Professional Theory At a time when authors such as Suzanne Stephens lJ and Diane Ghirardo have noted the "impossibility of criticism" Has an unfortunate circumstancc of architecture culture today, individual architecture firms have equipped themselves to play the media. Historically we have seen this with prominent figures of modernism such as Wright and Le Corbusier. So too, contemporary architects have enhanced their prominencc with this staged face. Petcr Eisenman fashioned his own role in intellectual circles with Oppositions, five Architects, and more recently, Architecture NewYork. Philip Johnson posed in Frank Lloyd Wright-styled gallantry with his AT&T building for the cover of Time. The likeness of Michael

Graves became an icon on highway billboards. Robert Stern's American Dream House appeared in L!fe Magazine in 1994, succcssfully packaged for easy suburban consumption. JI Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mao 's tome S, M,L,.H reads simultaneously as theory journal and architectural monograph. Even the much-decried vanity presses senc the publicity machines of many architecture offices. It is precisely in these publicity machines that we see the emergence of a professionalization of theory in order to serve the self-fashioning needs ofbrand-name architects. Many prominent firms now have employees who manage public relations, publish work on their firms, and help position their offices intellectually and philosophically. At one extreme, O.M.A. has its own publishing and exhibitions branch, the Groszstadt Foundation, an independent entity controlling the "cultural" activities of the officc. Rather than awaiting the critics' commentary, such firms are proactively using the media to fashion their own identity.

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1500

OOAN OOIVE

MIAMI BLAUt, F¡OIUDA PHOTOGItAPH BY ERK HOWllfk

At first we may harbor reservations-even disdain-for this J3Suzanne Slephens, "The

Sla!e

'!fArchi!eclUral Crilicism."Archi!eclUral Record

(March 1998): 6-+-69. 194.

order to change or reaffirm them; this we might label with Silvdti's

professionalized theory, because it seems manipulative, too much like

term "inhabit," working within, criticizing, and then modifying a

marketing or salesmanship and not enough like scholarship---because

received architectural system. Although considerably more difficult,

it threatens the critic's objectivity (as though critics were ever

theory can also propose new ways of thinking that shape the very

objectivc, ever without personal agendas and friendly alliances).

structure of architectural making. Such a strategy acknowledges

Admittedly this professionalized theory is neither faultless nor will it

theory's status as an independent discipline, but one capable of

soften arguments about the presumed great divide between architects

engaging and transforming its ficld of study. AIready, these adjust-

and academics. But as a slowly emerging strategy, it infuses profes-

ments are subtly underway in emerging journaIs, publications, and the

sional practice with theoretical research and allows criticism (and with

research being conducted by theorists; these changes are present in

it, critical theory) to more fully infiltrate the design profession-as it

investigative practices such as üffice dA, Kcnnedy & Violich Architec-

has in the schools through the jury system-from the inside, out.

ture, and DilIer

Imagine how this could change the role of theory and the face of

As for the antagonism between theory and professional practice, it

architecture as we design it, study it, critique it, and ultimatcly occupy

seems to be more emotional than rational, out of scorn rather than

it.

critical awareness. Neverthcless, such criticisms of theory might still

J4Diane Ghirardo. "The lmpossibility '!fCrilicism,"GSD ,Vews (summer 1996):

29-30. J;

See relaled anic/e by Mark jarzombek,''rhe SalUra/ion '!f Self: S!em 's (and

Scully's) Role in (S!ems) HislOry,"AssemblaíJe 33 (.1ugusl 1997): 6-21.

;:

+ Scofidio as well as in theory's infiltration of practice.

provoke the continued readjustment of areas of theoretical research as 100M

REM KlXJlHAAS ANI>

I O%!H)

Bou"

MAO S.M.L.XL (MON"Elll POISS.

1995) 108·

***

they apply to education and practice. At best, this could occur in our

To benefit both the academy and the profession, we must always

present environment of critical friction, by overcoming the paralysis of

ANI> b22-623(0",III)

RfPRINHO WITH

PtHMISSIO~

_ openly reevaluate the structure and reIevance of theory in the practices of architecture and other design fields in a more experimental fashion. We can do so first by critically re-reading past methods of practice in IWlSh

lo

lhank Eric Howeler, jeannie Yoon, Alieia Kennedy, Rodolphe el-KhauT)',

and jorge SilveUiJor lheir advice, commenls, and crilicisms al various slages '!f

..

lhis paper's development. This arlic/e roughly origina!ed in a lext enlitled "In

:lo

Fear '!fTheory,"published in lheJirsl issue '!f lhe slUdenl joumal ParalaClics,

=

Harvard University Graduale School '!f Design, 1995.

e

"'" lo

o:

;;

..

fear and by re-engaging theory to make this critical friction resp"nsive to a changing architectural scene.


lEWIS 11 Al G N

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MUSCHAMP OTrltO-PAIIO P 1

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.

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L

1 A PI A J'

~

1 DI S

A [Pros] T

PASNIK

IV 1 L 1 1 A 11

c:

SCHACK

"Whot IJind d!fJIcult to precise/y dlseuss or locote IS the exoct oriain '!f this project. On the one hand I cau/d soy thol che project beaon lVith my reodma '!f Rousseou ehrouah Derrida ... The opporows '!f che school Or the schoal Itse!! wos supplementina IIhoe the ch'{d IVOS lockina. And thlS oct '!f supplemenwuon reveoled on oriainory obsence. Far me this supplemenwUon '!f on oriamory obsence tronsloted into a mewphor: the prosrheuc. The mewphor '!f proseheSlS IVO explored throuah a r.ype '!f 1V0rkma. on inventlon '!fa syseem '!f connecrion, o metaphoricol stroeeay路" (ExcerpeJrom o leHer doeed May 22, 1996.)

"

_


one prQ.dIUs ar! This ",ork focuse criticaIly on the educational institution through the transformation of t o found objects: a writing de k and a locker. On could trace th genealog)' of these objects \\ ithin the context 01' the school a hJ ory of disciplin played out upon the bod) of tlietud nt. In this e ntext the obje ts are interpreted a. apparatu \\ hieh sen'e to supplement the student. At the same time that the supplcme t suppor s ami complete the subject it also r('\eals an originan lack. Wh would something need supplementation if it \\ herc' not already deficient? The steel and ยกectronic elem n , hit h are aJded to the apparatus, expose this logic oj' suppl, m ntation. A. th add d pi ce dismantle the gi\en apparatus th(:) al o hold it toge th 'r ami red fine ir rok in relation to the u. er. On oe Ie\l'! the apparatus are 00\\ the bodies \\ hich I k for \\ riting is turned into a desk that writes. are t el upon. e_-fl:: Thc locker becomes an apparatus of scanning ",hieh contruction 01 pubhc and pri\ 'pace in terms of . ur' . I:,~a""",,;,,;,, _~ I

I I

Th ' oc\\ h d 111 el appara to a LOmputer \1.1 the l')l 01' a collahoration 01 thl' user, the ap comput r that digital writings ( 'produ d. The apparatus are n

s are acti\'ated by their dwnent \'ideo camera. It is through the aratus, the video camera, ami the ideos and Still Compositions) are t onl)' dC\i es that are produced

In th user's sire to it ,the ph)'sieal apparatus aet as a supplement. But the apparatus are n t o Jete in themsel\es; the camera eye and th computer are requifl'd in ord r to produce the 'digital writings.' These tragmenteel apparanls and its u er, but to 'digital writings' reconstitut produce the writings one al o d th' ph) sical apparatus. lo the user 's desire to \\ rite th y beeome u h in an cndless ehaio of supplements suspended between virtual and tua] states.


BOAKE BI'IA.\'ZOS

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GENSlER

f 1

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HEYMANN GUIllRRfZ H WA ,'1G

lEWIS .11 Al (; ,\' ,1 'i

MacBRIDE 0.1/ A N S ยก.; l'

MUSCHAMP VTIRO-PAIIOS

P 1 f R .11 .1 R 1 NI

OCHSHORN TA PI 4 VALl>fS

PASNIK IV 11.

Violent

r ().\

llll,\f)l

SCHACK

WILLIAMS


there are no blank sheets of paper in the city Blank paper says nothing, but city space always says something. People's occupation of space whether intended or unintended makes a statement. Urhan space will eternally have to contend with dynamics of control and sO\'ereignty.

Architecture and programming created for violent spaces within the urban sector must explicitly address how perceived ami literal violence informs the use, appropriation, and reformation (read: design) of those spaces.

This thesis of "urban place ami struggle" confronts how the manufacturing of urhan meaning structures one's perccptions ahout public 'inner-city' spaces and the political consequences of those meanings on both the spaces themscln-s ami the people living in thelll. 1

1 am addressing the violent statements madI.' on my site at the infrastructural, programmatic, ami physical kve!. The result is architectural forms derived from the appropriation of existing typologil's in order to agitate (not accommodate) the manners of the giH'11 socil'ly. The program is a summer, weekend, market structure. The programmatic intention is the creation of a situation that could

-

lead to the violcnt rcview of one's place.

I

Stephen Nathan Haymes, Race Culture and the Cit!' A PedaÂĄÂĄoil,Y ror Black Urban

~ (A/bany, \r: State Unirwity of.\'ewYork Press,

/995), p. 3.

critics: Milton Curry and

Lily Chi


BACKGROUND

~

Mast significant architectural cammissians require the

... submission 01' a competitive propasal fram a prafessional design team

;)

BOAKE

followed by an interview that in most cases includes nat only the u

BETA.\'ZOS

architect, but also the key members al' the variaus disciplines and

u

speeialists on the team.

B///ER

Indeed the realization 01' an architectural praject today, not

GENSLER ..c: e HU I

u

Fi茅/IR

...

only requires the assemblage al' a professional design team, but rather a praject team that includes the elient, the contractor, the community

<

and all other actors imolved in the building process. An excellent

HEYMANN

example 01' these interactians was documented se\eral years ago by the

Gf/IIERRf.Z

writer and television producer, Karl Sabbagh in the book and television

H fLl.'\G

LEWIS M Al

C;

"'" :l

Tearo Think/Think Tearo

series, Skyscraper. the making 01' a Building. In discussing the develapment of"Worldwide Plaza," a high rise affice building built in

N A N

New York fram 1986 to 1989, he underscores the human interactions

MacBRIDE

01' the multitude 01' peaple 01' every type 01' personality, intellect ami

0.11 tNSKY

MUSCHAMP

'"

qualification that interacted as a team to translate a design into reality.l

~

OTERO-PAILaS

Given the camplexity 01' many large projects today, the

...

leadership skills al' the architect, in directing a Iarge multi-disciplinary

PIFRJIARI,'\I

OCHSHORN

professional design team, have been questianed by such illuminaries as

TA PI A

the Princeton sociologist Robert Gutman and the past Editorial

,'.1 / [) E S

Director 01' Pragressi \e Architecture, Thomas Fisher. In his

PASNIK

publication, Architectural Pradice. A critical View, Gutman discusses

WIECOX

the need to imolve a wider range al' new disciplines and professions to

W l f 1, l A ,11 S

design projects 01' greater scale and complexity. Gutman also refers to

Mario L. SCHACK :

u

the presidential address by R. Clipsan Sturgis to the AlA Convention in 1914. Architecture is not an art onlv; it is alsa a sl'ience and an industry. It requires a diversity al' gif'ts, , , :\rchitects ",ho emphasize one 01' these capabilities are incompletely

-=

equipped and render imperfect service as architects. The man ,,路ho can perform all the services rightly demanded 01' an architect, amI does it all well, does not cxist. Architecture must be a composite work. !


GUGGENHEIM BILBAO, VIEW FROM THf NFRVION RIVER

PHOTOGRAPH BY GfORGf Ql AllI".

I

FAIA

Karl Sabbagh. S~rscraper Ihellaking ora building. Penauin Books USA Ine..

I 989. pp. 299-320.

!

Roberl GUlman. Archi/eclUraI Practice A crilical View. Princeton Archileclural

Press. 1988. 3 Thomas

Fisher. Can This Proféssion Be SOI'eJ', Progressi"e ArchileclUre February.

I9+J.p.46. Elizabelh Padjen is Ihe principal ofPadjen Archileets. Ine.. Ihe archileclUral edilor ofArl .\·ew Enaland and aJormer presiden! of Ihe Boston Sociely of

.1rchileets.

In a series al' articles published in Progressive Architecture

creativity ami passion al' an individual or at best a smaller talented

during 1994/95, Fisher discusses various professional issues affecting

design group, Therefore, the lcadership role 01' the architect must be

the architect's role in the building process, and cites architect Elizabeth

established at the H'ry beginning 01' a project and be sustained through

Padjen.

the wholc building process. Once the practíce 01' design was a subtracti"e process in which the architect \\"as in charge al' the \\"hole ball al' \\"ax, peeling off pieces to give to consultants and contractors. No\\" it is additin', amI the architect's role is only one al' many small bits assembled along the \\"ay by any number al' construction coordinators. l

Examining two case studics may prove useful in ascertaining how we might create a stronger awareness in our architectural currículum 01' the role 01' professional design teams and the need for _ Icadership in creating effecti"e interaction with other disciplines amI groups in the building process,

While the devdopment and implementation phases al' larger projee\s certainly require the formation 01' multi-disciplinary design

The lack 01' understanding or perhaps interest into the client's \\"orld has promoted many adverse comments from the

teams and the management expertise to lead them, the initial profession and others rclative to the link between the sehools amI the conceptual design phase 01' a project still requires the imagination,

NEW YORK YANKEES REPRRINlED .ROM "Tm SPORTlNG NF\\S" NOVfMBER

2, 1998

TIMFS/MINNEN P"BlICATlONS


profession. The publication 01' the Boyer / Mitgang report, Building

In Reflection on Architectural Practíces in the Nineties, the role

Community and the publication, Rdlection on Architectural Practices

01' design education recciyes commentary by a host 01' well-known

in the Nineties, edited by WiIliam Saunders, both published in 1996,

personalities. Particularly noteworthy are many 01' Frances Halsband's

contribute greatly to this subject.

comments including the following:

The Boyer / Mitgang report identifjes seven essential goals for renewing architecture education and practice. One 01' these goals, "A

Professions change because new and different people enter them and interact with them, and our ability to

Connected Curriculum," suggests that making connections, both within

grow and be inspired and be creative from being able to listen to aH these people. Architects \\ho yiew their clients as the angels 01' change can do great work. s

the architecture curriculum and between architecture and other disciplines on campus is the greatest challenge for architectural programs. Alan R. Cooper, director 01' California State University in San Luis Obispo,

The emphasis on individual eft,)rt throughout a fjve or six year architectural currículum may not continue to serve us ycry well. In most

states: Students can no longer afford to work in sublime isolation from others, nor can faculty continue to ignore the essential interdisciplinary nature 01' architectural decision making.·

team sports, we acknowledge individual records, such as most home runs hit or touchdowns scored, but the ultimate prize and excitement centers around gaining a play-off spot and emerging as the best team. Consider the 1998 season ofthe NewYorkYankees.


Joel Stein of Time magazine suggests that in a baseball year of

11

THE CASE STUDIES

sorne spectacular individual achievements, the 1998 World Champion Yankees were the best in their position. 6 With 114 wins ancl .714

In the early 90's, Baltimore identified the need to devclop a

winning percentage in the regular season they were called "a great

new Performing Arts Ccnter for the city. Baltimore had been at the

team, team"by manager JoeTorre.

forefront of American theater for sorne twenty years through the

RAFAEl V,NO" PROPOSAL. VLEW SoUTII IROM PARK AVlNUI AND PRESTON (OURnSY 01 BALTIMORE DFHLOPMFNf CORP.

While gaining a reputation as the best design school may be a

efforts of the Baltimore center for the Performing Arts. This

common faculty I student objective, such a goal will not be achieved

organization had brought the best of Broadway's touring attractions to

without acknowledging that the profession is undergoing change and

the MechanicTheater, a downtown icon, designed by John Johanson.

now includes many new and different interest groups requiring

However, this theater, now over twenty five years old, was no longer

effective interaction with architects. Turning a design into reality is a

adequate for the staging of the full scale musical productions that

process that requires the collaboration of men and women with varied

modern theater requires.

a d backgrounds. lt necessitates a tea

In 1994, the City of Baltimore embarked on a path to build a

oach

new Performing Arts center that initially became an invitational design • Ernesr L. BOJer and Lee D. ,\litoano, Building Communit,r (Princeton: The

competition but would ultimately require a multi-disciplinary team to

Carneoie Foundatíon, J996).p. 8 J.

bring the project to realization. This writer was invited to sern' as a

studies. ;WiJIiam S, Saunders. ed.• Rtiflectíons on Archirecrural hact/ces in rhe .\'mctírs. Princeron .1rchitecrural Press, 1996.

, Joe! Srein. ''The (;rearesr Ever?" Time Magazine. November 2. J

jury member for the competition, thus experiencing the process fmm

-----------

998~.§P§'~8~4~.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=~fff~~~-~SI~iif~~;'lr1J

the "inside." A winning design by a notable architcct did result from the competition, but for various reasons the project was never built and now appears to be shelved indcfinitcly. Interestingly, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao also had its beginnings in the earIy 1990's but unlike the Baltimore project, it was realized and enjoyed a triumphant public opening in the fall of 1997. In Baltimore, research had indicated the need for a new professional theater facility as well as a new performing arts center that wouId operate year-round, bringing opera, dance, musical and dramatic theater during the scason and augmenting this program with light opera, concerts and musical comedy fare in the summer

r

months. The mission established for the project was to build a landmark building, to serve as an entertainmentl educational facility ancl as a catalyst to activate the project area during the day as well as at night. It was hoped that new restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other specializ,·d retail facilities would be developed in the complex. During the day, the center would be intended for educational workshops,


..

amateur productions and as the venue for lectures and symposia on the theater arts. The planning and design process for the new Performing Arts Center was established by the Friends of the Performing Arts, Inc. and the Baltimore Development Corporation with the assistance of the Maryland omcc of Planning and the City Planning Department. The intent for the project became the creation of a performing arts center, significant to the citizens of Maryland, funded through a combination of public and privatc funds, and through its architecture to be known nationally and internationally. This stated goal for worldwide recognition dictated that an architect of some renown be selcctcd through an invitational design competition. In Bilbao by 1991, only ruins remained of the great steel

plants of Altos Hornos ami the shipbuilding industry of a more glorious pasto High unemployment and other adverse economic indicators no doubt greatly inf1uenced members of the Basque regional government to condude that an international institute of contemporary art would revive the local economy through a stcady intlux of tourism to a potentially prestigious new cultural edifice. At the same time, the Guggenheim's ne'" director, Thomas Kerns, was considering the development of a number of satellite institutions to form an intcrnational "constellation" where each institution "plays an individual role that contributcs to the Guggcnheim identitv." Basque represcntatin's approached Kerns in Fcbruary 199 I and follo"'ing a period of negotiations, that in csscnce cstablished that Bilbao would fund the construction cost of the museum and the Guggenhcim would run the show, an agreement \\as reached to initiate the following t",o investigations: a feasibility study to cvaluatc the project in economic, legal, cultural and demographic tcrms and a scarch for an architcct to design a building of"world-dass architecture." In thc Spring of 1991, thrcc architectural firms "'ere

selected from a long list of potential candidatcs to participate in an


RAtAH VlfI\OlY PROPOSAI.

invitational design compctition. The selected firms were Arata Isozaki

Development Corporation reviewed sorne thirty expressions of

& Associates ofTokyo, Coop Himmclblau ofVienna, and Frank O.

intercsl from architects, within ami outside the United States. A short

Gehr~'

list of ยก,rms was developed, fmm which four were sclected and paid an

VI[W f.AST fROM HOWARU SrRH I

(0\ RJES'" rn B"IIlMORr OEVnOP'IlST (ORP

& Associatcs of Los Angeles. Site documentation of a site along

the Nervion River and a prcliminary program was distributed to all thnT firms with a call for ideas and a focus on content rather than

ANTOIN~ PRI DOCI' PROPOSAl. tNTf RIOk

RAfAtI VINOIY PROPOSAI. \lIEW Of PlAlA lOOl<lNG NORltl I

CoURTE.\Y

or

BAlII"'Ollt OEVI (OPMOO CoRP

RMยก\f1 VIT...on PROPQSAl, VIfW Of lARGE HAll INTERIOR CUIIRTtSlot R"tllMORI OfVFlOPM[~T CORP

The selected firms in Baltimorc consisted again of Arata

presentation. The firms were given three \\'ccks to complete their

Isozaki & Associatcs ofTokyu, Rafael Vinoly Architccts of New York,

investigations and an honorarium of S10.000.

Antoine Predock of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Canadian firm

In Baltimore, the actual design competitions was preceded

COURTf.I;.,. Of B"iTIMORf DlVIlOPME.NT CORP

honorarium of S10.000 to prepare conceptual designs for the center.

Lctt/Smith Architects. The sclectcd firms were furnished with a

b . a Rcqucst for Proposal (RFP) fmm interested architccts with

program, a "Design to" construction budget af 70 millian dallars and

cl"edentials in performing arts center designo The Baltimore

were ad\'ised to cansult with Jules Fisher Associates, a NewYork


Specific drawing requiremcnts and a scale mode! wcre establishcd as presentation requiremcnts to be presented in fin' weeks to a competition jury in Baltimorc consisting of three lay mcmbers and three architects, including as previously stated, this writer. In Bilbao, thc competition appeared to follow its schedule and by mid-July a se!ection committee ofBasque/Guggenheim Foundation representatives announced Frank Gchry as their choice. :\ccording to Kerns, "He was chosen for thc strength ofhis yision." Following an intense six wcck design deve!opment period by Gehry and the completion of the feasibility study shortly thereaftcr, the Guggenheim's Board ofTrustecs gave preliminary approyal to draft a long term agreement between the Foundation and the Basque government. The latter also established a construction cost of 100 million dollars. The next steps in thc development process wcre critical for the eventual realization of the museum. The Basque government established the Consorcio Guggenheim Bilbao to oversee the planning and construction phases. Juan Ignacio Vidarte, a Basque regional director, of tax and finance and participant to the preYious negotiations, was named the director. 100M, a Bilbao based engineering firm, was named executive architect and Gehry's office was responsible for design and construction documents. The result was a triangular architect/ client relationship that consisted of Gehry and his team, Kerns and the Guggenheim and Vidarte and the Basque theater consultant, retained by the Performing Arts, Inc. group in

group. Despite what might at first be considered a complex

Baltimorc, to provide technical guidance to all the competing firms.

arrangement, the objectives for this project team wcre clearly stated:

Essentially the architects were to identify the members of thcir

"The best Frank Gehry building on schedule and on the budget."

professional design tcam, analyze thc program, and cvaluate the

In contrast to the rapid se!ection process of an architect in

project site and neighborhood context, which was approximate!y one

the Bilbao compctition, the Baltimore se!ection process did not

mile north of Baltimorc's Inner Harbor in an arca considered to be the

proceed smoothly. This writer joined other jury members, at a public

cultural ccnter of the city. It was expected that the conceptual designs

meeting, in February 1994, to evaluate the presentations of the four

would identify each competitors overall design philosophy, principIes

competing teams. Unfortunately, despite excellent presentations, the

governing site and building organization, and exterior/interior

jury was not able to reach a desirable agreement, so that final jury

building imagery.

comments and a ranking of the submissions could not be made public


on this date. This embarrassing situation, to most 01' the jury memhers,

funetional and aeeessible theatcrs meeting their pragmatic goals and

was not reetified until a seeond round 01' private diseussions with eaeh

budgets. In addition, in a situation with the dependeney on extensiVl'

eompetitor, completed on June 1994. Although eYen at this time, only

funding from the City and State, progress is only possihle if strong

an uneasy truee was reaehed, Rafael Vinoly Arehiteets was judged to be

clicnt leadership is established to secure the required funds and there is

the winning firmo

a strong

GUGGf NHEIM BILBAO, [NTRANCl VIl::W PHOTOGRAPH If\ GlORGE OUAlU'>.

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01' eonfidenee for the arehiteet seleeted.

That in 1994, Baltimore was able to garner sueh interest in this projeet that it eould seleet suĂŠh noted arehiteets as Isozaki, Vinoly

111

CONCLUSIONS

and Predoek is unusual for a city with relatively fe\\ huildings by star arehitects. However, it is also this very aspeet that has eontrihuted to

GUG(jlNHEIM BILBAo. EXTERIOR VIfW PHOTOGRAPH B'r GWRCI

Qt I ALlI5. FAIA

In BaItimore, although the competition ranked Rafael Vinoly

the laek 01' progress for a new Performing Arts Center. The

as thc winning architeet, this shelved projeet established no winners.

Performing Arts Ine. group, also represented on the jury, always

Vinoly's seheme, hut mueh more the proposals 01' Antoine Prcdoek and

favored the Lett/Smith firm known for its expertise in ereating

Arata Isozaki, despite sorne Ilaws, held the potential 01' establishing an


idcntity for Baltimorc approaching the remaking of Bilbao 's public

lt is notable that in Bilbao a fcasibility study, lo test among othcrs

image through Frank Gchry's dcsign for the Musco Guggenheim

the economic and legal aspects ofthe project, was undertaken as a paralkl

Bilbao.

effort to the design competition. While each Baltimore competitor had asscmbled top talent for

Thc Bilbao Guggenheim owes its success to more than Frank

the additional design team mcmbcrs which generally included a local

Gehrv's talents. There is no doubt that the involvement of the

architect as the required executive architecl; a landscape architect; theatcr,

Guggenheim's director, Thomas Kerns, was a major force driving the

lighting and acoustical consultants; structural, geo-technical, mechanical

designo As Vidarte expressed during the conslruction there is "Unity

and electrical engineers; as well as parking, traffic and cost consultants, il

among all team members", and "You have lo work together a long time

now appears that the lack of an experienced, well organized client, unable

and suffer together a long time to rcalize lhat you need each other."

lo fully commit to lhe selectcd architect and lacking the leadership ami

The client's impact on each project obviously varies, but as

know-how to securc the necessary projcct funding, prcvented the

the "Skyscraper" examplc so well identified, the archilect must be

realization of a potentially significant project for this dly.

awarc of the inl1ucnce of the real estate, financial and construction


industries as well as that 01' public agencies review boards and the voice 01' various community groups. Hopefully, the masterpiece thathas now been created in Bilbao will remain a success, and the expel'ted Guggenheim's operational costs will not generate the type 01' deficit that led to the ultimate fate 01' Gehry's American Center in Paris. Realizing architecture requires faith in the vision 01' hundreds, sometimes thousands 01' people working togethel'. This reliance on team GIJGGfNHEIM BILBAO. LORBY VIEW PHOHX,ItA!'H B\ GIOR(,[ OUAlllS,

must start in the studio. Frances Halsband, the former dean 01' the School 01' Architecture at the Pratt Institute, has suggested that design studios

FAJA

should only operate with students partnering with non-architects such as engineers, contractors, sculptors or even poets. 1 would offer that the Iist can include many more partners, particularly from history, real estate, and the legal and business world. For the architect to regain the leadership role, that the profession seems to haH' walked away from, requires communication skills with not onl; the traditional professional design consultants but, again according to Frances Halsband, requires our ability to listen and to interact with an ever increasing diverse group 01' people. We have to have not only an environmental consciousness for nature and our historic past but also for the people we are working with.

ANTOINE: PRf[)()( 11. PROPOSAl. EXlfRIOR COI HIt...,

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eontributors

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Terri Meyer Boake received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (University ofWaterloo) in 1979, a Bachelor of Architecture (University ofWaterloo) in 1982, and a Master of Architecture (Uni\"Crsity ofToronto) in 1986. She has been employed full time as an Assistant Professor at the University ofWaterloo School of Architecture since 1986, where she is tenured. She is responsible for corc curriculum de\"Clopmcnt and teaching in thc TechnologyThemc Arca, including Building Construction, Thcory, Design ami Passive/Sustainable Applications and Principies. She is a member of the Graduate Associate of the Ontario Association of Architects and the American S<:>lar Energy Society. She is the acting Secretary I Trcasurer and a Member of the Society of Building Science Educators. SI

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Senan Choe graduated from Cornell in the spring of 1995 with a Bachelor of Architecturc. Shc originally workcd for Skidmore Owings and Mcrrill. in New York City, working on such projects as thc Mangaf Waterfront Competition, Lever house curtainwall replacement, and lobby designs for the KSY office building. Currently, she is working for the Zimmcr Gunsul Frasca Partnership in Scattle on thc Millcnnium Tower. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Downing Prizc, a bronze Charles Goodwin Sands medal, the George HowTravel Scholarship, and a Kellog Scholarship.

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Joyce Hwang received hcr Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell in the spring of 1997. She originally workcd for McCall Design Group in San Francisco amI is now working for Gary Handel and Associates, also in San Francisco. Her projects include the Sony Metreon Entertainment Center and the Sony Metreon Operations Facilities in San Francisco while with Gary Handel and Associates, and the Multimedia Gulch Research Project, an analysis of interior work space of new media companies, while with McCall Design Group. She is a recipient of the 1997 Charles Good"'in Sands Memorial bronze medal,

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Adam H. Omansky earned his Bachelor of Architecture in the Spring of 1997. He was awardcd the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Sil ver Medal for exceptional merit in architectural design for his thesis. Subsequently, he presented that body of research analysis and design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His work is also published in the Cambridge Architectural Journal. Currently, Adam works for Machado and Silvetti Associates in Boston. ]Oi\lll/l\

O(l/\(l/OR\

Jonathan Ochshorn is a registered Architect with an academic background in structural enginecring and urban design as well as architecture. Prior to joining the faculty at Cornell in 1988, he taught architectural design, structures, and graphic communication at C.C.N. Y. while serving as Associate Director of the City College Architectural Center, a research center supplying technical assistance to community groups in New York City. Since 1976, he has also practiced architecture and urban design in New York and California. His publications include studies on the technological evolution of masonry wall construction, the relationship of design theory to technical practice, and strategies for teaching structures to architects. Professor Ochshorn has developed several intcractive computer programs, for example, to aid in the visualization of stresses ami stress trajectories in beams. His teaching specialties are in the areas of construction technology and structures.


CIIRl\ll\'1

Bllti\/O\

Christina Betanzos praetices arehiteeture at Bullock, Smith & Partners, in Knoxyille, Tennessee, ami teaches first and second year design as an adjunet faeulty member at University of Tennessee, College of Arehiteeture and Design. She receiv'ed her Bachelor of Arehiteeture in 1994 and, through the Oyerlap Program, eompleted her Master of Arehiteeture in 1995. She also eontinues to produce and exhibit eollage \\ork, whieh she began in a related eourse at Cornell Uniyersity.

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Dayid Heymann is a praetieing arehitect and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Sehool of.-\rchiteeture at the University ofTexas at Austin. He received a B.Arch from the Cooper Union in 1984, and an .\1Arch from Han'ard in 1988, working in the interim forTod Williams amI Associat('s ancll.M. Pei ancl Partners. In 1988, while teaehing at lowa State Univcrsity, Heymann founded a firm with Michael Underhill (eyentually joined by Laura Miller) that reeeiv'ed numerous design awards for built and unbuilt projeets, most notably a Design Citation from Progressive Archilecwre for the Ontario Bible Church. In Austin, Heymann has, among other projeets, reeently eompleted the Tonnesen House, with Kev'in Alter, which will be published in ArchileCll1re in the spring of this year, and whieh was recently recognized with AlA Design Honors in Austin. His writing is primarily coneerned with the relationships ofbuildings and landeapes; that is also the topic ofhis major lccture eourse, Si te llL-sign. He has recein路d numerous tl路aching awards, including the lowa Regents' Teaehing Excellene(' .-\ward, the Texas Ex-student Teaehing Award, the Dad's Centennial Teaching Award, ancl, twice, the School ofArchitecture Outstanding Teacher Award.

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Herbert Musehamp founded the arehitecture and design eriticism program at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Currently the architectur(' critic for the Ne\\' York Times, he has published several full-length works, including Site: lnten'iew (Rizzoli International, 1989; The Once and Future Park: Essays from the Once and Future Park Symposium and Exhibition (Princeton Architectural Press, 1987); Man AhoutTown: Frank Lloyd Wright in "l'\\' York City (MIT Press, 1983) and File under :\ rchitecture (MlT I'ress, 1974.) /~\O\

Tll'lt

jason Tapia graJuated from Cornell in May of 1997. He is curr('ntly' a projeet arehitect working for Gensler and Associates in New York. His thesis earned the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal (bronze) for exeeptional merit in designo He is a member of the .-\IA, l\ew York Chapter, Architecture for Justice Committee. Mlll/\

Pt\\I/\

Mark Pasnik receiyed his Bachclor of Architecture fram Cornell Uniyersity in 1994 and a Master in Design Studies (theory eoneentration) from the Harvard University Graduate Sehool of Design the following year. In addition

to

working with Machado and Silyetti Associates in Boston, he also regularly teaches design studios at Northeastern Univcrsity and has been a member of the editorial staff of Assemblage since 1995.

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Anlanda Williams is employed at MeCall Design Group in San Francisco, CA. The firm specializes in retai! and hospitality designo She is currently working on projeets for several retail ehain stores, most notahly, the GAp, ine. Whilc at Cornell, Ms. Williams \\as awarded the Alpha Rho Chi medal for outstanding sen'ice, and the Suzanne Sheng Memorial Prize for excellence in design and eraft. She is a past president of MOAAP I '\O,\I.-\S and SSHARPP. Additionally, Ms. Williams was an activ'l' member of Ujamaa Residential College. She enjoy's painting and photography.


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Hansy Luz Better graduated from Cornell University in May of 1998 (Fall thesis-Oecember of 1997). Her current work explores and unveils constructed gender and social political issues inherent to a publication and a physical place. Her awards include the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial SilvtT Medal for \\'ork of exceptional merit in architectural design and the Clifton Beck\\'ith Bro\\'n Memorial Medal for attaining the highest cumulativ'e average in architectural design over the entire course 01' study. Current]y, she is enrolled in the Masters of Architecture in Urban Oesign program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Oesign (graduation in May of 2000). She has been employed at Kennedy and Violich Architecture from January of 1998 to the present and \\'as a member of the project team for the 1998 Columbus Circle Invited Oesign Competition.

DIJ/Oj.LIII/\

Oavid J. Lewis received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University in 1995, a Master of Arts in the History of Architedure and Urbanism from Cornell University in 1992, and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College in 1988. He has taught at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture and at Cornell University. At Cornell, he teaches architectural design and has led seminars on contemporary architecture tactics and the relationship between architecture, domestication and surrealism. Professionally, Oavid J. Le\\'is is principal and partner of Lewis. T sllrumaki. Lewis in New York City, an architecture, dl'sign and fabrications IIrm comprised of Paul Lewis, MarcTsurumaki, and Oavid J. Lcwis. The work of Lewis.Tsllrumaki.Lewis has been exhibited at StoreFront 1'01' Art and Architecture and Exit Art/The First World, NYC. They have been the recipients of severa] 1.0. Magazine Oesign Awards. In 1998, Princeton Architectllral Press published the work of Lewis. Tsurumaki. Lewis as Situation Normal ... Pamphlct Architecture no. 21. In addition to teaching ami practicing, Oavid J. Lewis continlles to research and write on the convcntions and norms of architecture.

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Anthony Piermarini's thesis project won two awards including the William S. Oowning Prize for architectural design and the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Metal for undergraduate thesis \\ork. He has vmrked \\'ith Kenncdy and Violich Architecture in Boston, where he \\'as a projcd designer for the Theater Oistrict Streetscape Master Plan. This project recently won an A.1. A. l\ational Urban Oesign Honor A\\'ard. Anthon), is currentl ursuing his Masll'r's ofArchitecture at Harvard Univcrsitv, Graduate School of Oesign.

Frank Valdes graduated from Cornell in May 1995. Upon graduation, Frank interned for the Port Authority of NewYork and New Jersey in their Design Oivision until August 1996. Projects worked on at the PA. include the Oesign of the New Lincoln Tunnel TolI Plaza, The Renm'ation of the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, and The Ne\\' FIS Terminal at Newark airport. Frank receiv'ed his Master of Science in Architecture Studies from MIT in June 1998. While at MIT, he continued to purSUl' his research on Havana, publishing an article in Thresholds, "Culture and Consumption in Post-Modern Cuba. Since graduating from MIT, Frank has been working for Moshe Safdie ami Associates in Somerville, MA., MIRlO

r.

S(III(/(,

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Mario L. Schack is an accomplished practitioner in architecture. He has been active in the AlA, serving as president of the Maryland Societ)' ofArchitects in 1973-74, and being awarded entry into the College of Fellows of the AlA in 1980. Since 1979 he has been a member 01' the Architectural Rl'View Board and the Oesign Advisnry Panel of the City of Baltimore. Having earned an M. Arch. Oegree from Harvard Uni\'l'rsity in 1961, Schack ser ved as assistant professor at Cornell from 1963- 1965, returning as chair of the Department ofArchitectllre in 1975. Professionally he sen-ed as v'ice president of RTKL, an international architectllre ami engineering firm in Baltimore, for thirteen Yl'ars. Ollring this period he was active in promoting the IIrm 's growth ami designed numerous award winning buildings. In addition, he servl'd as vice prl'sident of Pcrkins and Will, and in that capacity dcsigned Snee Hall nn t11l' Cornell campus. He has continued his involvement in practice as a principal with the Oelta Group, a multidisciplinary IIrm in Philadelphia. As a practicing architect, Schack has brought breadth and realism to his studio tcaching and has been instrumental in building the curriculum in professional practice and ethics. Ouring his tenure at Cornell he has serl'l'd as director of Cornell-in- Washington 's architecture ami urban design program from 1979-1991.


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Arthur Gensler is chair, president, ami founder 01' the nation 's largest architectural firm, San Francisco based Gensler & Associates. A member 01' the American Institute 01' Architects, Mr. Genslcr \\"as one 01' five original members 01' the National AlA Committee on Interior Architecture. He has been a director and active memher 01' the San Francisco Chamber 01' Commerce and a director 01' the Bay Area Council. He has been a director 01' World College West in Novato, California, and a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities around the country. In 1980, Interior Design Magazine named him a charter member 01' its Hall 01' Fame. In 1990, the Genslcrs estahlished an endo\\"ment to fund the Genslcr Family Visiting Critic position in architecture to enable undergraduate students to interact with practicing architects. A decade earlier, Mr. Genslcr and his firm estahlished the M. Arthur Gensler Jr. Scholarship Fund for fifth-year undergraduates in architecture. jO\¡'

GUIIIIlRI/

Jose Gutierrez recei\'ed his 8.Arch from Cornell in the Fall 01' 1997. He presently Iives and practices in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Currently, he is a project architect \\"ith Sierra Cardona Ferrer Architects. The thesis project selectecl for publication \\"on the Downing Prize at Cornell University. CIIIRII \

A. Jll(

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Charles .\¡acBricle \\"as born in 1968 in Rochester, NY. He studiecl architecture at Penn State University (8. Arch, 1991) and at Columbia University (MS A,h-anced Architectural Design, 1994). He has practiced in off1ces in Rochestl'r, Baltimore, New York, and currentl~' is living in Dell\'er and \\"orking at Arch 11, a five person design stuclio in Boulder, CO. A license" architect (1998), he has also been teaching undergraduate clesign studio at the Uni\'Cfsity 01' Coloraclo at Boulder. Recent projects include "Pacil'ic Staclium" (1997), "24hr Wall" (1997), and "Dialogue Park" (1998), which all follow the icleas 01' change ancl alteration over the long-term life amI occupation 01' a designed environment. j () R (. I O 1 I R () - P 4 I I O \

Jorge Otero-Pailos obtainecl both his Bachelor ancl Master 01' Architecture at Cornell. He apprenticed in the stuclio 01' the late Alejandro de la Sota, worked as a production designer on NYU- Tisch student film productions and openecl his

()\\'Il

stuclio where he continues to work on various public ancl private projects. His numerous achie\'{'ments include founding the student magazine SubMission in 1991, winning the Edwin A.

Seipp Memorial Design Competition, winning the 1995 Richmond Harold Shreve Awarcl lar best master 01' architecture thesis in urbanism ami winning the Angel Ramos Foundation Research Grant, Puerto Rico's most prestigious award. His interest in cinema lecl him to film "Iterations 01' Santa María del Naranco" (in collaboration \\"ith film clirector Juan Dapena ancl musicologist Chus Naves) which was inspired by Deleu/e 's Difference ami Repetition. He has also proclucecl V. E. T. V. (Visual Evangelist Te1evision) a!ong with Alfonso D' Onofrio, a series for public TV on architecture as image. Otero- Pailos was a founcling member 01' the New School 01' Architecture ofthe Polytechnic University 01' Puerto Rico where he cleveloped the school's theory 01' architecture curriculum, and taught several courses. Currently, Otero-Pailos is working towards his Ph.D. in the History, Theor~', ancl Criticism 01' Architecture section at MIT. GIl

\\

WII(O\

Glcnn Wilcax received his 8achelor 01' Architecture from Temple University in 1992 ami his M .Arch from Cornell University in 1998. In addition to running his own design/builcl business, Glenn has practiced at sneral firms in Ne\\" York ancl Philadelphia. He has taught several courses at Carnell, inclucling courses in computcr mocleling ami digital media as \\"ell as teaching design studio at hoth t1H' undergraduate and graduate level. Glenn is the recipient 01' the Richmond Harolcl Shreve Awarcl for exccllcnce ami originality in a graduate thesis, a Cornell Council for the Arts grant, as well as the Kittleman Gracluate Awarcl in Architecture.


THE CORNEU jOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE

1

FALL 1981

THE CORNELL jOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE

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THE CORNELL jOURNAL OF ARCHlTECTURE

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THE STREET IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

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WAYNE W. COrrER

SrENCE

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CONJECTURES ON URBAN fORM/STUDlO PROJECT

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EorrOWING

INDIVIDUAIS:

Mrs. Thomas for her continued support David Lewis for his infinite help, insight, interest, and attention Mark Cruvellier and Kent Hubbel for their belief and trust in us Donna Stevens, Andrea Talmadge, Dianne Whitmore, and Mary Wilkins for their limitless help and patience Milton Curry for getting us all started Sunil Bald, Stephen Chung, Michael Hughes, and Rhett Russo for opening up the discussion Lily Chi, Nick Karatinos, john MilIer, Colemann Milis, jonathan Ochshorn, Glenn Sweitzer, and Val Warke for their perceptive input Ed Bernhauer and Rich jaensen for their tireless attention to our technical difficulties Dick Gingras for his crucial experience Elizabeth Kim for her assistance Peter Arakas of LEGO systems, Inc. and the entire LEGO Group for their generous permission to use the minifigure on our cover, and also for making the building process fun for millions of would-be architects world-wide. josh Lobel for his work on our original webpage journal Classes of Fall 1996, Spring 1997, Fall1997, Spring 1998, Fall1998, and Spring 1999 for their work and dedication Belinda Presset from Gensler and Associates for her cheerful and prompt cooperation. The scores of individuals who submitted reems of fascinating material to our office, but whose work did not find a place in this journal; we thank you for your interest and for fueling the debate. And finally, every one of our 23 contributors, whose patience, assistance, enthusiasm, and thoughtful exuberance made journal 6: a graduated practice. Although every effort was made to contact the copyright holder of each i1lustration, it was not possible to find this information for each ilIustration. Interested parties are requested to contact The Cornell journa I of Architecture.

Cornell Journal of Architecture, vol. 6  

Graduated Practices Featuring M. Arthur Gensler

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