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Princeton University School of Architecture Rumor 18.01

CONTENTS p1—Material Evidence p2—Spring Lectures: Representation p2—Stand by Your Monster

p2—The Historian and the X p3—Zaha Hadid: Pedagogy as Practice p4/5/6—21 January 2017, In 08:44 Out 20:16 p6—17 Volcanoes

p7—Post-Professional Program Thesis Exhibition p8—Opening of Embodied Computation Lab

Material Evidence architectural ideas to a broad public. Some of these collections survive today in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musée National des Monuments Français in Paris and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. This method of exhibiting architecture always looks back—a way to bring the past to the present. With the advent of modernism, the display of architecture shifted away from reproduction, and instead, exhibitions became a tool to disseminate experimental ideas to wider audiences. For example, the first curator of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, Philip Johnson, understood that the museum served as a platform to give new forms of architecture institutional validity. Within the confines of the gallery, unprecedented and revolutionary buildings were rendered plausible. Through exhibitions and their requisite catalogues, modernism presented its newness in models and drawings of things to come. More significantly, emerging ideas coalesced, shaped, and promoted examples of recently built work. Mark Wigley’s 1988 Deconstructivist Architecture show, for example, brought together loosely related design practices under one rubric and propelled them into the public consciousness as a movement. The history of architectural exhibitions has had a remarkable run and it is difficult to think of architecture in the last century without its display. In the 20th century, schools of architecture adopted exhibits as part of their educational mission. Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton, among many others, incorporated galleries within their facilities; chief curators for Architecture were appointed at several museums internationally; and institutions emerged with the primary purpose of exhibiting architecture as a means of educating the public—the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., and Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, to name a few. Architectural institutions and the architectural exhibition are now intrinsically connected. Similarly, the public impact of international exhibitions has grown exponentially. Cities as disparate as Chicago, Istanbul and Seoul recently began to host architectural biennales with great success. In its 16th installment, the last Venice Biennale welcomed a record of 260,000 visitors, but this number pales in comparison to the Chicago Biennial’s 500,000 visitors this year. It is significant that architectural scholarship has shifted and exhibitions are now up to par with publications as a means of dissemination for history and theory. Some of the most respected scholars in the field have an extensive tack record as curators and participate frequently in high profile exhibitions. Colomina and Lavin are but two examples in our midst. Plaster casts may have become a thing of the past, but the interest in communicating page 01

ideas by exhibiting in full scale never left the discipline. Modernism deftly experimented with actual size very early on. While a student at Harvard, Philip Johnson chose to build a house in Cambridge for his degree project— not a scaled down version, certainly not a replica, but an actual size model of what was possible. As curator at MoMA, he would pursue similar strategies. For his series The House in the Museum Garden, Johnson commissioned architects to design and build experimental single-family homes complete with furniture. The first in the series, Marcel Breuer’s butterfly roof house, was later replicated here in Princeton when a local resident commissioned Breuer to build it in 1953. A more recent MoMA example, Home Delivery, curated by Barry Bergdoll, displayed five contemporary prefabricated homes erected on the lot west of the Museum. Actual size has proved to be an effective way to communicate with the public. A 1998 collaboration between MoMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Fabrications show marked the emergence of the full-scale as an architectural project of its own. Borrowing from art practices, these installations became a new medium for architecture. Unlike their actual size predecessors, installations are neither a stand in for the past (cast), nor a sign of things to come (building). Free from the constraints of program and site, and responding to internal material logics rather than the external pressures of building conventions, these temporary projects opened new avenues for speculation and experimentation. Now firmly rooted in the discipline, installations have propelled many designer practices and transformed institutions and their programing—PS1’s Young Architects Program and the gallery at SCI-Arc are coveted venues for emerging and mature practices alike. This trajectory presents opportunities to pursue innovative pedagogical models. As we construct a future for the discipline, material evidence seems all the more pertinent in the age of digital production. At Princeton, exhibitions provide fertile ground to seek a common discourse. Whether archival or newly produced, whether in actual size or scaled down, we use the physicality of materials in space to formulate ideas. This pedagogical intent is making its way out of our gallery, to the rest of the building and into our studios, seminars and lecture courses, facilitating new ways of understanding design. For example, our year-long Post-Professional Thesis now culminates as a month-long group show in New York City, no longer exclusively reliant on the final review. With the expansion of our exhibitions program, the speculative work taking place in the school has a fresh framework to share and explore ideas. —Mónica Ponce de León

Review

In the age of digital media, the growing significance of architectural exhibitions seems surprising, but perhaps it need not be. While everything now is ostensibly accessible in an instant, being there, present, has turned out to be all the more critical. It has become evident that there is knowledge to be acquired from experience and that digital reproduction will not suffice. As media is saturated with images, the image has lost its currency. This is significant for architecture, since it is architecture that constructs the there, and it is space that frames presence. Shaping space is, of course, an essential part of our job description. In the education of an architect, being there has historically taken many forms. In America, before architecture schools were formed and architecture was learned by apprenticing in the studio of a master architect, the European Grand Tour was considered an essential part of an architect’s training. Understanding the buildings of the past firsthand was a prerequisite in an era dominated by historicism. Travel was not without extraordinary expense, and thus limited to the very few. With the introduction of architecture schools at the university by the late 19th century, the Hall of Casts emerged as a means of providing access to actual size architectural examples. Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, the National Academy of Plastic Arts in Mexico, and the National University of Colombia, among others, boasted collections of plaster casts where full-scale reproductions of architectural components from canonical western buildings were on display, to be measured, studied and used by students in their own architectural designs. Princeton was no exception. Although many of these universities also obtained and displayed originals, the general consensus was that a copy of a masterpiece would be more useful to students than a second-rate original. Travel was still considered of great value, and thanks to the generosity of alumni, a few students received scholarships to travel abroad and experience buildings in situ. Our own Butler Traveling Fellowship, the Feay Shellman Travel fund and the Shanley Memorial Award stem from this tradition. At Princeton today, we are fortunate that our endowments—combined with the increased affordability of travel—permit every studio at the school (and many seminar courses) to travel abroad or to other American cities, if the pedagogy calls for it. Collecting plaster casts, of course, was part of a larger western phenomenon dating back to the 4th century and culminating in 19th-century England when the Victorian fervor for education turned casts into a valuable commodity. In the public sphere, museums collected casts and international exhibitions used them as a means of communicating


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Spring Lecture Series: Representation

2/20 Notes on a Virginia Statehouse: Race, Slavery, and Jefferson’s America Mabel Wilson Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP Demonstrating the ontological veil of enlightened subjects and the emergence of self-consciousness during the late 18th century, Mabel Wilson presented a history of doubleness in Jefferson’s colonial America and the economy of slave labor. The upheld Euro-centric values of culture and taste masked the reality and history of European slave labor in the development and production of the nation’s democracy and its architectural manifestations, challenging the origin of our civic institutions and architecture. 3/6 Material Gesture Anne Holtrop Studio Anne Holtrop; Architect and Guest Professor, Accademia di Architettura Like a Rorschach test, Anne Holtrop demonstrated how material gesture elicits poetic architectural readings from seemingly irrational forms. When explaining his architectural process, Holtrop reveals that his practice behaves more like an artist’s studio— one that works closely with material through sculptural models to get “closer” to a project. Rather than being dictated by drawings, the resulting built work is made primarily by the material, which produces a formal language for writing an architecture of nuanced gesture.

3/27 Black Cities: Architecture / Race / Theory Milton S. F. Curry Principal, Milton Curry ProjectStudio; Editor, CriticalProductive; Associate Dean and Associate Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Milton S.F. Curry noted that American cities are more segregated today than in the 1960s. While there has been development in the discourse surrounding architecture and race, new paradigms of thinking are preliminary necessaries to new forms of justice. Curry proposes an Architecture-Race Theory, in which black cultural production propels and deepens social practice within architecture and other interdisciplinary fields. 4/10 Recent Work: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Elizabeth Diller Founding Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Professor of Architecture, Princeton University School of Architecture Elizabeth Diller shared recent work, including a “theory-free” catenary structure comprised of pants in Italy, a medical center with a view and a telescoping shed for programming events in New York City. The lecture coincided with the opening of 21 January 2017, In 08:44 Out 20:16, an architectural derive through the Drawing Matter Collection (Somerset, England) exploring the boundaries of architectural representation. 4/20 Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction Mari Lending Professor of Architectural History and Theory, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design Mari Lending documented a major historical shift in architectural perception through two pivotal mediums in the 20th century’s mass-media circulation of antiquities: photography and plastercasts. The globalized dissemination of in-situ classic architectural monuments reveals a disciplinary reproductive continuum, where the cultural value of plaster casts were “closer to the original, than the original itself.” 4/27 Architectures of the Ocean Bernhard Siegert Gerd-Bucerius-Professor for the History and Theory of Cultural Techniques and Director of the IKKM Weimar Co-Sponsored by the Program in Media + Modernity and the Department of German

“Without an architecture of the ocean, there is no sea.” Bernhard Siegert theorized the ocean as an anomaly composed of matter and media. Exploring the impact of painting on oceanic history and necessary climatology of media theory—the “maritime paradigm”—architectural perspective and maritime navigation emerge as the necessary tools of representation and operation to understand the threedimensional space of the sea.

Stand By Your Monster, a conference organized by Jaffer Kolb, asked a simple question: if the legacy of queer thinking in architecture has been largely restricted to issues around space, what if we relocated its effects and considered how it might inform practice as a methodological approach? In other words, instead of designing things that we call queer, we could instead think of making things queerly. Part of this prompt came from observations in the discipline: as more practitioners of a certain generation look backwards (examples proliferate, but look no further than this year’s Chicago Biennial “Make New History”), how can that turn backwards be informed by something in equal parts transgressive, willfully disruptive, critical, and skeptical? This could provide a roadmap that would allow us to both acknowledge our disciplinary history, but not permit its Euro-centric and male-dominated lineage to reassert new kinds of primacy in our fetish for its images, lessons, and forms. One goal of the conference, which was held in the Spring 2017 semester, was to keep the discussion centered on the discipline, with queerness as an instrument that could condition its study and its output. The invited participants were asked to consider queerness in specific terms based on their work—on representation (Michael Meredith), preservation (Bryony Roberts), form (Andrew Holder), infrastructure (Andres Jaque), technology (Ivan Lopez Munuera), nature (Michael Wang), and materiality (Ellie Abrons). By restraining the conversation to practice and architecture, there was a criticism that queerness was being potentially de-radicalized and de-sexualized. That naming “queer tactics” (in the initial formulation things like “transgressive materialism,” “dysmorphia,” “hypersaturation”) limited the expansive, supple, and far-reaching potential embedded in queerness as an undefinable and relational concept. Point taken. A follow up to the conference, a compilation of a dozen or so pieces on the subject and digging a little deeper, appears in Log 41.

How do historians choose their objects of study? How have changing political and institutional forces shaped the production of architectural knowledge? And can innovations in history writing put pressure on those who shape and transform the built environment? These were some of the questions posed at the Princeton University School of Architecture on February 9 and 10, 2017, by two dozen historians who gathered for an event jointly sponsored by the Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities and the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative. Organized by Assistant Professor Lucia Allais, the symposium aimed to foster dialogue between scholars of architectural history and of urban studies, two fields of that have been strangely split in the American university since the 1960s. The title, “The Historian and the X,” was borrowed from a 1964 event, “The Historian and the City,” where a group of scholars—architectural historians, urban planners, economists, and political scientists, among others—considered “the city” as an urgent issue for the humanities and social sciences. Taking the 1964 conference as a prompt, the

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Forum

2/16 Misrepresenting the Plan Preston Scott Cohen Professor of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design Preston Scott Cohen reconsidered the plan and its representational effects on buildings, highlighting historical precedents that demonstrate advancements in plan drawing through perspectival geometry and cutting planes to suggest a preconceived architecture. By embodying this projective synthesis, he produced geometrical artifacts that emphasize the cutting plane and the use of a continuous line. A product of both the shift to digital media and the spectator liberated from a fixed position, the notion of “plan” challenged how the line (or cutting plane) acts on the building itself.

Stand by Your Monster

event aimed to reflect broadly on the history of the city in 1960s cultural scholarship and to ask what new objects— what new “x’s”—have become urgent to architectural scholars today. The event unfolded over two days. During a public conference on Friday, three historians offered case studies of moments in which history writing interacted with changing urban environments. Albert Narath (University of California Santa Cruz) spoke about Vincent Scully’s ambitious but conflicted scholarship on Pueblo architecture. Alison Isenberg (Princeton University) offered a history of the rise of “urban studies” as a field in the context of 1960s San Francisco. Timothy Hyde (MIT) gave a history of the legal regulation in London—in particular “nuisance” arising from atmospheric smoke—as a starting point for a different notion of architectural and urban discourse. On Saturday, a workshop was held to review ongoing work by other scholars. One discussion examined the impact of the Chicago School of Sociology on urban studies, while another, led by Princeton Mellon postdoctoral fellow Ayala Levin, looked at “the village” as an overlooked object in global historical scholarship.


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Zaha Hadid: Pedagogy as Practice To commemorate the one year anniversary of Zaha Hadid’s passing, the School of Architecture hosted Zaha Hadid: Pedagogy as Practice on March 30 and 31, 2017. The conference examined how Zaha’s teaching career—from her earliest position at the Architectural Association to later appointments at Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and the University of Applied Arts, Vienna—shaped and was shaped by the professional work of her office, Zaha Hadid Architects. The conference commenced on Thursday evening with a conversation between Nigel Coates, Greg Lynn, and Wolf Prix, led by Dean Mónica Ponce de León on the topic of Zaha’s influence at the AA, Yale, and the University of Applied Arts. Beatriz Colomina opened the event on Friday morning, moderating the first panel, Big Zaha, small Zaha, a discussion with Madelon Vriesendorp and Charles Jencks that reflected on Zaha’s growth from a student at the AA, through her brief work at OMA, to the lasting friendships that she developed throughout her career. An Unfinished Modern Project, moderated by Tina Di Carlo with Zaha’s former students Nicholas Boyarsky, Kar Hwa Ho, Brian Ma Siy, and Michael Wolfson, examined

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Zaha’s commitment to the continuation of modernism through her teaching of Unit 9 at the AA in the 1980s. Just before lunch, Mark Wigley challenged the audience by setting the terms of a new way to critically address Zaha’s work. The final panel, Pedagogy in Practice, brought together Markus Dochantschi, Mariana Ibanez, Hannes Schafelner, Mascha Veech, and Alex Wall, with Sylvia Lavin serving as moderator, to address the digital turn in Zaha’s work and the way that methodology necessitated a collaborative practice. Patrik Schumacher, principal at Zaha Hadid Architects, gave the closing keynote address. The conference was paired with an exhibition of prospectuses and project reviews, preliminary sketches and color studies, publications, and student work. Zaha Hadid: Pedagogy as Practice was the first step in generating scholarship around Zaha’s pedagogy, a driving force in an often overlooked part of her prolific and influential career. The event was organized by Dean Mónica Ponce de León and Tina Di Carlo in collaboration with Women in Design and Architecture at Princeton led by Emma Benintende, Kate Yeh Chiu, Leen Katrib, and Laura Salazar. The conference was the inaugural event in an annual conference series that will explore the work and legacy of influential women in architecture.


21 January 2017 In 08:44 Out 20:16

Princeton University School of Architecture Rumor 18.01

Faculty

21 January 2017, In 08:44 Out 20:16, an exhibition curated from the Drawing Matter Collection by Elizabeth Diller and Tina di Carlo and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, ran from April 10 through May 8, 2017 at the Princeton University School of Architecture. It was the inaugural exhibition of Drawing Matter in the United States and the first exhibition Elizabeth Diller (Founding Partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture) has curated for the School. 30,000 sheets of paper, eleven hours and thirty two minutes, a collector, a curator, an architect, and her associate, this exhibition was the product of a day spent with the Drawing Matter Collection located at the Shatwell Farmyard in Somerset, England—two hours to the west of London. The collection ranges from the sixteenth century to the present day and has been assembled by Niall Hobhouse over the past twenty years to explore the boundaries of architectural representation. The team convened in the archive on January 21, 2017 between 8:44am and 8:16pm to embark upon what could be considered a delirious dÊrive with no preconceptions, no rules, and no clear objectives except to make a selection of drawings before the fading of natural light at sunset and dinnertime. They began with the drawings themselves, led as much visually and historically, as through chance encounters provoked through the alphabetical system of the plan chests. Thematics, categories, sets of relations, bodies of work and key drawings began to emerge. The process was intuitive and grew out of the impromptu logic of the day, in which they detected patterns, consistencies, juxtapositions, and attributes of drawing that crossed historical periods around which to assemble their selection. The 186 drawings retrieved from the collection were presented at the Princeton University School of Architecture as first lines of inquiry that begin with the immediacy of the drawing itself, to provoke discourse, a deeper look and further investigation. The exhibition included works by Asplund, Aureli, Boshier, Constant, Corbusier, Dali, Debord, Finsterlin, Fuller, Jungmann, La Pietra, Lautner, Maerkli, Mies, Percier, Poelzig, Price, Rossi, Sangallo, Schinkel, Sironi, Siza, Stirling, Superstudio, Webb, and van Hee, among others. page 04


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Exhibit

17 Volcanoes: Works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke, Bas Princen, U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf

Photos from 21 January 2017, In 08:44 Out 20:16

17 Volcanoes: Works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke, Bas Princen, U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf was exhibited at the Princeton University School of Architecture during the Spring 2017 semester and formally opened with a talk from Philip Ursprung on February 17. The show was curated by Alexander Lehnerer, Assistant Professor, ETH Zurich, and Philip Ursprung, Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, ETH Zurich, and curated for the Princeton University School of Architecture by Tina di Carlo. The exhibition celebrated volcanoes as figures in the landscape of Java, as politically, economically, and culturallycharged objects whose ambiguous existence makes them particularly interesting for architectural scrutiny. Volcanoes act and behave in periodic cycles, they are neither urban nor rural, neither alive nor dead, neither past nor present, neither good nor bad. As giant figures in the landscape, they create the land and continuously transform it. Despite their overwhelming potential for destructiveness, they produce fertile grounds to feed one of the world’s most densely populated islands. Between 1836 and 1848, the GermanDutch explorer Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn page 06

made several expeditions to Java— the geographic, historic, cultural, political and economic center of Indonesia—in the service of the Dutch colonial authorities. He was among the first to climb the island’s many volcanoes, and his books, maps, and lithographs made him the “Humboldt of Java.” Linke and Princen follow in Junghuhn’s footsteps, visiting his favorite volcanoes to produce new bodies of work in which the volcanoes form territorial markers, allowing them to interweave historical and contemporary narratives of Indonesia. 17 Volcanoes presented a collection of Junghuhn’s scientific and artistic works in conjunction with photographic and video works by Linke, photographs by Princen, and artworks by U5 and Wermke/Leinkauf. Among them was Princen’s c-print of Gunung Merapi, now considered Java’s most dangerous volcano. The exhibition also included two large sculptures produced by Zenvin Artstone in Magelang as large souvenirs. 17 Volcanoes was part of a multi-year research project at the Future Cities Laboratory at Singapore ETH Centre. It is funded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore and ETH Zurich.


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Post-Professional Program Students Exhibit Thesis Projects in New York City During the Spring 2017 semester, seven postprofessional degree students in the final year of the program exhibited their thesis projects at Parasol Projects Gallery Space in Manhattan. The post-professional degree program offers a unique opportunity for professionally trained architects to return to the university to pursue a two-year program culminating in a thesis—in which design itself is considered a form of research. Utilizing Princeton’s unique interdisciplinary potential as a research university, students are free to seek advisors from within and outside the faculty of architecture. This tradition draws on architecture’s history that has, since the Renaissance, incorporated a vast spectrum of disciplines from the humanities, arts, and sciences. Thesis students included Jessica Colangelo (adviser Liz Diller), Taylor Cornelson (adviser Stan Allen), Phillip Denny (advisers Sylvia Lavin and Hayley Eber), Ivy Feng (adviser Paul Lewis), Jiyuan Li (adviser Axel Kilian), Mercedes Peralta (advisers Guy Nordenson and Forrest Meggers), and Ji Shi (adviser Mónica Ponce de León), and Jesse Reiser, Professor of Architectural Design, served as the post-professional thesis coordinator. Their work engaged a broad range of issues in contemporary culture and technology from the social, cultural, and political issues of particular sites to focused technological research where the object of investigation is itself the site. Rather than a summation, their research marked the beginning of their long-term projects as architects. In this sense, the work shown was unfinished; it was a first expression rather than a last, which aimed to open up new directions for architecture. What tied the projects together was the work’s ambition: tangible, beneficial consequences for humanity in an increasingly complex, interconnected world.

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Photos: Graham Bessellieu, Oluwabunmi Fayiga, Claire Flack, Timothy Schenck, Kira McDonald, and Jessica Colangelo

Princeton University School of Architecture Princeton, NJ 08544

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Students, faculty, members of the campus community, and alumni gathered on an unseasonably warm day in February 2017 for a reception celebrating the opening of the Embodied Computation Lab (ECL) hosted by Dean Mónica Ponce de León. The ECL is one of two facilities on campus available solely for use by architecture students. This facility houses four ABB Robotic Arms: an IRB 7700, two IRB 4600 “sister bots” on 7th axis tracks, and an IRB 120. Additionally, it houses a fully functioning Machine Shop, equipped with a Tormach PCNC 1100 mill. The ABB Robotic Arms are repeatable programmable machines, each offering a different reach and load capacity. The “sister bots” are capable of operating alongside each other moving along an axial track. The PCNC mill is a metal processing machine that uses sharp end mills to remove material, producing 2D and 3D models.   Dean Ponce de León explains, “The Embodied Computation Lab is a space created specifically for architecture students to experiment with digital fabrication and robotic systems. We are delighted to provide them cutting-edge tools and opportunities to expand how they approach their assignments. I look forward to seeing how our students’ work evolves as they employ them in their projects.”

School of Architecture Celebrates the Opening of Its Embodied Computation Lab

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