Inside SCI-Arc



Graham Harman: Form and its Rivals

Monday, Oct 5, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

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Philosopher and scholar Graham Harman lectures at SCI-Arc as part of the first Liberal Arts Masterclass session hosted by the school this fall. His lecture will address issues related to ontology, objects, and their potential relationships to architecture.

Harman is a distinguished university professor with the American University in Cairo. He is the 2009 winner of the AUC Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award, and a frequent international lecturer. In 2013, he was ranked as the #81 most influential figures in the international art world by Art Review magazine. Harman is the author of eleven books, most recently Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012) and Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (2013). He is the editor of the Speculative Realism book series at Edinburgh University Press, and (with Bruno Latour), co-editor of the New Metaphysics book series at Open Humanities Press, and the philosopher behind "object-oriented ontology." He is a former Chicago sportswriter, an avid world traveler and a sixth-generation native of Iowa.

Michael Hansmeyer: Out of Order

Wed, Oct 7, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
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Architecture must surprise, excite, and irritate. As both an intellectual and a phenomenological endeavor, it should address not only the mind, but all the senses — viscerally. It must be judged by the experiences it generates.

The confluence of advances in both computation and fabrication frees architecture from the paradigms of rationalization and standardization. In taking computation to the extreme, one can synthesize the fantastical. One can create forms that are not only undrawable, but would otherwise be unimaginable. A rich an engaging architecture can emerge — an architecture situated between the natural and the artificial, between chaos and order, between the expected and surprise. An architecture that defies classification and reductionism by challenging our prevailing systems of order.

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer known for exploring the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form. His recent projects include the Sixth Order installation of columns at the Gwangju Design Biennale, the design and fabrication of full-scale 3D printed grotto for the 2013 Archilab exhibition, and the Platonic Solids series. Hansmeyer is currently a visiting professor at Southeast University in Nanjing. He was previously a lecturer in the CAAD group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Prior to this, he worked at Herzog & de Meuron Architects and in the consulting and financial industries at McKinsey & Company and J.P. Morgan.

Grotto Prototype, Michael Hansmeyer

Hashim Sarkis: Premises for Practice

Wed, Oct 14, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

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Hashim Sarkis’ lecture at SCI-Arc will outline the explorations that his office, Hashim Sarkis Studios has undertaken over the past 15 years, focusing on the ideas of geographic form, intense edges, inscriptions and quasi-objects. These ideas will be presented through projects like the Town Hall of Byblos, the Byblos Master Plan, the Balloon Landing Park in Beirut, the Courtower Houses, among other architectural and urban design projects.

Sarkis was appointed Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT in January of 2015. Previously, he taught at Harvard University Graduate School of Design as the The Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism. He has held numerous visiting appointments around the world including the American University of Beirut and the Metropolis Program in Barcelona.

In addition to his academic work, Sarkis is principal architect in the Cambridge and Beirut based firm, Hashim Sarkis Studios, founded in 1998. His architectural and planning projects include affordable housing, institutional buildings, and town planning throughout the globe. Current projects include the Byblos Town Hall and the Courtowers, both under construction.

Housing for the Fishermen of Tyre, Lebanon—Abbasiyeh, Hashim Sarkis Studios, 2008

Sarkis has received many awards and honors and his work has been published in the “Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture,” with the Housing for the Fishermen of Tyre selected as one of the most significant buildings of the 21st Century (2008). He has authored many articles and books including “Circa 1958: Lebanon in the Pictures and Plans of Constantinos Doxiadis,” and edited the books “CASE: Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital” and “Josep Lluis Sert: The Architect of Urban Design” (with Eric Mumford).

Sarkis holds Bachelors of Architecture and Fine Arts degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Architecture from Harvard University for his thesis “Publics and Architects: Re-Engaging Design in the Democracy.”

Liam Young: Tomorrows Thoughts Today & Unknown Fields Division

Wed, Oct 28, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Our luminous technologies cast shadows that stretch across the planet. Join speculative architect Liam young and a fictional Kim Kardashian as they go on a storytelling walking tour through the flickering screen and beyond the fog of the cloud, to explore City Everywhere, a fictional city of the near future, extrapolated from the fears and wonders of an increasingly complex present . With spoken word and a rapid fire assault of film, animation and live sound mixing Liam and Kim journey to a place found somewhere between the real and the imagined, stitched together from fragments of distant landscapes, extreme mega cities and designed urban fictions.

Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is founder of the think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group whose work explores the possibilities of fantastic, speculative and imaginary urbanisms.

He tells stories about the city using fiction, film and performance as imaginative tools to explore the implications and consequences of new technologies and ecological conditions.

Building his design fictions from the realities of present, Young also co runs the Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic research studio that travels on location shoots and expeditions to the ends of the earth to document emerging trends and uncover the weak signals of possible futures. He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, The Guardian, Time Magazine, and Dazed and Confused. Young manages his time between exploring distant landscapes and visualising the fictional worlds he extrapolates from them.

Richard Schulman: Portraits of the New Architecture 2

Fri, Oct 30, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Richard Schulman has been making photographs of unique architecture, design and cultural personalities for many years. In the field of architecture, he has focused on the portraits of architects as well as their buildings and designs. Such luminaries include Philip Johnson, Oscar Niemeyer, Tadao Ando, Herzog and DeMeuron, Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingles, Diller and Scofidio, Jean-Nouvel, Toyo Ito, Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry to name a few. He has also photographed over 32 Pritzker Prize recipients and their work.

Schulman has travelled half the world to photograph unique images. His work has appeared in The New York Times, London Times, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Domus, Abitare and hundreds more. He is currently a lecturer on the history of photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Perry Hall: Painting Far From Equilibrium

Wed, Nov 4, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Artist Perry Hall approaches painting as a time-based medium similar to choreography or improvising music; he creates the traditional line-form-color-surface but also adds painting behavior-- ways in which paint transforms and moves over time. His artworks, which integrate painting and filmmaking, are created by activating natural dynamic forces (turbulence, thermodynamics, magnetism, gravity, chemical reactions) instead of using digital processes or "static" painting techniques. His work over twenty years reimagines painting as a dialogue with a semi-autonomous ecology of forms existing in a state of continuous transformation; his project explores "material intelligence" and the relationship between painting, nature and technology.

Hall has exhibited internationally in venues including the Smithsonian National Design Museum and Artists Space in New York, The Neue National Gallery, Berlin, The New World Symphony in Miami, The Tokyo Art Fair, and at Adelaide Festival in Australia.

Still from Tidal Empire (Animist), 2011. Oil, acrylic and various paints filmed live. 9:07 running time. Collection of the Centre FRAC, Orleans, France.

His artwork can be seen in the Academy Award winning Robin Williams film What Dreams May Come and more recently in Scarlett Johansson's eyes in Luc Besson’s motion picture Lucy. He's been an invited critic at the London A.A., Columbia University, Pratt, RPI and has spoken at a diverse variety of cultural institutions including The Berlin School of Fine Art, Columbia GSAPP, as keynote speaker at the 2011 Smart Geometry conference and at film studio Industrial Light and Magic.

Fabian Marcaccio: Painted Lab

Wed, Nov 11, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Fabian Marcaccio’s work investigates whether the traditional medium of painting can survive in the digital age. He has used printmaking and transfer techniques to make paintings and became well know in the 1990s for his sculptural manipulations of the two-dimensional surface of canvas. More recently, he has infused his painting process with digital and industrial techniques. The results are environmental works, animations, and “Paintants” that combine digitally manipulated imagery, sculptural forms, and three-dimensionally painted surfaces.

Fabian Marcaccio was born in 1963 in Rosario, Argentina where he attended the University of Philosophy. At age 22, he moved to New York City, where he continues to live and work. He has exhibited widely throughout the US, Europe and South America. In 2004, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein organized a retrospective of his work, the same year that a solo exhibition of his work was mounted at the Miami Art Museum.

Fabian Marcaccio, Paintant Stories, 2000, installed in 2014 at Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro

Marcaccio regularly exhibits with galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, Cologne and Barcelona and produces large scale environmental works with institutions such as Daros Latin America (Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, 2014), SAPS: Proyecto Siqueiros + Sala de Arte Público (Mexico City, 2012), Documenta 11 (Kassel, Germany, 2002), and Summer Projects at PS1 Contemporary Art Center (New York, 2002).

Shigeru Ban: Works & Humanitarian Initiatives

Mon, Nov 16, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Shigeru Ban is a Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect and SCI-Arc alumnus known for his pioneering use of cardboard tubes in building construction. In its citation for the 2014 Pritzker Prize, the jury noted Ban’s creatively designed structures, such as temporary shelters, for areas devastated by natural disasters.

Ban studied at SCI-Arc from 1977 to 1980 and later moved to the Cooper Union. After working for Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, he opened his own practice in Tokyo. Ban first used paper tubes in 1985–86, notably in a gallery for fashion designer Issey Miyake.

In 1994, Ban suggested to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that shelters made of paper be constructed for Rwandan refugees; he was made a consultant to the agency in 1995, and 50 such structures were built in 1998. Ban continued to use the tubes in his work throughout the year.

Shigeru Ban Architects, Paper Church │Photo by Hiroyuki Hirai

In addition to his architecture work, Ban held a number of professorships, including those at Yokohama National University and Keio University in Tokyo. From 2006 to 2009 he served on the jury of the annual Pritzker Prize.

Beatrice Galilee: The Institute Effect

Wed, Nov 18, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

From fanzines to epoch-defining museum exhibitions, the discourse of architecture has traditionally taken place far from the event of the building itself. Yet today as the discipline of architecture expands and contracts, responding to complexities and the varying dynamics of its construction and representation in the world today; varyingly taking on forms that are political or social, scientific, instructional or artistic, institutional practice is mutating to form part of architectural production.

An institution could once be regarded as a physical space or event that mediates the work of building and preserves the material ephemera and working process for future generations, but can now comfortably occupy a territory-less digital space. This lecture reflects on the plurality of contemporary architectural practice and the role of institutions in both mediating, reflecting and contributing towards it.

New Publics, Superpowers of Ten by Andrés Jaque, Office for Political Innovation

Beatrice Galilee is the Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Trained in Architecture at Bath University, and in History of Architecture MSc at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, Galilee specialises in the dissemination of architecture and design through media, curatorial practice, research, editing and teaching. She was the Chief Curator of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Close, Closer, and has curated exhibitions and events around the world including 2013 and 2012 Milan Design Weeks, 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale and 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale.

She is the co-founder and director of The Gopher Hole, an exhibition and event space in London, architectural critic at Domus, and associate lecturer at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. She was the architecture editor of ICON Magazine between 2006 and 2009.

Yuval Sharon: Under the Hood - The Making of The Industry's Hopscotch

Thu, Nov 19, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Anticipated to be "the most audacious cultural event of the year," The Industry's production of HOPSCOTCH invites audiences and artists to share 24 cars throughout the city—and all of them broadcast to SCI-Arc's parking lot. Director Yuval Sharon and members of the creative team comes together to talk about how this transmedia, interdisciplinary project came to life.

Founded by Artistic Director Yuval Sharon, The Industry creates new and experimental work that expands the definition of opera. The company burst onto the creative scene with the 2012 premiere of CRESCENT CITY, a large-scale, interdisciplinary opera by Anne LeBaron and Douglas Kearney. The Industry garnered international recognition for INVISIBLE CITIES, an operatic adaption of Italo Calvino’s novel, composed by Christopher Cerrone. Staged in the spectacular public areas of Los Angeles Union Station, the opera was produced for wireless headphones and marked significant collaborations with L.A. Dance Project and Sennheiser. HOPSCOTCH is The Industry's biggest adventure yet!

N. Katherine Hayles: Rethinking the Mind of Architecture

Mon, Nov 23, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

The culturally dominant view of the human mind has always influenced architectural aesthetics--whether rational, fraught with traumas, or colored by the unconscious. Recent research in neuroscience has confirmed a level of neuronal processing inaccessible to consciousness but crucial for higher-level thought, which I call the cognitive nonconscious. This lecture will explain the functions specific to the cognitive nonconscious and the transformed view of cognition that it suggests, and its aesthetic implications will be explored through contemporary fictions. The conclusion will suggest how this perspective leads to a more empathic and encompassing view of planetary cognitive ecologies.

N. Katherine Hayles is the James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke University. She writes and teaches on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Her research has been recognized by numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim, two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship at Bellagio, and a Presidential Research Fellowship at the University of California. In 2015 she served as the Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her book “How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Literature, Cybernetics and Informatics” won the Rene Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory for 1998-99, and her book “Writing Machines” won the Suzanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Her present book project is entitled “The Cognitive Nonconscious: Enlarging the Mind of the Humanities.”

Brett Steele + Hernan Diaz Alonso: Directors Talk

Wed, Dec 2, 7
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Brett Steele directs the AA School of Architecture in London, being in charge of a multi-year master plan to improve the AA’s historic Bedford Square home and the school’s rural campus in Hooke Park, where AA students and staff have designed and built five buildings since 2011. Steele has hired and brought to London more than 150 teachers from Europe, Asia & the Americas, who now teach at the AA School, lead seminars and direct design workshops in the Visiting School. Steele has created new departments supporting the work of the school, including a dedicated Digital Platforms and Social Media team; the AA Archive; and AACP Curatorial Practices, which includes a team of curators that have realized exhibitions and special events in London and at the Venice, Beijing, Sao Paolo and other architecture biennales.

Hernan Diaz Alonso has assumed directorship of SCI-Arc in September 2015. A faculty member at the school since 2001, he has served in several leadership roles including Coordinator of the Graduate Thesis program from 2007-2010, and Graduate Programs Chair from 2010 until the present. He has been widely credited with spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, playing a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum. In parallel to his role at SCI-Arc, Diaz Alonso is Principal of the Los Angeles-based Xefirotarch, a multidisciplinary practice praised for work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments and radical exploration of architecture. A gifted educator, he has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments such as Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design in 2010, Visiting Design Studio Faculty at Columbia GSAPP from 2004-2010, and an ongoing appointment in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In spring 2015, he will serve as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design.

SCI-Arc lectures, discussions, symposia and special events are archived on the new SCI-Arc Media Archive. Click on the link below to visit the site.