Inside SCI-Arc


LECTURES: Wed, November 6, 2013

Sarah Whiting: Engaging Autonomy

Wed, November 6, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Intro by Eric Owen Moss

Sarah Whiting possesses an indefatigable curiosity about how individuals constitute a public and, more specifically, through what forms (architecture and urbanism) that public manifests itself and is, in turn, formed. Typically, architecture is seen as being either autonomous or contextual, as if those were the only two urban choices offered up to any building. Whiting has always been suspect of such stark binaries, which tend to impede rather than advance the discipline. Starting from her longstanding interest in projects that are too big to fit comfortably within their urban order, her lecture will posit a category of projects that are at once engaged with their context while nevertheless maintaining a certain degree of autonomy or legible singularity.

Covering historical examples, including Whiting’s extensive research into Chicago’s IIT campus by Mies van der Rohe, and contemporary work by her office, the lecture aims to offer a new lens for reading successful work that exists as well as providing a design strategy for contemporary design.

Whiting is Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor at the School of Architecture at Rice University. Additionally, she co-founded WW with her partner, Ron Witte, in 1999. Prior to WW, Whiting worked with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in The Netherlands, where she was a designer for the Euralille master plan. She has also worked with Peter Eisenman in New York.

Whiting’s writing and editing has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, from ANY to Wired. She served as reviews editor for the journal Assemblage from 1996 to 2001 and now edits a small book series with Princeton University Press, called POINT. Whiting obtained her B.A. from Yale University, her Master of Architecture from Princeton, and her Ph.D. from MIT.

SCI-Arc Alumni, Faculty and Trustees Honored with 2013 AIA LA Awards

The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects has again recognized several SCI-Arc faculty, alumni and trustees with prominent awards conferred at the institute's annual gala in October. Held at the Broad Stage Theater at the Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, the ceremony incorporated local design and architecture journalists, academic and civic leaders as well as community movers and shakers.

SCI-Arc design faculty Elena Manferdini was honored with the institute’s prestigious 2013 Educator Award, which has been conferred in previous years to Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso, and to SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss.

The Building Blocks system proposed by Hodgetts+Fung offers the programmatic elements needed to construct a school

Next LA Awards for unbuilt work went to Craig Hodgetts and SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs Ming Fung, principals of Los Angeles based Hodgetts+Fung for Building Blocks (shown above), a modular classroom infrastructure designed for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Next LA Awards were also conferred to Angela Brooks (M.Arch ‘91) and partner Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa for their Interfaith Chapel at University of North Florida, and to Iris Anna Regn (M.Arch ‘94) and partner Tim Durfee for their L.A. Frame House.

AIA's Building Team of the Year award recognized the team behind the LAX: Tom Bradley International Terminal/CTA Renovation Phase 1, , which included the AECOM team featuring SCI-Arc alumni Carlos Madrid III (M.Arch ’95), project designer; Jed Zimmerman (B.Arch ‘87), principal in charge; and Yan Wang (M.Arch ‘06), design team.

St. Thomas the Apostle School designed by Griffin Enright Architects was completed in 2010

Built work such as the St. Thomas the Apostle School (shown here) designed by SCI-Arc Undergraduate Programs Chair John Enright and design faculty Margaret Griffin of Griffin Enright Architects received a 2013 AIA LA Design Award for excellence, along with two projects by Brooks + Scarpa, the Metalsa Center for Manufacturing Innovation and the CAM Museum of Art, the L House designed by alumni Cara Lee (M.Arch ‘96) and Stephan Mundwiler (M.Arch ‘95) of Lee + Mundwiler, and the Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery designed by alumnus Jeffrey Allsbrook (M.Arch ‘95) and partner Silvia Kuhle of Standard. SCI-Arc trustee Thom Mayne received two Design Awards, one for the Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, and the second for designing LA’s biggest net-zero office for his very own Culver City-based practice, Morphosis.

AIA LA’s 25-Year Award for 2013 went to SCI-Arc honorary trustee Frank Gehry for his design of the California Space Museum. The institute’s Community Contribution Award went to alumni Hadley Soutter Arnold (M.Arch ‘97) and Peter Arnold (M.Arch ‘94) for their Arid Lands Institute established at Woodbury University. Presidential honorees this year included, among others, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, artist James Turrell and LACMA CEO Michael Govan.

For a full list of winner, click here.

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.