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LECTURES: Wed, December 4, 2013

Kenneth Frampton: Towards an Agonistic Architecture

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


Kenneth Frampton

Of recent date, along with the global success of star architects, a parallel development may be observed in which relatively unfamiliar but equally talented architects from all over the world build modest works with exceptional sensitivity both to the topographic idiosyncrasies of the site and the vicissitudes of the climate, not to mention, on occasion, a subtle inflection capable of accommodating the vagaries of local custom.

Among recent works where such a nuanced response has come into being, one thinks of a number of architects who have distinguished themselves of late in exceptionally diverse cultures and climates, as these have cropped up in Guadalajara, Porto Alegra, Noumea, Yokohama, Addis Ababa, Colombo, Senegal, Guinea, Mumbai and the Northern Territory of Australia. To Frampton, this is a new found World Architecture deriving intimately from a regionally inflected sensibility.

Kenneth Frampton was born in 1930 and trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He has worked as an architect and as an architectural historian and critic, and is now Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York.

He has taught at a number of leading institutions in the field, including the Royal College of Art in London, the ETH in Zurich, the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam, EPFL in Lausanne and the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio.

Frampton is the author of Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1980), Studies in Tectonic Culture (1995), American Masterworks (1995), Le Corbusier (2001), Labour, Work & Architecture (2005), and an updated fourth edition of Modern Architecture: A Critical History (2007).

Hernan Diaz Alonso Wins AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture

SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso was recently awarded one of four prestigious AR+D Awards for Emerging Architecture by the Architectural Review magazine out of London. Diaz Alonso’s competition submission is an installation he designed and built for the MAK Vienna in 2007.

Hernan Diaz Alonso, Xefirotarch│Pitch Black│2013 AR+D Architectural Review Winner

Now part of the MAK’s permanent collection, Pitch Black (shown here) celebrates the grotesque through exploring a world of bio-computational replicants, a set of glinting arachnoid fabrications exhibiting an idiosyncratic formal language.

SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discusses the installation, “Although its essential spatial language belongs to a recognizable digital vocabulary, it suggests that the application of digital tools can deliver an entirely idiosyncratic reading. The dense application of contemporary software tools need not produce a generic and predictable form language, but instead delivers a uniquely personal result.”

Now in their 15th year, the Architectural Review Awards provide a snapshot of design activity from around the world, with more than 350 entries of built work being entered in this year’s competition. The 2013 awards gala took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London on November 28th and was hosted by AR Editor-in-Chief Catherine Slessor. The event also marked the opening on the AR Emerging Architecture exhibition of winning projects, which will be running at the RIBA until January 2014.

More about Hernan Diaz Alonso at www.xefirotarch.com.


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.