The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, North America’s largest survey of contemporary architecture, opened to the public in early October with an ambitious collection of gallery installations, performances, talks and tours scattered across the city. The event features an impressive list of international studios selected by co-artistic directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda. SCI-Arc participants include design faculty Marcelo Spina of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, whose project “Oblicuo” (shown here) was designed in collaboration with design faculty Casey Rehm, and computational design faculty Satoru Sugihara of ATLV, whose biennial project was proposed in collaboration with SCI-Arc alumna Erin Besler (M.Arch ‘12) of Belser + Sons.
Oblicuo, on view at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, designed by Marcelo Spina of
P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S in collaboration with Casey Rehm.
The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial takes its title, The State of the Art of Architecture, from a 1977 conference organized by architect Stanley Tigerman, which invited leading American designers to Chicago to discuss the current state of the field. The Biennial’s goal was to expand the spirit and scope of this event by inviting both emerging and established practices from across the world to Chicago to demonstrate how groundbreaking advances in architectural design are tackling the most pressing issues of today. With an incredible breadth of design approaches, research interests, and cultural perspectives, the Biennial offers a global stage for debate and the exchange of ideas, while at the same time enriching Chicago’s unique role in history as a crucible of architectural innovation.
Twelve winning design teams have been announced for the United States Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, including design faculty Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom of Pita+Bloom and Andrew Zago of Zago Architecture, and alumnus Albert Pope (B.Arch ‘78) of Present Future. The exhibition is titled The Architectural Imagination and will explore the possibilities of Detroit as a laboratory for “the innovative power of architecture.”
The 12 winners of the open call for portfolios will travel to Detroit this fall for site visits and community meetings and to begin work on their designs. Their mission: to propose urban solutions that can be applied in cities around the world to address 21st-century social and environmental issues. Curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon selected the 12 teams of architects from more than 250 submissions.
At Human Scale, a new installation by SCI-Arc design faculty Elena Manferdini, sponsored by BMW, explored the role of automobiles in shaping our cities and our lives. On view at the Design ArtWork Fair in Seoul, Korea from May 20-24th, the show explored ways in which the city can change when people are placed at the center of the urban equation. It imagined what could happen in the near future if cars, humans and cities were to coexist, instead of existing in opposition to each other.
Placing visitors at the center of the urban experience, Manferdini's experiential installation had visitors feeling larger than usual. The volume of the buildings and the shadows on the floors and walls created a dynamic experience of density and at the same time, the shift of scale made them aware of their bodies being at center of the city.
Manferdini’s “At Human Scale” was on view at the Design Art Work in Seoul (May 20-24th 2015), part of the 10th edition of the Seoul Open Art Fair.
This installation in Seoul is part of a larger body of work capturing Manferdini’s interpretation of the city. It complements another exhibition of the architect’s work, Building the Picture, currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Elena Manferdini teaches design studio and visual studies seminars at SCI-Arc, and coordinates the school’s Graduate Thesis program. More about her work at ateliermanferdini.com.
SCI-Arc design faculty Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu, principals of B+U, and Marcelyn Gow, principal of servo los angeles, are exhibiting their work in the 2015 C.O.L.A. Fellowship group exhibition which opens May 17 at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG). The three designers are among eleven winners of the Individual Artist Fellowships awarded annually by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to recognize work in a wide array of creative fields including architecture, design, writing, sound art and photography.
Marcelyn Gow, servo Los Angeles, Semblances
The exhibition includes a new installation by Gow entitled Semblances, incorporating translations between images and objects that produce a fusion between architectural form and forms that appear to be constructed natures. The project is focused on creating gaps in perception that challenge what can be construed, or misconstrued, to be either real or fictive.
Baumgartner and Uriu are exhibiting their project Apertures, which reflects on the current architectural discourse of digital ecologies, leading to a new type of interactive, organic building. The installation focuses on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression, producing an estrangement of the architectural envelope in relation to the body of the viewer.
Baumgartner + Uriu, B+U, Apertures
Also exhibiting in the 2015 C.O.L.A. Fellowship exhibition are Miyoshi Barosh, Kelly Barrie, Jeff Colson, Alexandra Grant, Harold Greene, Sherin Guirguis, Elizabeth Leister, Alan Nakagawa, and Barbara Strasen. The exhibition is curated by Scott Canty.
More details about the LAMAG exhibition are available here.
SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss is interviewed by architecture professor Dr. Abdi Guzer of the Middle East Technical University of Ankara as part of the Kalebodur Architects in Conversation series produced out of Istanbul.
“Los Angeles is a special city, and a really young city compared to Istanbul” begins Moss. “Relatively speaking, Los Angeles is a freer place to work compared to other major cities around the world.”
SCI-Arc design faculty Anna Neimark and partner Andrew Atwood of Los Angeles-based First Office have recently published a new manuscript of work, “Nine Essays” as part of a series of self-authored manuscripts produced in conjunction with the group exhibition Treatises: Why Write Alone? The group show was hosted this past spring at the Chicago headquarters of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
A public reception to celebrate the West Coast launch of the publication series will take place on Saturday, May 2, 5-8pm at the Neutra VDL House in Silver Lake, being co-hosted by Archinect and the Graham Foundation. (RSVP here)
The Treatises series features fourteen publications by designers participating in the recent group exhibition, Treatises: Why Write Alone? hosted at the Graham Foundation in Chicago.
The series of fourteen self-authored manuscripts takes its cues from the publication series Pamphlet Architecture as it originated in the 1970s. In contrast to Pamphlet, the Treatises project published all fourteen treatises at once in order to investigate the collective and individual stakes that have emerged from the temporary allegiance of designers who participated in the eponymous exhibition hosted by the Graham Foundation at its Chicago headquarters this past spring.
Publishing in the Treaties series alongside First Office are design firms Bittertang (New York); Bureau Spectacular (Chicago); CAMES/Gibson (Chicago); Design With Company (Chicago); FAKE Industries (New York); Pieterjan Ginckels (Brussels, Belgium); is-office (Chicago); Andrew Kovacs (Los Angeles); Alex Maymind (Los Angeles); Normal Kelley (Chicago and New York); Point Supreme (Athens, Greece); SOFTlab (New York); and Michael Young (New York).
First Office is a Los Angeles–based architecture and design collaborative founded by Andrew Atwood and Anna Neimark. Built projects include a collaboration on the Pinterest office headquarters in San Francisco, a dome stage in Afghanistan, a temporary screening room at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, and the rehabilitation of a shotgun house in Lexington, Kentucky. Their work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad, including at the Beijing Biennale, the Pacific Design Center, the WUHO Gallery, and the SCI-Arc Gallery in Los Angeles, among others.
The 2015 Conney Conference on Jewish Arts, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with the University of Southern California, will feature a stimulating panel discussion addressing the Holocaust memorial, featuring SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss, Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso, guest panelist Robert Eisenman, and design faculty Russell Thomsen.
Scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 24, 7:30pm at the Doheny Library on the USC campus, the event is free and open to the public. The Doheny Memorial Library is located at 3550 Trousdale Parkway, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90089.
Thinking the Future of Auschwitz, SCI-Arc Gallery, Fall 2014
Dubbed What is a Holocaust Memorial?, this panel discussion stems from a recent exhibition hosted at SCI-Arc in fall 2014, where Russell Thomsen and his late partner, Eric Khan, presented their own take on the future of Auschwitz through a through-provoking architectural proposal for the future of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. While Kahn and Thomsen’s proposal was as an attempt to temporarily “blank” the site, rendering it inaccessible and invisible, SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss raised the question of appropriate or inappropriate uses of the memorial, citing Peter Eisenman’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin.
The HUC-hosted panel aims to advance the discussion began at SCI-Arc last fall.
For more information about the 2015 Conney Conference on Jewish Arts visit www.conneyproject.wisc.edu.
SCI-Arc design faculty Elena Manferdini kicked-off the New Year with the installation of her designs for the interior lobby and outdoor open space of the Zev Yaroslavsky San Fernando Valley Family Support Center in Van Nuys. Her design inspires a new personal vision for wellness through shifting the viewer’s point of view.
The glass is an example of painterly effects applied to the theatricality of the building façade.
Two years ago, Manferdini was selected by the LA County Arts Commission to design the lobby ceiling, relative indoor and outdoor floors and a glass façade that lead to the entry of the building. In January of this year, she installed the Center’s glass façade, which marks the project’s first phase.
The Zev Yaroslavsky San Fernando Valley Family Support Center is an architectural project designed by HKS that offers a new model of service delivery for the County of Los Angeles. Through the creation of this interdepartmental campus, the Center is designed to provide essential assessments, integrated services and referrals to clients of the Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, Public Social Services, Probation, Child Support and Children and Family Services. The building will be complete in the summer of 2015.
Elena Manferdini graduated from the University of Structural Engineering in Bologna, Italy with a professional degree in engineering and later from University of California Los Angeles with a Master in Architecture. In 2004, she founded Atelier Manferdini, an artist studio that has been recognized internationally for its ability to create new, distinctive and unique characters for public spaces by means of imaginative public art installations. In 2011, she was awarded a prestigious grant from the United States Artists (USA) Foundation for her achievements in architecture and design.
Manferdini currently teaches design studio and visual studies at SCI-Arc, and is the coordinator of the school's graduate thesis program. Read more about her work at www.ateliermanferdini.com.
SCI-Arc design studio faculty Anna Neimark and partner Andrew Atwood of Los Angeles-based First Office are exhibiting their work in a Graham Foundation-hosted group show curated by designer Jimenez Lai. Hosted at the foundation’s Chicago headquarters, the exhibition Treatise: Why Write Alone? brings together fourteen young design offices to consider architectural treatise as a site for theoretical inquiry, experimentation and debate.
Shotgun House by First Office is on view at the Graham Foundation through March 28. The firm's publication, Nine Essays, is available for purchase in the SCI-Arc Supply Store.
The project grew out of a recent Graham Foundation grant to Lai, whose interest in discursive practices and non-conformist approaches to architecture led him to ask his peers working in the realm of conceptual architecture: Why write? And, why write alone? In response to these questions, Treatise features more than 200 works, from drawings and models to multi-media installations, by design offices that utilize diverse—and often unexpected—strategies, forms and materials.
The show is complemented by a publication series, also titled Treatise, to be published in March 2015. Rather than a compilation or ongoing series, this set of single-authored treatises takes cues from the publication series Pamphlet Architecture as it originated in the 1970s under the direction of Steven Holl and William Stout. In contrast to Pamphlet Architecture, the Treatise project will publish all fourteen treatises at once in order to investigate the collective and individual stakes that emerge from assembling this temporary alliance. Both the complete set and individual volumes will be available for purchase online and in the Graham Foundation bookshop.
First Office is a Los Angeles–based architecture and design collaborative founded by Andrew Atwood and Anna Neimark. Built projects include a collaboration on the Pinterest office headquarters in San Francisco, a dome stage in Afghanistan, a temporary screening room at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, and the rehabilitation of a shotgun house in Lexington, Kentucky. Their work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad, including the Beijing Biennale, the Pacific Design Center, the WUHO Gallery, and the SCI-Arc Gallery in Los Angeles, among others.
Exhibiting in Treaties alongside First Office are design firms Bittertang (New York); Bureau Spectacular (Chicago); CAMES/Gibson (Chicago); Design With Company (Chicago); FAKE Industries (New York); Pieterjan Ginckels (Brussels, Belgium); is-office (Chicago); Andrew Kovacs (Los Angeles); Alex Maymind (Los Angeles); Normal Kelley (Chicago and New York); Point Supreme (Athens, Greece); SOFTlab (New York); and Young & Ayata (New York).
The Treatise exhibition will be on display through March 28, with a book launch scheduled on March 18. Read more about the show and publication at www.grahamfoundation.org.
Long-time architect and educator Michael Rotondi received the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona. Awarded annually, the Neutra medal rewards individuals who have dedicated their careers toward researching and developing new environments in which to work, live and play. “Michael Rotondi was selected for his commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says SCI-Arc alumna Sarah Lorenzen (MRD ’04), who serves as associate professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona.
The Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall designed by ROTO Architects
Rotondi’s architectural work has included the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Liberty Wildlife center in Phoenix and the Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture. He has also made an impact as an architecture educator for the past 30 years, including at SCI-Arc, where he was a founding student, served as director of graduate studies from 1980 to 1987, and as the school’s director from 1987 to 1997. “Education paired with architecture is RoTo’s way. Michael is a great recipient of prestigious Neutra award, which is given to exceptional architects who take the profession to higher levels of artistry and creative thinking and building,” says SCI-Arc alumnus Orhan Ayyüce (B.Arch ‘81), a senior editor at Archinect.
Past recipients of the Neutra medal have included architectural practitioners, such as Raphael Soriano, Thom Mayne, Ray Kappe and Tadao Ando; landscape architecture practitioners, including Lawrence Halprin, Garrett Eckbo, Roberto Burle-Marx and Francis Dean; as well as individuals who have made notable contributions to environmental design and public policy such as former Vice President Al Gore. The medal has been awarded since 1980.