Ferda Kolatan is the founding director of SU11 Architecture+Design in New York City and an Associate Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Architecture at PennDesign. He received his Architectural Diploma with distinction from the RWTH Aachen and graduated from the MsAAD program at Columbia University with the “Honor Award for Excellence in Design” and the “Memorial Prize”. Ferda’s practice su11, which he co-founded with Erich Schoenenberger in 1999 has been published widely nationally and internationally, and participated in exhibitions at MoMA, Walker Art Center, Vitra Design Museum, the Beijing and Istanbul Biennales, Archilab, Artists Space, the SCI-Arc Gallery and others. Ferda’s teaching resume includes Columbia University, Cornell University, Pratt Institute, RPI, and SCI-Arc. His UPenn design studio was selected to exhibit at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2016 and received the AIA ARCHITECT Studio Prize in 2017. Ferda has published many essays and co-authored the book Meander: Variegating Architecture.
The pursuit of the allusive object describes his approach to architecture over the past few years. This approach privileges an architectural aesthetic with ambiguous characteristics as a way to address larger cultural trends that follow on the heels of the advent of digital media. Questions concerning nature and technology in the era of the Anthropocene confront us with the proliferation of peculiar hybrids, which require new forms of architectural thinking and making. This lecture will map this interest through work produced in his practice as well as through his academic teaching.