Architecture, you might think, cannot be made sense of without visual aids. After all, imagine an architectural history lecture minus the slides. What are you even left with? Plenty. Strip away their aesthetic gloss, and buildings become repositories of personal and historical narratives, sites of political struggle, and nuclei for experimental living. The following podcasts bear this out. Compared with mainstream programs like 99% Invisible, Frances Anderton's DnA, or The Curbed Appeal, they may seem a little niche. But they are well worth your time. Failed Architecture: A Podcast on Architecture and the Real World Failure gets a bad rap. For example, Silicon Valley shibboleths about the purported instructiveness of failure only serve to foreground the indomitable entrepreneurial instinct that, no doubt, lies deep down in each and every one of us. (Except, of course, in the inveterate lazybones or unlucky underprivileged.) Taken along these lines, failure becomes exclusively personal and purely instrumental. Neither applies to this podcast, which, by taking architecture as its overarching medium, necessarily implicates broad swathes of people, classes, and entire social projects. Or, as the podcast’s subtitle contends, the real world. What appear to be discrete tales about the failure of architecture—say, a modernist housing estate in the suburbs of Amsterdam—actually accrue to a wider narrative about the architecture of failure. But lest the stated outlook appear overly glum, there are moments of optimism, as in a recent pod about current union drives within architecture firms. Suggested episodes: “Modernism Distorted: Selling Utopia From Kleiburg to Keeling House”; “Architects Unionise!” Buildings on Air The motto for this contradictorily named, leftist podcast (or more accurately, radio show) should be “the fight continues.” What fight and where? Within architecture? Who are its prosecutors, and what are their demands? And how might I (or you) join in? The struggle, it turns out, is broad, encompassing union efforts by architects, community organizing, and agitating for a green stimulus package. Host Keefer Dunn is a member of both The Architecture Lobby and the Democratic Socialists of America. And in the big-tent spirit of those organizations, Dunn does not impose an ideological line on his listeners or guests, which have included Billy Fleming, director of the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Ann Lui, director of Future Firm. Quite the opposite of the sectarian, Dunn is an exceedingly affable presence and often self-deprecating. As he admitted, self-critically, in a recent episode, “The show has become, by accident, entirely about Green New Deal stuff. Green New Deal and unionizing architecture. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Suggested episodes: “Episode 36 - March 24, 2020”; “Episode 26 - March 16, 2019” Interstitial The conceit is simple: Each week, a writer, journalist, or historian launches into a 10-minute spiel about their new book. But what appears to be a monologue is actually a series of fragments, cunningly spliced together and hemmed in by musical blips and bloops, which cut through the otherwise intense sobriety of the recordings. A few words from producer David Huber serve as an outro. In 30+ episodes, the format has never once varied—nor has the timbre of Huber’s Standard American English, which spurns the vocal fry characteristic of his podcasting cohort—and that commitment to formality is, indeed, part of the appeal. In addition to the professionalism Huber brings to the series is an unimpeachable sense of taste. The selection of authors never privileges disciplinary standing (you’ll find mercifully few feted academics among the roster of guests), but rather seems predicated on the substance of their research and writing. Which, in a better world, is how things would be. Suggested episodes: “Architecture in Global Socialism by Łukasz Stanek”; “After Geoengineering by Holly Jean Buck” Scratching the Surface Designer/writer Jarrett Fuller’s charm and evident dedication to this project—which emerged out of an MFA thesis—are infectious. One gets the feeling that Fuller is a good drinking buddy. He’s gracious to every one of his guests, never rushing them and always signaling recognition, approval, or surprise with an audible chuckle, yeah!, or hm-hmm. While his manner is relentlessly relaxed, he isn’t a sounding board, and he always seems to steer conversations toward a particularly interesting anecdote or punctum. Fuller also evinces an appreciable concern for criticism—all forms, but especially that of the designed environment—a mood that is reflected in his choice of guests: Alexandra Lange, Kate Wagner, Olly Wainwright, Mimi Zeiger, and Edwin Heathcote have all made appearances. Suggested episodes: “Alexandra Lange”; “Kate Wagner”; “Henry N. Cobb” Scaffold Prosody and cadence being loosely reliable indicators about one’s inner life, it seems as though host Matthew Blunderfield was using this self-described “interview project” to work through a few things. As an interviewer, his questions can be tinged with feelings of doubt, expectation, and appreciation, and he sometimes draws the very same qualities out in his guests. Like a few other podcasts on this list, Scaffold luxuriates in biographical detail, which can be both pro and con, depending on the interlocutor. So from Barbara Penner, a historian of bathrooms, among other architectural subjects, we learn about her personal past with psychoanalytic study, and from writer Geoff Manaugh, the thrill of blogging about architecture in a pre-Dezeen (prelapsarian?) world. Suggested episodes: “Barbara Penner”; “Geoff Manaugh”; “Shumi Bose” The Arc One for the theory heads out there, this “casual, unscripted, and intimate” podcast never feels as impromptu as its self-description makes out. That has mostly to do with host Marikka Trotter, an architectural historian and theorist teaching at SCI-Arc, who is ruminative yet still conversational, exhibiting an enviable power of ratiocination from moment to moment. The dialogues often skew toward obliqueness—“slippery interfaces” are invoked—and some of the rhetorical prompts inadvertently skirt the edge of bong-rip speculation. (“What happens when you zoom into a line so much that it starts to act like a volume? Or what happens when you zoom out so far away from a volume that it starts to seem like a point?”) Even so, Trotter manages to ground all the airy conjecture in concrete projects and proposals. Suggested episodes: “Lines”; “Roughness” About Buildings + Cities In this educational podcast, hosts Luke Jones and George Gingell bring a theater-kidlike enthusiasm to that most arid of subjects—architectural historiography. To be sure, the show, among the slickest on this list, assumes a certain familiarity on the part of its listeners with various –isms of style or the twists and turns taken by postwar discourse (and also…the village churches of England). This somewhat high bar notwithstanding, Jones and Gingell are ideal guides to such abstruse texts as Aldo Rossi’s The Architecture of the City and to such bombastic characters as Reyner Banham. Their commitment to study is admirable, even if the giddiness it inspires is entirely their own. Suggested episodes: “Reyner Banham”; “The Reactionaries"
Posts tagged with "Architectural Education":
The bad news: In many cities, classrooms are officially shuttered for the rest of the school year due to the novel coronavirus crisis—and the status of summer camps isn’t looking too hot either. The better news: While certainly no substitute for in-person experiences, many cultural institutions, museums, and even individual architecture firms are now offering architecture- and design-focused online educational opportunities—from Zoom-based workshops to downloadable coloring e-books to amusing, family-friendly video series—that cater to stuck-at-home kids and the parents and caretakers. And because creativity (and coloring as a de-stressing tool) knows no age limit, many of these opportunities hold strong appeal to listless big kids, too. Check out just a few of these online activities and workshops below. Many are free and some require advance registration.
CAC@Home and CAC for the FamilyThe Chicago Architecture Center has retooled its upcoming calendar of family-and youth-oriented programming to accommodate for virtual learning while in-person events are on pause. Debuting in conjunction with each weekly edition of the CAC@Home newsletter, offerings include a remote iteration of the Girls Build! program, three new video series (Architecture Essentials, Neighborhood Strollers, and Storytime with CAC), and more. “Schools may be out of session and museums are closed, but the CAC is working to keep children, parents and teachers learning about architecture and design, including the buildings around them, while practicing spatial distancing at home in their own neighborhoods,” said Nicole Kowrach, the Center's vice president for education and audience engagement, in a statement.
Center for ArchitectureIn partnership with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the Center for Architecture has launched #ArchitectureAtHome, a series of fun, family-oriented activities to engage, inspire, and pass the time. They include drawing activities, Google Map-based scavenger hunts, and tutorials on how to make pop-up buildings out of paper bags.
Foster + Partners #ArchitecturefromhomeSympathetic to frazzled parents in need of new distractions for restless broods, London-based mega-firm Fosters + Partners recently launched a robust at-home educational initiative dubbed #Architecturefromhome that includes “drawing, making, playing, thinking, reading, watching, and other activities to keep them [out of school kids] entertained—for at least a few hours!” Templates for activities, including “Paper skyscraper,” “Create your own city,” and “Drawing trees,” are available to download through the #Architecturefromhome micro-site. The firm encourages participants young and old to share their completed creations on social media.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom and Virtual Summer CampThrough May 20, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s education department is hosting a virtual classroom for K-12 students with new lessons and corresponding videos being introduced each week. Says the Foundation of the free educational initiative, which is based on a curriculum developed in collaboration with the Paradise Valley School District: “The Virtual Classroom combines fun, real-world lessons with Wright’s famed principles of organic architecture and solutions-based design, each STEAM-focused lesson will offer students its own variation of hands-on activities that encourage them to think critically and creatively.” Although the six-week series is now in week three of lessons, it’s never too late to join in. Upcoming lessons include “Circles” and “The Impact of Color.” Normally held at the Taliesin West campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Foundation’s popular Summer Art and Architecture Summer Camp is also going virtual, and for the first time, is also free. Virtual campers enrolled in the program will meet via Zoom for an hour every weekday during three two-week sessions kicking off on June 1.
Gensler Amazing Cities coloring booksThe Texas-based offices of global architecture firm Gensler have banded together to release two coloring books, Amazing Cities and Amazing Cities Kids, geared toward housebound families looking for a fun, architecture-centric distraction. The free downloadable coloring books together span over 200 pages and feature a slew of Gensler-designed buildings across the Lone Star State including in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. “In the wake of recent COVID-19 events, we’ve been channeling our creative energy into finding a way to educate and inspire people of all ages during these challenging times,” Gerardo Gandy, an associate at Gensler who conceived the series, told D magazine. “We hope this series allows the public, especially young minds, to use their creativity and imagination, and that it extends the spirit of our firm and the passion that we share for our practice to our friends, clients, and community.”
The Guggenheim Museum: Sketch With JeffEvery Wednesday and Saturday at 3 p.m. during the month of May, Jeff Hopkins, teaching artist at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, will tell stories about the history of the Guggenheim's iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Manhattan home through a series of sketches. Each sketch is followed by a prompt meant to inspire young viewers to create their own sketches at home. Participants are encouraged to share their finished work on Instagram or on Twitter with the hashtag #SketchWithJeff.
The Glass House presents Josef Albers Color WorkshopOn May 22, the Glass House, in participation with the New Canaan Library, is hosting an hour-long, hands-on color workshop led by Fritz Horstman, director of education at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. “Working from Josef Albers’s book Interaction of Color, we will experiment with colors that you may already have around your home. We will try our hands at exercises that Albers invented in his time teaching at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale, such as One-Color-Becomes-Two, Reversed Grounds, and Afterimage,” explains the event page. No prior artistic experience is required to participate although those registered must have a list of necessary materials on hand before the workshop begins. Self-directed, video-driven color workshops specifically for kids are also available through the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
Museum of Design Atlanta: Young Designers OnlineMODA’s calendar of upcoming online workshops for pint-sized design aficionados is impressive: A three-part series in skatepark design, an intro to using Minecraft as a CAD tool, and ongoing educational sessions for aspiring architects and designers ages eight through 15.
The National Building MuseumAlthough the National Building Museum has canceled all public programming through the end of September (and doesn't list any upcoming virtual events on its calendar), the museum’s website has a rich resource of at-home learning opportunities (Newspaper forts! Bell pepper architectural drawings! Building surveys!) for cooped-up families including the nifty, recently launched Neighborhood Exploration series.
New Museum Kids MenuWhile the New Museum’s First Saturdays For Families programming has been canceled, the New Museum Kids Menu series is continuing to “provide families with activities to learn about contemporary art and ideas at home.” Past family-friendly activities include “At Home With Portraiture: Jordan Casteel” and “The Faces of Places: Jordan Casteel.” Keep abreast of upcoming activities here.
Two weeks ago, The Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture launched its new online Student Work Collection database, an archive of student projects from the 1930s through today. Spanning over eight decades, the database aims to illustrate how The Cooper Union’s experimental approach to architectural education has evolved over time and influenced architectural pedagogy at large. The collection is free and open to the public. The database's release was organized into two phases. To celebrate the project's initial launch on November 13, the school hosted a two-part discussion between former and current faculty members. The first phase provides access to approximately 20,000 analog records dating from 1930-2000, including almost 1,600 design studio projects completed at the school. The collection “highlights the singular inclusion of humanities in architectural pedagogy that distinguishes The Cooper Union from other schools of architecture,” the school wrote on their website. Accordingly, the first discussion was centered around the school’s pedagogy up until 2000 and John Hejduk’s legacy as teacher and dean. Participants included Diana Agrest, Peter Eisenman, Michael Sorkin, Sue Ferguson Gussow, and Michael Webb. The second discussion was centered on “the impact the pedagogy has had on the teaching and discipline of architecture” and was comprised of former graduates including Peggy Deamer, Laurie Hawkinson, Stan Allen, David Gersten, Bradley Horn, Kyna Leski, and Toshiko Mori. Phase II began earlier this month and is expected to continue through 2022. “Once complete, the Collection will become the first comprehensive, public, digital resource for historical and contemporary architectural pedagogy and student work,” said the school. The second phase will broaden the collection’s material by including 32,000 images, text, and audiovisual records from 2001 through today. You can browse the database according to courses, projects, locations, and people organized in alphabetical order. Users can also filter the collection of photos, drawings, and models by role, semester, or problem being addressed. A selection of this material was on view at the school’s 2018 exhibition, Archive and Artifact: The Virtual and the Physical, which presented 50 years of the school’s undergraduate thesis projects. “We are excited to share this rich body of work digitally and are certain it will help provide an integral reference point for any student, educator, or researcher of architecture about the radical changes in architectural education and practice of our last century,” said Steven Hillyer, director of the Architecture Archive.
In an era where work-life balance and workplace culture have become major issues in the design industry, Patrik Schumacher says we have nothing to worry about. During a panel at Dezeen Day in London last week, the principal of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) clashed with Pratt Institute School of Architecture dean Harriet Harriss, claiming that measures to limit the exploitation of employees could lead to the “paralyzing” of firms like ZHA. "This is a competitive place where people are eager, have passionate and want to succeed and want to do something," said Schumacher. "But you can't do that if you're told that if work beyond eight hours you can observe exploitation, and something is wrong with you." Schumacher’s comments came in response to Harriss’s claim that overtime culture actually curtails productivity. "It's very important to just bust the myth here that longer hours equals productivity," Harriss remarked, adding that “What we are doing, arguably, is making permissible forms of labor exploitation, and creating work-life balance that often triggers mental health [issues]. And we know this is a pretty serious issue in education at the moment.” “I don’t like your philosophy,” responded Schumacher, claiming that it is a slippery slope for a “socialist world of stagnation” that he has observed in European labor culture. The panel discussion, Fixing Education, also included Neil Pinder, architecture and design teacher at Graveney School in London, and Stacie Woolsey, a young designer who came to prominence after creating her own master’s degree program in response to the lack of affordability in institutional programs. The four professionals were brought together to discuss how to better prepare architecture and design students for the demands of the profession. The comments were not Schumacher’s first foray into criticizing the trajectory of design education. Over the summer, he published a Facebook manifesto entitled “13 theses on the crisis of architectural academia,” citing issues such as teachers without sufficient professional experience, generally uninspiring portfolios from graduates, and a sense of detachment between education and the profession. The ZHA principal has also come under fire for his stance on unpaid internships, as he claimed in 2016 that such work is "the result of a well-functioning market." In an agree-to-disagree resolution, Harriss dismissed Schumacher’s views as outdated, adding that the long-hour discussion is only a small piece of a larger the larger problem of accessibility within the industry.
CONSTRUCT is an AEC educational program and exhibition that has the goal of bringing together the different disciplines within the construction industry to help improve the future of the built environment. Breaking down the barriers between the different players within the construction process allows for a more collaborative work environment. CONSTRUCT is the place to share the latest in standards and best practices, industry trends, and emerging technologies. Join Construction Architects, Designers, Specifiers, Engineers, Project Managers, Contractors, Construction Managers, Estimators, Owners, Product Representatives, and Manufacturers for cutting-edge, solutions-driven learning opportunities.
The 2019 edition of Cersaie - the world’s premier exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings - is returning to Bologna, Italy from September 23-27. With a robust program that includes lectures by Pritzker-winning architects, CEU-accredited seminars for architects and designers, and training courses for tile industry professionals, Cersaie will serve as an important venue for education, conversation and community. More than 800 exhibitors from 40 countries will showcase the latest trends, designs, and innovations in the ceramic tile industry. Cersaie is organized by Edi.Cer SpA and promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with BolognaFiere.
Architecture has faced many challenges in modern Ukraine: shifting narratives around cultural heritage and the legacy of Soviet architecture, predatory developers who willfully ignore planning regulations, a struggling economy, and widespread corruption to name a few. Ukraine’s state institutions of higher education often grapple with badly needed reforms, bloated by outdated bureaucracy and limited resources. But today, only five years after a peaceful revolution came to a tragic end and with war waging at its eastern border, Ukraine’s first independent school of architecture has just completed the inaugural year of its bachelor program in architecture. The newly established Kharkiv School of Architecture (KhSA) and its dedicated community of educators and students are hopeful signs of the bottom-up reforms possible in post-revolution Ukraine. In spite of the frustrating global tug-of-war over its lands, and the sobering societal struggles, a new generation of leaders are being trained to construct Ukraine’s future. Reformation Calls for reform in post-Soviet Ukraine have been steadily building for many years but became a global focus in 2014 during the “Maidan” movement (now termed the Revolution of Dignity). Although it began in Kyiv as backlash to the former President Yanukovych's decision to reverse an EU agreement, the movement rapidly grew to multi-city protests. The protestors’ grievances grew to include Ukraine’s systematic and widespread corruption, which affects many aspects of daily life, including in higher education. As Lviv-based historian Yaroslav Hrytsak told the Kyiv Post at the time, the revolution was characterized particularly by, “young people who are very educated, people who are active in social media, who are mobile and 90 percent of whom have university degrees, but who don't have futures.” Today, the legacy of the Revolution of Dignity is a young generation that continues to work towards political, social, economic, and educational reforms. For the leaders of the KhSA, the question is how the architects they are training can be not only become responsible practitioners but the reformers Ukraine needs. One of the many positive societal shifts in post-revolution Ukraine is a growing engagement in the built environment. Young activists are leading a charge to save Ukraine’s remaining Soviet modernist architecture from destructive forces, including decommunization laws and aggressive development. Additionally, many architects are returning to Ukraine after training or working abroad and leveraging their experiences to bring visitors and new ideas into the Ukranian architectural community through workshops, forums, and other public programming. A New Model Kharkiv is an industrial city in the northeast corner of Ukraine. The country’s second largest city, Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic before the capital was moved to Kyiv in 1934. In architecture circles, Kharkiv is perhaps best known as the site of Derzhprom, a Metropolis-like complex of constructivist towers interlinked by iconic skyways that made it the largest single structure in the world when completed in 1928. The KhSA fronts a small square near the confluence of the Lopan and Kharkiv Rivers. Behind its sparkling white Beaux-Arts facade, the activity of the school is intense and frenetic. The lower level galleries are filled with studio spaces and exhibitions. Upstairs, the “big hall” hosts lectures and symposiums on an almost nightly basis. The basement workshop is filled with mock-ups, models, and countless meters of wood. The school rents various lab spaces to a coding academy, a VR company, and other start-ups. The greatest hub of activity is the small office on the lower floor. Inside, the young tutors and directors that run the school day-to-day meet constantly, often planning events and the school’s schedule on a weekly or daily basis. The conversation is intense, vigorous, and constant. No one in the room is over 40. The KhSA serves a unique population—of its first class of eleven students, ten are women. The students range in age from 18-to-44, many with families and children. Everyone in the first year class is Ukrainian, but the school is in the planning stages of an international master’s program, which they hope to introduce in the coming years to attract students from around the world to study in Ukraine. The KhSA is a new type of architectural education in Ukraine. The school’s statement of purpose is to “prepare a future generation of professional responsible architects and urbanists who will implement spatial changes in Ukraine and will create a quality environment with an emphasis on modern technology solutions, community challenges, and new ideas.” A workshop earlier this summer at the school focused on rehousing some of the nearly 1.5 million internally displaced Ukrainians who have fled the Eastern conflict zone near the Russian border. The school’s founder, Oleg Drozdov, sees training architects to tackle the real-world problems of the Ukrainian context as his young institution’s mandate. Drozdov leverages relationships from his successful practice to identify organizations, municipalities, and projects that could benefit from a relationship with the school. Open/Work To celebrate the first year of their newly established bachelor's program, program director Kuba Snopek and his colleagues decided to hold a public exhibition and architectural education symposium. Our practice, Outpost Office, was invited to lead a seminar that would work with students to curate, design, and fabricate the exhibition, Open/Work. We quickly discovered that KhSA’s first class was a prolific one. We began by asking the students to collect every single piece of work they had produced and arrange them on the floor of the big hall. Over the next few hours, our students assembled an immense landscape of work, including compositional studies, material experiments, construction details, and modest houses that concluded their studio studies. After a conversation about the work, we asked the students to sweep through the school again, gathering tools, books, posters and any other ephemera that was significant to them. We explained that we were seeking answers to a deceptively simple question: What makes an architecture school? In many ways, our approach to this seminar and exhibition draws inspiration from previous research work on organizational and material systems of open-air markets and bazaars. Starting in 2014 as a Fulbright Fellow in Ukraine, Ashley became fascinated with architectural logic of organization, tectonics, and display methods found in Ukrainian markets. In 2016 she led “Bizarre Bazaar,” a travel seminar with students from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College to study these environments and make legible their design modalities of organization, governance, and logistics. Like all start-ups, the KhSA works with limited resources. In this spirit, the exhibition utilizes inexpensive materials typical of bazaars and markets in Ukraine—white metal grating, glossy white tiles, and generic LED lights—along with the bazaars’ highly curated organizational approach to display. The white metal grating used as the exhibition’s primary material is also erected by bazaar vendors to densely suspend their goods. Students worked collaboratively to explore organizational methods and detailing more often associated with museum storage than acts of display. Objects in the floating archive are arrayed to produce micro-narratives that celebrated significant accomplishments of their first year. The exhibition not only included student work, but items borrowed from around the school including lecture posters, books, pencils, ✖️ 's (for Ха́рків), pillows, hard hats, woodworking tools, and at least one concrete whale. Ultimately, the exhibition is a moment to reflect on a remarkable milestone before another important "first" arrives... second year. This project would not have been possible without the supporting institutions that funded our research in Ukraine the last five years, including the Knowlton School of Architecture at the Ohio State University, University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Fulbright Program, the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, and the KhSA.
Most architecture students study design precedents or build upon knowledge gained in history courses, but one mid-century educator repeatedly told young minds instead:
Do not try to remember.Bruce Goff, a self-trained architect and long-time mentee of Frank Lloyd Wright, instilled this idea in his students at the University of Oklahoma (OU) during his tenure as chairman there from 1947 to 1955. Instead of copying the popular Beaux Arts and Bauhaus styles of the recent past, Goff wanted architects in training to express their own creativity and views of the world through designs that avoided architectural stereotypes and instead presented a radical future. This era of educational exploration and disruption became known as the American School of architecture. Historian and OU Visiting Associate Professor Dr. Luca Guido is the curator behind the exhibition, Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture at Bizzell. Now on view in OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library, it details the widespread influence of Goff’s personal teaching style and the program he built, which attracted students to the American Midwest from as far as Japan and South America. The exhibit features large-scale drawings by alumni, as well as uncovered models and writings from Goff’s students and colleagues like Herb Greene, Elizabeth Bauer Mock, Bart Prince, Mendel Glickman, and Jim Gardner, and Bob Bowlby, among others. Built from the school’s expansive American School archives, the show unveils former students' work that’s been so pristinely preserved and restored, it all looks like it was completed yesterday. Goff, who seemed to have encouraged serious attention to presentation, penmanship, and shading, left behind what Guido considers a “gold mine” of materials. Every framed assignment on view is a piece of art in and of itself—a testament to the architectural educator’s guidance. “Bruce Goff introduced a new architectural pedagogy,” Guido said, “and the School of Architecture at OU endeavored to develop the creative skills of the students as individuals rather than followers of any particular trend. The drawings represent the evidence of an extraordinary and, at the same time, little known page of the history of American contemporary architecture.” That history is one that OU is now trying more heavily to build upon. As one of just two architecture schools in Oklahoma, OU lures students from across the state, nearby Texas, and around the globe to the small town of Norman. It was considered a world-class institution during Goff’s years and still seeks to live up to that legacy today. Since becoming head of the school three years ago, Dean Hans E. Butzer has worked to re-elevate its status. “Our discussions over the past few years prove a symmetry between those defining aspects of the American School and the overarching strategic priorities of the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture,” he said. “The work of the American School of the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s may be described as contextual, resourceful, and experimental. Today, we have set the goal of graduating entrepreneurial students who design resilient cities, towns, and landscapes through the lens of social equity and environmental sustainability.” This idea is evident in the success of last year’s graduating class. As of fall 2018, one hundred percent of architecture students secured a full-time position within six months of graduation, according to Butzer. Only two, the faculty jokes, didn’t get hired. They instead went on to begin master’s degrees at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. When asked why OU graduates are so attractive to firms across the country, Butzer noted the work ethic and creative problem-solving skills they learned as students. Teaching students to speak up, stand out, and work hard can be traced back to Goff’s presence at the school and his own career as an eccentric architect who always put the client first and aimed to “go the extra mile,” according to Guido. His modus operandi was to first connect deeply with the client, ensuring the end result was strictly their vision. His objective was to never design a building he personally wanted to live in. Some of Goff’s most famous structures, the Ledbetter House in Norman, the ill-fated Bavinger House that was demolished in 2016, as well as the Bachman House in Chicago, took on forms reminiscent of Wright’s residential work—low-lying residential homes with surprisingly large interiors, cantilevered carports, and large windows—but they all displayed a curious amount of flamboyancy that was signature to Goff himself. The architecture of his early years, such as the historic Tulsa Club and the Art Deco-designed Boston Avenue Methodist Church, are celebrated landmarks in Tulsa and reveal Goff’s visual personality. Goff was also a champion of sustainable and site-specific construction; he often utilized local materials for his projects. Fittingly, Goff rejected the idea of having a personal style of architecture. Some of Goff’s mid-century work and the sketches of his students from this time seem to be inspired by Atomic Age tropes. Viewing them now, they’re so futuristic they probably seemed structurally unbuildable at the time, but the geometries that came out of the American School were forward-thinking and technically-advanced. During Goff’s leadership, architectural courses fell within OU’s College of Engineering where students were taught how to complete construction drawings and to specify materials. But in Goff’s classes, it was all about creativity. “Bruce Goff didn’t believe in critiques,” said Guido. “He wanted them completely free to propose what they wanted. The assignments were structured around abstract themes that allowed the students to express themselves in the best possible way because for Goff, there would be no little Corbusier's, no little Mies's, and even no little Goff's. He didn’t want his students to become followers of someone. He wanted them to abandon all memory of what came before them.” Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture at Bizzell is on view through July 29 and will turn into a comprehensive traveling exhibition this year with a stop at Texas A&M University in the fall. The OU Libraries also has plans to secure the preservation of the archives by making them part of the school's Western History Collection and digitizing select images for online research.
Tour extraordinary historic homes and gorgeous gardens as Pasadena Heritage presents architectural and landscape design spanning more than 8 decades. Tour guests will experience noteworthy architecture and landscape design that influence each other and combine to create perfect harmony. From “curb appeal” to private interiors, visitors will enjoy places that clearly demonstrate the beauty of indoor-outdoor living blended seamlessly together. Prior to the tour, on Thursday, March 28that 7:00 pm, Michael Logan, Busch Gardens researcher and historian, will speak about Pasadena’s historic Busch Gardens. Industrialist and co-founder of the Anheiser-Busch Corporation, Adolphus Busch, and his wife Lily, bought a winter home on Orange Grove Boulevard in 1904, and immediately began working with a prominent landscape architect to beautify their property. They installed rare and exotic plants and trees, created fanciful water features, and turned the floor of the Arroyo into a botanical wonderland. In 1905 they opened their garden to the public, and Busch Gardens became a major tourist attraction until its closing in 1938. In his presentation, Mr. Logan matches historic images to their same exact locations a century later. The lecture will take place at Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Ave., and free parking is available.
Nashville, Tennessee's Belmont University just announced it’s creating a five-year Bachelor of Architecture program. It will be the first of its kind in Middle Tennessee and only the second in the state. Why is this big news? Currently, Nashville is home to about 600 architects, which isn’t a lot compared to similarly-sized cities like Austin, Texas (1,010) and Charlotte, North Carolina (1,190), according to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization estimates that the Cumberland Region surrounding Nashville, which covers 10 counties, will add another million people by 2035. Previously, there were no undergraduate architecture programs located within 150 miles of the city. The only other in the state is at the University of Tennesee—Knoxville, which also offers a master's degree—The University of Memphis only has a graduate program in architecture. In fifteen years, future Belmont architecture graduates could be getting their licenses. The Christian liberal arts school said it will begin offering courses in the fall of 2020 through its newly acquired O’More College of Design. Belmont’s Provost Dr. Thomas Burns told AN in an email that over the years, many local community members, from students, architects, and business leaders, have lamented the lack of such a program in Nashville. “Nashville has always been an extremely creative community where the importance of the development of a designer’s or artist’s craft found seamless purchase with the heart of the community,” Burns said, “so the marriage of an architecture program with Belmont’s focus on creating citizens ready to contribute to our city was a natural choice.” Though Belmont boasts a small population of just over 8,300 students, its global reach is large. More than 36 countries are represented in its current study body as well as people from every state in the U.S. It offers over 90 areas of undergraduate study (music and music business are two of its biggest attractions—Brad Paisley is an alumnus), as well as 25 master's programs, and five doctoral degrees. With the addition of an architecture program, future students could steer Nashville through a massive building boom. The Music City is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the South—over $13 billion have been poured into the region in recent years. Provost Burns noted the announcement, though just a few days old, has already sparked excitement in the community. “Nashville has been ready for an architecture program for years, but there wasn’t an educational institution where they could focus their energy,” he said. “We’ve had a great deal of interest from local architects wanting to develop and support the program and our students.” Over the next year, the school will work with the local leaders to develop the architecture program’s initial curriculum, which, according to Provost Burns, is aimed at producing graduates “who see themselves contributing and supporting their community through good work and good citizenship.”
Archive and Artifact: The Virtual and the Physical, an exhibition opening at the Cooper Union in New York City later this month, will showcase work from undergraduate architecture theses from the school's past 50 years. Visitors to the show will have the chance to check out the professional beginnings of bold-face names like Elizabeth Diller, Stanley Allen, and Daniel Libeskind. “The thesis year is a pivotal point in Cooper Union’s five-year architectural program, as it showcases the imagination and maturity of our students,” said Nader Tehrani, dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in a statement. “Thesis is a culmination of an emerging architect’s learning and the launchpad between life as a student and their future as a professional. It allows students to become self-driven and often serves as a touchstone for long-term research throughout their career.” The show is going up in anticipation of the school's launching of a digital archive of past student work in October 2019. The Cooper Union has been one of the New York City's top architecture schools for decades and was particularly important in the 1980s and '90s as a center of activity for architects like Peter Eisenman and John Hejduk. A symposium, Thesis Now: Pedagogies, Research, and Agency of the Architectural Thesis, will accompany the exhibition on December 1, and the show is being presented in tandem with this year's Archtober festival. Archive and Artifact Wednesday, October 24–Saturday, December 1, 2018 Tuesday–Friday 2 p.m.–7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m.–7 p.m. The Cooper Union, Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 2nd Floor 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues New York, New York 10003
While architectural academic institutions in the Midwest boast incredible professors from various parts of the design industry, students don’t often have the chance to peek behind-the-scenes of an international practice since many larger firms keep their offices in New York or Los Angeles. Luckily for students, many major architects give back to the field by teaching on the side. For as long as architecture has been an educational pursuit, students have benefited from these unique opportunities to learn from an architect in action. University lectures aren’t just for students, though. Whether they are two years or twenty years out of school, every architect can enjoy these events. That’s why ahead of the upcoming school year, we’ve rounded up a list of impressive talks—all free and open to the public—happening this fall at various universities from St. Louis to Chicago. Kansas State University College of Architecture, Planning and Design Lawrence Scarpa, cofounder of Brooks + Scarpa Architects Monday, October 1 Michelle Delk, ASLA, partner and discipline director at Snøhetta Monday, November 5 University of Michigan Taubman College Florian Idenburg, cofounder of SO–IL “Open Structure - Open Form” Tuesday, September 25 Ann Forsyth, professor of urban planning at Harvard GSD “Planning for Longevity: A Gender Perspective” Monday, October 8 Washington University Sam Fox School Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, founders of TWBTA Cannon Design Lecture for Excellence in Architecture and Engineering Wednesday, October 24 Barry Bergdoll, MoMA curator of architecture and design “Activating the Museum: Reflections on Architecture in the Gallery” Friday, October 26 Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture Takaharu Tezuka, cofounder of Tezuka Architects Friday, October 19 Kenneth Frampton Le Corbusier Symposium Keynote Address Thursday, November 8 Iowa State University College of Design Kevin Schorn, associate at Renzo Piano Building Workshop 2018 Herbert Lecture in Architecture Friday, September 7 University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture Dan Pitera, executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center Friday, October 5 Amie Shao, principal of MASS Design Group Friday, October 26 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning Katherine Faulkner, founding principal of NADAAA “Organized Layers” Friday, September 14 Alexandra Lange, architecture critic at Curbed, author “A Modern Education: Learning from Froebel, Frank Lloyd Wright, Anne Tyng and Isamu Noguchi” Thursday, October 11 Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang “Expanded Practice” Friday, October 19