Posts tagged with "Peter Zellner":

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Free School of Architecture moving locations

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]

Los Angeles–based architect and educator Peter Zellner recently announced that his controversial Free School of Architecture (FSA) would be moving locations. The school’s inaugural class has grown from an original number of 12 to 38 when FSA's board of directors are added to the mix, the number jumps to 70. As a result, FSA is moving out of the Architecture + Design Museum in L.A.’s Arts District and into The Container Yard, a collaborative arts space located almost directly across the street. We have to wonder if Zellner is learning from the original rogue schoolmaster, Peter Eisenman, as we are hearing that Zellner is dating Peter’s daughter. Eisenman started the famous Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in 1967, and would be a perfect instigator for the fledgling FSA.

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Free School of Architecture changes locations

Los Angeles-based architect and educator Peter Zellner has announced that the Free School of Architecture (FSA) would be moving locations. According to a press release from FSA, the school’s inaugural cohort has grown from an original estimate of 20 to more than 70 and as a result, FSA will now hold courses in The Container Yard (TCY), a 60,000-square foot collaborative arts space in Los Angeles’s Arts District neighborhood. FSA was originally scheduled to operate out of the Architecture + Design Museum. In announcing the move, Ash Chan, owner of TCY said, “[TCY] has always represented freedom of creativity and the pursuit of curiosity and knowledge—The opportunity to contribute to the evolution of accessible academia is such an honor.” Zellner added, “We hope [FSA] can contribute to TCY's spirit of public engagement and collaboration. TCY’s substantial indoor and outdoor spaces will allow us to experiment with class, lecture, and workshop setups, creating a model of education that is literally and conceptually open." The move comes as FSA gears up for its inaugural session on June 1st. The school will host an opening symposium titled “FREE” that day, focusing on the “state and future of architectural education.” According to the release, the symposium will explore new forms of education and pedagogy, discuss disciplinary and vocational issues, and address the socio-economics of education, post-digital, and post-studio education. For more information, see the FSA website.
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Los Angeles's A+D Museum to host Free School of Architecture

The Architecture and Design Museum (A+D) in Los Angeles has announced it will host the Free School of Architecture (FSA) during its inaugural session this summer. The tuition-free architecture school launches June 1 and runs through July 15th, 2017, catering to a cohort of 36 students accepted to the school from across the world. The six-week session will feature free courses on a variety of architectural topics taught by ten unpaid lecturers. The school also aims to launch with an inaugural symposium at the museum on the first day of classes. The convocation—dubbed “FREE”—will focus on the current and future states of architectural education and aims to delve into “new forms of education and pedagogy, disciplinary [and] vocational conversations, the socio-economics of education and post-digital and post-studio education.” FSA also plans to publish an online and print journal titled FSAONE. In a statement, founder Peter Zellner said: "We are very grateful for the museum's spirit of collaboration. In particular, I am especially honored by A+D Executive Director Dora Epstein-Jones's vision, generous support and advocacy for the Free School of Architecture." The partnership is not new for A+D, an institution with deep ties to architectural public education. Epstein-Jones—a founding member of the FSA Advisory Board—explained in a statement that the partnership would bolster A+D’s role in the architectural community: “We are pleased to offer classes and spaces in our galleries to this endeavor, and to be a true center for architectural discourse in our city. Education is our ethical mission at the A+D Museum." FSA was started by Zellner following a thought-provoking debate between Zellner and Southern California Institute of Architecture faculty Todd Gannon via The Architect’s Newspaper. See here for Zellner’s original editorial, Architectural education is broken—here’s how to fix it, and here for Gannon’s response: Of prophets and professionals: a response to Peter Zellner. For more information, visit the FSA website.
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Peter Zellner to launch Free School of Architecture

In a recent article, Los Angeles—based architect and educator Peter Zellner called for a reassessment of the contemporary state of architectural education. His article, part cri de coeur, part manifesto, launched a great deal of debate, including a response by Todd Gannon, cultural studies coordinator at SCI-Arc. As a result, Zellner is now in the process of launching a new educational endeavor to hopefully carry out some of the changes he'd like to see made. His new project, the Free School of Architecture (FSA), will launch in the summer of 2017 as a “tuition and salary free” school seeking to “explore the edges of architectural education.” The Architect’s Newspaper talked to Zellner about FSA as he prepares for its inaugural semester. The Architect’s Newspaper: Can you describe what FSA is (or will be) and why you decided to start a school? Peter Zellner: The Free School of Architecture (FSA) was started partially as a direct follow up to the concerns I outlined in my article.

While the idea for FSA is still gestating, I can describe what it won’t be.  The Free School of Architecture will not be accredited, will not offer professional degrees, will not create a need or an opportunity to teach for salary, will not provide course credit or reciprocity with traditional institutions and will not have a permanent home.

FSA is a stand alone and autonomous organization and its primary goal is to absolve both students and teachers of conforming to established models of thinking.

We will see what emerges in 2017 but my hope is that over the course of a few years new, independent and diverse voices emerge from the school. Conversations originating at the Free School of Architecture may eventually be captured and published out by a sister organization being established next year, the Free Architecture Press (FAP).

What are the central tenants of FSA?

FSA’s central tenants are:

1. To promote free and critical thinking in architecture;

2. To encourage a diverse community of students and teachers to explore the edges of the profession and the discipline;

3. To create a free and safe zone for debate and new ideas to emerge;

4. To question the need to ratify or sanctify official architectural positions and doctrines;

And most importantly:

5. To create an academic milieu in which young, diverse and independent architectural voices can emerge organically.

What role does the fact that FSA is “tuition and salary free” play in the political objectives of the school?

I think the point of creating a “not tuition-driven, not-over-salaried-educator friendly architecture school” is pretty simple: Students and teachers will be no longer forced into their usual roles and ideas can be literally exchanged for free. That doesn’t release or excuse either the students or teachers at FSA from having to argue for the value of their ideas.  In fact, it elevates the need for real debate and exchange.

Your article for AN focused on the need to revisit the current conditions of so-called radical school from the prior generation. In this vein, how does FSA relate to Baudrillard's notion of the dialectical utopia? Well, I am no expert on Baudrillard but my understanding of his concept is that essentially utopias are “indissociable” from active social processes and therefore are in a continuous and dialectical, often “unharmonious,” relationship with the present or present situations. So I guess his point is that utopias exist now, not in the future, and they rub up against existing orders.

That said, I do believe that the present is built on the past (specifically, in several avant-garde architecture school cases—the works conducted in the 1970s and 1980s in London, Los Angeles and New York), so I am not at all naive about how we have arrived here or unabashed about referring the past to create a new present-future. By this I mean to radically re-open—without any nostalgia—the legacy of the Architectural Association in London under Alvin Boyarsky, SCI-Arc under Ray Kappe, as well as the academic and intellectual leadership of John Hejduk at the Cooper Union and Peter Eisenman at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies.

Old and good ideas are absolutely fair game, no one owns them and we all need to feel free to re-frame those academic moments and mine them for new approaches. Anyone who tells you otherwise or claims those ideas as their own or that they must belong to this clan or that school is being disingenuous. Architecture advances without hegemonies and FSA will not promote the usual academic hierarchies, it intends to upend them.

In your first year, how many students do you aim to have? How many courses do you aim to teach?

12 students will join 10 teachers in June and July of 2017 for 6 weeks.

12 courses will be taught of which I will teach two classes, to open and close the year.  The remaining 10 will be taught in 30, 60, and 120 minute blocks by the FSA’s 10 teachers.

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Eavesdrop> Town ‘n Gown: Fall means change in Los Angeles

Although the weather seems like summer will never end, fall has been a tizzy of school daze–related comings and goings. After raising eyebrows a couple years ago when he left his practice and teaching behind to join AECOM’s Los Angeles office, Peter Zellner recently left the corporate world to hang a shingle with former AECOM-er Paul Naecker and is back molding young minds at SCI-Arc. Going from gown to town, Roger Sherman, long-time UCLA faculty and co-director of the urban think tank CityLAB, is now Urban Projects Director at Gensler. Splitting the difference, Predock Frane Architects shuttered after 15 years, with principals Hadrian Predock and John Frane going their separate ways. The former is heading to USC to don cardinal and gold as undergraduate director of architecture and the latter will be joining the executive suite at HGA Architects and Engineers as associate vice president and principal in the L.A. office.
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AECOM Surprise: Zellner Named Head of Southern California Architecture

peter-zellner-aecom-01 Our friends at one of the largest firms in world, AECOM, have made a move we never anticipated: signing Peter Zellner, known as a maverick architect of galleries and houses, to be their new head of design in Southern California. Zellner said it best: "I think my hire suggests they want to move things in a different direction." Indeed it appears with the hire of Zellner and former SOM principal Ross Wimer that the firm is ready to further embrace design. (Photo: Courtesy Peter Zellner)
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Art and architecture merge at new Matthew Marks gallery

Matthew Marks Gallery tonight opens its new West Hollywood gallery, designed by architect Peter Zellner. The white, cube-shaped, 3,500 square foot building is highlighted by a huge sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly, which makes sense given that the gallery's opening show, Ellsworth Kelly: Los Angeles, opens tomorrow. The sculpture, a dark colored bar measuring 8x40 feet, has been installed 30 feet off the ground, jutting ten inches out from the building facade, creating a floating effect. The metal sandwich panel structure was hung via a series of steel plates, "like hanging a painting," said Zellner. Of course that's a painting that weighs 5,000 pounds. Inside the lofty, spare gallery space, with its eight skylights, will be showing off some of Kelly's finest work, including two works that inspired the facade piece: the collage Study for Black and White Panels (1954), and the painting Black Over White (1966).