F'11 SoA Lecture Series: Facts on the Ground

Fall 2011 Lecture Series: “Facts on the Ground” and Special Events

As a public art form, architecture is of necessity a discipline of circumstance and situation. Buildings are realized through a complex calculation involving clients, codes, consultants, budgets, builders, regulatory agencies, technical, material and site constraints and the complex logistics of construction itself. As creative subjects, architects react to these demands, inventing in response to occasion of the commission, specifying and particularizing a given set of abstract variables. The practice of architecture tends to be messy and inconsistent precisely because it works with an imperfect reality.

The fall lecture series, organized by Stan Allen, Dean of the School of Architecture, presents a cross section of architects working today—a generation educated from the late 1970s to the early 1990s who are today coming into their own with significant public and institutional building commissions. The series was assembled under three working hypotheses:

1. That in today’s information-driven, networked public realm, the compact, bounded form of the building retains a powerful social agency.

2. That there is a productive tension evident in the best of contemporary production between personal experimentation, or formal innovation, and the collective legibility necessary for an engaged public debate.

3. That the best contemporary public buildings anticipate—and actively engage—all of the multiple publics at play in contemporary society.


Videos can be found on the SoA-VRC website:

26 September
"from de context"
Carme Pinos,
Architect and Principal, Estudio Carme Pinos, Barcelona

5 October
"The House is Flooded"
Michael Maltzan, FAIA, Principal, Michael Maltzan Architecture Inc, Los Angeles

7 November
"Three Short Stories"
Elizabeth Diller, Architect, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York; Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture

9 November
"Recent Works"
Sylvia Lavin,
Director of the Critical Studies M.A. and Ph.D. program in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA

14 November
"Landscapes, Bands, Modules and Systems in the Architecture of Mazzanti's Team (El Equipo de Mazzanti)"
Giancarlo Mazzanti,
Architect, El Equipo de Mazzanti, Bogatá - Colombia

16 November
"The Hidden Core of Architecture"
Preston Scott Cohen
, Chair and Professor, Department of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Principal, Preston Scott Cohen Inc., Cambridge

28 November
"What’s next?"
Winy Maas,
Architect, MVRDV, Rotterdam

30 November
"Arquitectura con la mano izquierda/ Architecture with the Left Hand"
Francisco Mangado,
Principal, Mangado & Asociados S.L, Pamploma

5 December
"Primitive Future"
Sou Fujimoto, Architect and Principal, Sou Fujimoto Architect, Tokyo