Lecture: Elizabeth Diller

Recent Work: Diller Scofidio + Renfro

A lecture from Elizabeth Diller

Monday, April 1, 6pm

Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture


Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. Diller and co-founding partner, Ric Scofidio have been distinguished with Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture, which stated: “Diller + Scofidio have created an alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism. Their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.”

DS+R’s built work in the public realm includes two of the largest architecture and planning initiatives in New York City’s recent history: the adaptive reuse of an obsolete, industrial rail infrastructure into the High Line, and the transformation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ campus. The studio has also completed the 35-acre Zaryadye Park, adjacent to the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square in Moscow. The studio has also worked with global cultural institutions to expand access to the arts, including The Broad museum in Los Angeles and the V&A Research and Collection Centre in London. Diller also led two recently completed projects that have reshaped New York’s cultural landscape: the renovation and expansion of MoMA, and The Shed, a start-up multi-arts institution originally conceived by DS+R.

DS+R’s approach to rethinking cultural institutions and civic spaces grew out of self-generated and alternative projects that blur the boundaries between architecture, art and performance. Many of the studio’s independent works engage materials indigenous to the site, from Traffic, a guerilla installation of 3,000 traffic cones organized in a grid in New York’s Columbus Circle to the Blur Building, a pavilion made of fog on Lake Neuchâtel for the Swiss Expo. As co-creator, -producer, and –director, Diller’s most recent self-generated work is The Mile-Long Opera: a free, choral performance featuring 1,000 singers atop the High Line that reflected on the alienating speed of change in the contemporary city.  The studio has also researched, curated and designed interactive installations covering a wide range of subjects, including: the Costume Institute’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion and Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination, which have recorded two of the highest attendances for any exhibition in the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; The Art of Scent, a sensory exhibition on the olfactory arts at the Museum of Arts and Design; and Exit, an immersive data-driven installation investigating global human migration patterns, most recently exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Most recently, Diller led the interpretative design of an exhibition on Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes at the Jewish Museum in New York and an environmental design for Deep Blue Sea, a collaboration with choreographer Bill T. Jones that debuted at the Park Avenue Armory.

Diller is a member of the UN Council on Urban Initiatives and a Professor of Architectural Design at Princeton.