Lecture date: 2011-03-11
Participants: Patrik Schumacher, Jeff Kipnis, Lars Spuybroek, Charles Jencks, Eric Owen Moss, Wolf D Prix, Alejandro Zaera Polo, Mark Wigley, Marc Cousins, Brett Steele, Zaha Hadid
Organised by Patrik Schumacher
The debate will be guided by the issues raised in Patrik Schumacher's book The Autopoiesis of Architecture, which is being published by Wiley. Volume 1 was launched at the AA on 7 December 2010; Volume 2 will come out in autumn 2011. The purpose of the book is to give leadership to the discipline. It presents a systematic treatise on architecture, a unified theory constructed on the basis of a comprehensive discourse analysis of the discipline, rationally reconstructed as autopoietic system of communications, within the framework of Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory.
The theory of architectural autopoiesis constructs a unified theoretical system that integrates many partial theories. The following theories are presented in Volume 1: theories of architectural theory; of architecture’s historical emergence; of the discipline’s self- demarcation; of the avant-garde; of the form-function aesthetic theory; of style(s), design media theory; and of architecture’s societal function. (Volume 2 continues with theories of architecture’s task articulated into an organisational, a phenomenological, and a semiological dimension; design process theory; of architecture’s relevant societal environment; of architecture’s relationship to politics; of architectural self-description. Volume two ends with a comprehensive argument for parametricism as unified, epochal style for the 21st century.)
Guests/speakers might pick one of following topics/questions (or bring anything else into the debate):
A fundamental question of ethos/ideology/discursive culture: Should we – the participants/protagonists of architecture – commit/submit ourselves to a collective debate arguing about the direction in which architecture should progress?
Is all relevant architecture globally relevant architecture, i.e. world architecture?
In which way is architecture autonomous? Is architecture one of the great autopoietic function systems of society?
Demarcating architecture: Does architecture/design constitute a sui generis discursive field and domain of expertise distinct from art, engineering and science?
The raison d’etre of architecture: Does architecture have a specific role or function to fulfil within society?
Does architecture have a stable discursive core identity? Which are the permanent and which the variable communication structures of architecture?
Can architecture be defined via its lead distinction of form vs function?
Is the distinction between avant-garde and mainstream a useful schema to analyse what goes on in architecture?
What is the role of architectural theory? Can there be architecture without theory?
Is the category of beauty still valid within architecture? What is the role and raison d’etre of aesthetic values?
What is the significance and import of the evolving design media?
Is the category of style(s) still valid (or even necessary) within architecture?
Does it make sense to propose a comprehensive, unified theory of architecture in the form of an elaborate theoretical system?
These are topics that might be raised by any of the speakers, or these might be questions with which the speakers might be confronted by the host. The idea here is to share a set of questions without necessarily allocating or selecting questions.
Lecture date: 2009-01-19
In a lecture accompanying a presentation of his book 'The Architecture of Continuity', Lars Spuybroek concentrates on the aesthetic argument that states digital design is to be viewed as part of an age-old attempt to incorporate variation and imperfection in architecture. Historically, the picturesque is positioned between beauty (the world of pure forms) and the sublime (A world of pure forces), but bridging both in a productive way. It is the realm of forces that results in forms and it is forms that channel unspecified forces.
Lars Spuybroek is principal of the architectural office NOX in Rotterdam, from where he heads research into the relationship between architecture and new media. He is a full Professor and the Distinguished Ventulett Chair in Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
A round-table discussion with curator Greg Lynn and some of the featured architects of the exhibition Archaeology of the Digital: Media and Machines: Lars Spuybroek (NOX), Lise-Anne Couture and Hani Rashid (Asymptote).
Learn more: www.cca.qc.ca/en/education-events/2423
A round-table discussion with curator Greg Lynn and some of the featured architects of the exhibition Archaeology of the Digital: Media and Machines: Lars Spuybroek (NOX), Marc Goulthorpe (dECOi Architects), Lise-Ann Couture and Hani Rashid (Asymptote) and Karl Chu (Metaxy).
Learn more: www.cca.qc.ca/en/education-events/2423
Lars Spuybroek of Nox proposes to start his lecture
with a murder. In fact, he recites for fifteen minutes from an essay on technology, the body, machines, architecture as a medium, liquid architecture, and topological geometry. He discusses three projects. The 1997 Water Pavillion was built for the Dutch Ministry of Water Management. Another 1997 building called “Blow Out” housed toilet facilities, which Spuybroek discusses in terms of corridors, hollow buildings and labyrinths. The third project is a 140-meter high skyscraper, “Beach Hotel,” characterized as liquid architecture, topological geometry and architecture as a medium. During the discussion with the audience Spuybroek affirms his desire to create electronically changing environments with their own behaviors that interact with people.
Lecture date: 2011-11-29
Lars Spuybroek will be talking about The Sympathy of Things, his recently published book on John Ruskin. He will discuss why Ruskin’s notion of the Gothic is a much better candidate for digital architecture than Deleuze’s Baroque Fold. Lars will advocate the return to Ruskin’s 'vital' beauty, while steering away from the Scrutonian call for harmony and 'typical' beauty. The lecture will be followed by a discussion with architecture critic Charles Jencks.
Lars Spuybroek is an architect/artist-pioneer of digital design. He has been a Professor of Architecture since 2001, and the last five years also the Distinguished Ventulett Chair of Architectural Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. His published books include NOX: Machining Architecture, The Architecture of Variation and Textile Tectonics.