Based on a collection of conversations recorded in Avery Hall at a conference entitled Exhibition Models: Curating Architecture, and at the CCA in Montréal, this podcast—written and produced by James Taylor-Foster—considers the format, role, and impact of the architectural exhibition in different settings, ranging from established institutions to project-based Biennale and Triennale.
Featuring GSAPP Dean Amale Andraos alongside Giovanna Borasi (Chief Curator, CCA), Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University School of Architecture), Beatrice Galilee (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), GSAPP faculty Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation), Sylvia Lavin (UCLA), Iván López Munuera (2016 Istanbul Design Biennale), André Tavares (Chief Curator, 2016 Lisbon Architecture Triennale), GSAPP alumna Marina Otero Verzier (Het Nieuwe Instituut / After Belonging Agency), and Mirko Zardini (Director, CCA).
Source by Columbia GSAPP
Lecture date: 1994-02-05
Beatriz Colomina draws on the experience of researching and writing her influential book Privacy and Publicity to raise questions about the relationships between architectural history and the archive. In her book, Colomina uses a series of close readings of two major figures of the modern movement - Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier - to argue that architecture only becomes modern in its engagement with the mass media, and that in so doing it radically displaces the traditional sense of space and subjectivity. Where conventional criticism portrays modern architecture as a high artistic practice in opposition to mass culture, Colomina sees the emerging systems of communication that have come to define twentieth-century culture the mass medias the true site within which modern architecture was produced. This does not mean abandoning the architectural object, the building, but rather looking at it in a different way. The building is understood here in the same way as all the media that frame it, as a mechanism of representation in its own right. With modernity, the site of architectural production literally moved from the street into photographs, films, publications, and exhibitions a displacement that presupposes a new sense of space, one defined by images rather than walls. This age of publicity corresponds to a transformation in the status of the private: modernity is actually the publicity of the private. Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University.
The secrets of modern architecture are like those of a family and it is perhaps because of the current cultural fascination with exposing the intimate that they are now being unveiled, little by little. There is increasing interest in the ways in which architecture works. It is as if we have become just as concerned with the “how” as with “what.” And the “how” is less about structure or building techniques—the interest of earlier generations—and more about interpersonal relations.
The previously marginal details of how things actually happen in architectural practice are now coming to light. “With,” and not “and,” is the way in which women are usually credited alongside men in the official records, if they are credited at all. Women are the ghosts of modern architecture, everywhere present, crucial, but strangely invisible. Unacknowledged, they are destined to haunt the field forever. But correcting the record is not just a question of adding a few names or even hundreds to the history of architecture.
It is not just a matter of human justice or historical accuracy, but of opening the field to its own productive complexity. Architecture is deeply collaborative, more like moviemaking than traditional visual art. But unlike movies, this is hardly ever acknowledged. Until recently, it has been a secret carefully guarded.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of History and Theory in the School of Architecture and founding director of the program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. She has written extensively on questions of architecture, art, sexuality and media. Her books include Are We Human? Notes on an Archeology of Design (Lars Müller, 2016), The Century of the Bed (Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2015), Manifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies (Sternberg, 2014), Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X (Actar, 2010), Domesticity at War (MIT Press, 2007), Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (MIT Press, 1994), and Sexuality and Space (Princeton Architectural Press, 1992).
She has curated a number of exhibitions including Clip/Stamp/Fold (2006), Playboy Architecture (2012) and Radical Pedagogies (2014). She was curator with Mark Wigley of the third Istanbul Design Biennial (2016). She has been the recipient of diverse awards and fellowships, including the Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellowship at the CASVA (Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts), SOM Foundation, Le Corbusier Foundation, Graham Foundation, the CCA (Canadian Centre for Architecture), The American Academy in Berlin and the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
Lecture date: 2013-10-31
From the very beginning, sex, architecture and design were inextricably intertwined in the pages of Playboy magazine. With its massive global circulation and sexualisation of architecture, Playboy arguably had more influence on the dissemination of modern design than professional and interiors magazines, or even institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art. Since Playboy’s playboy was an indoors man, the magazine was relentlessly obsessed with the interior – and this interior turns out to be infinite, and perfect – total work of art.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. She is the author of Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X (2010), Domesticity at War (2007), Privacyand Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994) and Sexuality and Space (1992). She is the co-curator of exhibitions including Playboy Architecture, 1953–79 (NAi Maastricht, 2012) and Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education in a Time of Disciplinary Instability (Lisbon Triennale, 2013).
Lecture date: 2009-01-13
The history of the modern window is the history of communication: Le Corbusier's horizontal window is unthinkable outside of cinema, the Eames House unthinkable outside of the colour slide, and the midcentury picture window unthinkable outside television. In each case, the ambition to dissolve the line between inside and outside is realised by absorbing the latest realities of communication. Today, new forms of advanced surveillance technologies operate in the city, and these models of vision act as new paradigms. The glass box has become something else altogether.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media and Domesticity at War.
Brett Steele introduces Beatriz Colomina.
BEATRIZ COLOMINA: Thank you very much, it’s very exciting to be here at the AA, and I was just thinking that it was here where I first lectured outside the United States, on what would later become my article on Loos and the windows, given here on the last sprint of Alvin Boyarsky.
I’m going to talk about the glass pavilions between let’s say, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe, and SANAA. I’m going to put that in context of technologies of communication, and technologies of surveillance. In fact, this question of the relationship with glass and the technologies of communication has been an ongoing inspiration, so to speak, in my research, a thread. The history of the modern window, for me, it’s a history of communication. Le Corbusier’s horizontal window, for example, I think it’s completely unthinkable outside cinema, not only did Le Corbusier think that film was the best way to represent modern architecture, but the frame itself, the way we see the world, if you think of architecture as a machine to see—is unthinkable outside the cinematographic frame. Likewise, I have tried to demonstrate quite recently that the Eames house is unthinkable outside the colour slide that was introduced during this years, and made possible for them to make thousands and thousands of colour slides of their house, and this is the way in which it’s represented, in this kaleidoscopic view of colour slides. The picture window at mid century is unthinkable outside television, that is in each case the case the ambitions of modern architecture to dissolve the line between inside and outside, by absorbing the latest technologies of communication. So, if communication is always about bringing the outside in, for example when reading a newspaper, to bring in world events into your life, or getting the inside out, by sending a letter. It’s quite beautiful in this advertisement of 1950 windows in America, that there is precisely a mailman bringing a letter. So, if communication is about bringing the outside in or the inside out, it will seem as if glass represents this act of communication. It is almost as if the glass, takes more and more of the building, as the systems of communication become more and more fluid. Having dissolved the wall into glass, the question becomes how to dissolve the glass itself, into a delicate line between inside and outside. It is the relentless quest for greater fluidity between outside and inside s no longer as simply driven towards transparency, but as we will see with SANAA, the glass box has become something else altogether. So, to show this I will like to go back to the glass house at mid century, the glass house of Philip Johnson and then move from there to the glass house of today, as represented in the world of Kazuyo Sejima. So lets go back to Philip Johnson: the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Philip Johnson is the glass house, but I’m going to introduce another question here, which is methodological: what if instead of relying on his 1950s article where he gives us all the laundry list of the influences that Boulé influenced him, that he copied from Mies, that all the sources, all the mountains of articles accumulated over the years about this house—what if instead of all of this, we take the 20 to 30 television programs that Johnson did in the course of his life? So the hypothesis is: what if the glass house was made for TV? What if Johnson was himself made for TV? I’m going to pass you a clip of one of these TV programs. [Shows clip].
Two really persistent dreams of the 20th century, that of the glass house and of television, were finally realized at around the same time and around the same place: the suburbs of America. Experimental glass with glass fantasies have been playing a role in science fiction, and also in modern architecture since at least the mid 19th century, only by mid 20th century was the dream finally in
Lecture date: 1994-03-15
Beatriz Colomina addresses the relation between war and architecture by looking at Le Corbusiers systematic defacement of Eileen Grays house E.1027 during the German occupation of France. Colomina is an architect who teaches history and theory in the School of Architecture, Princeton University. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media and Sexuality and Space.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory
Lucia Allais, Princeton University School of Architecture
Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University School of Architecture
Mark Cousins, Architectural Association
Arindam Dutta, MIT Architecture
Keller Easterling, Yale School of Architecture
John Harwood, Oberlin College
Catherine Ingraham, Pratt Institute
Mark Jarzombek, MIT Architecture
Mari Lending, Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies
Spyros Papapetros, Princeton School of Architecture
Felicity Scott, Columbia University GSAPP
Pelin Tan, Faculty of Architecture, Mardin Artuklu University
Bernard Tschumi, Columbia University GSAPP
Eyal Weizman, Goldsmiths, University of London
Mark Wigley, Columbia University GSAPP
Mabel Wilson, Columbia University GSAPP
10:15--11:45: Session A
11:45--1:15 Session B
2:15--3:45: Session C
3:45--5:30: Session D
5:45--7:15: Session E
Monday, November 11, 2013 7:00pm
Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Buell Hall
GSAPP Exhibitions presents Adolf Loos: Our Contemporary
Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University, Hermann Czech, Atelier Czech, Pedro Gadanho, Musuem of Modern Art, and Yehuda Safran, GSAPP
Adolf Loos: Our Contemporary celebrates the centenary of the Looshaus in Vienna and the publication of Adolf Loos' most provocative theoretical text: Ornament and Crime. Its primary aim is to map some significant reactions to Loos both among his closest followers, like Paul Engelmann, and more distant admirers such as Ernesto Rogers and Aldo Rossi. The exhibition centers around a series of interviews with major contemporary figures on the international scene including Hans Hollein, Hermann Czech, Alvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Jacques Herzog, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Toyo Ito, David Adjaye, Steven Holl, and Preston Scott Cohen. From the moment of its appearance Loos' cultural criticism never failed to elicit controversy and outrage. Couched in the language of his day, it reads as a polemic from another era that nonetheless continues to hold its own. One of chief objectives of the exhibition is to capture the uncanny sense of contemporaneity that Loos exerts, often in the most unobtrusive ways.
GSAPP is pleased to announce the relaunch of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. Its expansion and renovation were made possible with generous support from the Arthur Ross Foundation.
Intervista con Beatriz Colomina, Britt Eversole e Anna-Maria Meister alla 14. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura (sezione Monditalia: "Radical Pedagogies")
An interview with Beatriz Colomina, Britt Eversole and Anna-Maria Meister at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition (Monditalia section: "Radical Pedagogies")
Lecture date: 2011-01-12
Photographers Gallery @ The AA
The second part of this series on photography and the built environment in conjunction with The Photographers’ Gallery opens with Beatriz Colomina. She will address architecture and photography as machines to see, drawing inspiration from a story by
Anaïs Nin, ‘The Veiled Woman’.
The series featuries key photographers, writers and theorists, looking at photography rationalisation and depiction of architectural space and its role as a tool in deciphering the urban environment.
Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), which was awarded the 1995 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects, Sexuality and Space (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), which was awarded the 1993 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects, Architectureproduction (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1988), Domesticity at War (Barcelona: ACTAR and MIT Press, 2007). Recently she curated the exhibition Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X–197X at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and the CCA in Montreal. The exhibition traveled to Documenta 12 and the Architectural Association in London and is currently at the Norsk Form (Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture) in Oslo.
In addition to being the Editor of the Multimedia Section of the JSAH (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians) she has written numerous other publications and presented lectures throughout the world, including at MoMA, the MAXXI museum in Rome, the Guggenheim museum, DoCoMoMo in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Chandigarh, Osaka, Tokyo, Florence, Oslo, Thesaloniki, Patras, Guadalajara, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Ohio, Pamplona, Porto, Toronto, Houston, Texas AM, Yale, Chicago and Harvard University.