Martino Stierli – Learning from Las Vegas

Lecture date: 2009-05-14

Learning from Las Vegas is primarily known for the theory of the decorated shed vs. the duck in contemporary architecture. There have only been partial attempts to locate the contents of this influential urbanistic study within the discourse on the image of the city prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s. For Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, traditional visual techniques were no longer adequate for the analysis and representation of the city. Therefore, they used photography and film both as a means of analysis and argumentation. This lecture presents original film footage and photographs from the 1968 Learning from Las Vegas research, some of which has only been made accessible to the public in the ongoing international travelling exhibition, Las Vegas Studio.

Martino Stierli studied art history at the University of Zurich. His PhD thesis, titled Learning from Las Vegas (ETH Zurich), won the Theodor Fischer Prize 2008 and is currently being revised for publication. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel, working on a project on the collage principle in architecture. Stierli is also a lecturer at the University of Zurich and at the ETH Zurich.


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