Paffard Keatinge-Clay (March 12, 1979) / Frank Dimster (October 31, 1979)

This video contains two different lectures: one by Paffard Keatinge-Clay and another by Frank Dimster.

Keatinge-Clay begins his lecture after a brief introduction by Eric Owen Moss. He stresses the importance of building, and using observations of his built work as a feedback mechanism to develop ideas. He presents his extension of the San Francisco Art Institute as a series of dialogues with the city, the people, and the original building. Keatinge-Clay claims the rooftop as the crucial element of his architecture and explains how he studied the human misuse of his building elements as a method of deciding what to include in his next projects.

Keatinge-Clay discusses his student union building at San Francisco State University. He describes it as an anchor, an educational place without strict programming, to be used and misused by the students. The development of the building included teaching a course that examined how the building might function in the campus. Keatinge-Clay discusses the materials, forms, and colors of the building in terms of his design interests.

Keatinge-Clay pauses his slide presentation to share some of views and experiences. He describes working and studying with Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s dialogue between building and landscape influenced him as well as architects like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Keatinge-Clay paints and sculpts, and strives to integrate these disciplines into architecture. He sees his work and architecture in general, as part of a stream of culture and history.

Keatinge-Clay advocates a dialogue between civilizations and epochs through architecture and urbanism. He sees all architecture as part of an unending dialogue with history. He goes on to discuss the San Francisco State Student Union project and the political controversy surrounding Moshe Safdie’s original design and removal from the project. Keatinge-Clay responds to questions about materials and color, expressing his interest in the inherent color of material and the ability of it to change over time.

Keatinge-Clay concludes with his work on several hospital projects which require internal flexibility. He presents a high rise tower based on a spiral staircase. In this design he integrates his ideas of street spaces and rooftop spaces from previous projects into a larger scale, and attempts to evoke a sense of dancing between two adjoining structures.

At 1:26:13, Frank Dimster’s lecture of October 31, 1979 begins. The complete talk is available at