William Massie (November 12, 2003)

Tim Durfee introduces William Massie, and frames the lecture around the ideas of reference, form technology, and modernism.

Massie begins his lecture by addressing some important themes such as forming, complexity, repetition, variation, speed of fabrication, and the subject/object relationship. He describes experiments with concrete form-making, and a diaphragmatic curve study in concrete, which increases the wall strength by 30 times.

Massie discusses his ideas of subject/object relationships, technology, experimentation, and fabrication through a series of projects. Included in these projects is the Belt House, the Big Sky House, and a design for a house in which the shower is visible from every point in the house. Each project has a distinct relationship with the landscape; the first merges with the landscape, the second marks the landscape, and the third being alien to the landscape. Massie explains the rationale behind his studies in concrete forming, curved surfaces, and his unique use of PVC piping in creating surfaces.

Massie discusses his winning MOMA/PS1 competition project for an urban beach, which for Massie was about surface and sensuality. Massie takes us through the project from concept to realization, and gives us insight into some of the more technical aspects of how he developed his curved surfaces. He concludes his lecture by discussing his ideas behind the use of puzzle pieces in fabrication, and projects such as Ear for the WPS1 Internet radio station, which was made of orange acrylic and white steel, and the American House, which features a roof line that parabolically drops to the floor level.

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