GSD Talks: Exhibition Opening for “Designing Planes and Seams”

Curators Anita Berrizbeitia MLA ’87, professor of landscape architecture, chair of the department of landscape architecture; Harold Koda MLA ’00, fashion scholar, curator, and the former curator-in-chief of the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Ken Smith MLA ’86, design critic in landscape architecture, will speak informally about the exhibition.

Designing Planes and Seams focuses on the relationship of flat or planar materials and the seaming and construction necessary for creating expressive three-dimensional form. Focusing on the pattern pieces of iconic historic designs, the dressing of the contours of the body is represented by examples of reductive geometry and minimal intervention. In fashion, the pattern piece articulates the designer’s intellectual process as well as the wearer’s form. It is both map and plan.

This exhibition suggests parallels between clothing design and landscape architecture. Both disciplines share formal concerns associated with the creation of material structure(s) to fit an organic body; and in both clothing and landscape, the materiality of form-making is conceived conceptually and tectonically to reflect the bodily needs to move, breathe, and adapt. They also share physical constraints: in clothing, there are constraints of protection from the environment and regulation of body heat; and in landscape, those of ecological process, movement of water, and maintenance of habitat and vegetation. Both incorporate and convey cultural expressions such as identity and personality, social status, group affiliation and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, power and politics, as well as other cultural narratives.

By exploring the meaning of seams, junctures, materials, and form making, the parallels that are revealed between clothing and landscape will expose their shared concerns of cultural production within contemporary society.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.