John Hejduk Soundings Lecture: Stan Allen, “Situated Objects”

Plan for a building shown on a blue background.

Bard Architecture, Axonometric Study, 2022

A recording of this event is available with audio description.

Event Description

Situated Objects, published in 2020, is a book of buildings, drawings and projects realized by Stan Allen since 2012.  Well known for his essay “Field Conditions,” and for work at the scale of the city, these projects represent a complementary approach that addresses nature, the ex-urban landscape, design process and construction through a series of small-scale works on rural sites.  

The book – and the lecture – argue that buildings are best understood as “situated” objects: object-like in that they have fixed limits and stand free; situated, in that buildings always exist in an intricate relationship to a larger context. A building does not end at its walls; it is a nexus in a complex field of social relations, ecological systems, cultural norms and local histories.  

Woven into this presentation of recent work is a personal reflection on Allen’s time at the Cooper Union, and the influence of John Hejduk on his work and thinking.   


Headshot of Stan Allen, who wears a white shirt and glasses. He stands in front of a chalkboard with writing on it.Stan Allen is an architect and George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture at Princeton University. His practice Stan Allen Architect has realized buildings and urban projects in the United States, South America and Asia. Responding to the contemporary city in creative ways, Allen has developed an extensive catalogue of innovative design strategies, in particular looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology as models to revitalize design practice. Parallel to this large-scale work he has recently completed a number of private houses and artist’s studios on rural sites in the Hudson River Valley. His architectural work is published in Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City and his essays in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation. The edited volume Landform Building: Architecture’s New Terrain was published by Lars Müller in 2011, and his most recent book is Situated Objects, published by Park Books in 2020. In 2009 he received the John Q. Hejduk Award, and in 2002, a President’s Citation for Exceptional Contributions to Architecture from the Cooper Union.

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