“The Form in Question”

“The Form in Question” refers to discussions underway now in architecture that are re-conceptualizing architectural form in relation to its old dialectical partner, function. Since its inception, the form/function binary has become increasingly dispersed and complex. This event brings three diverse practices/offices together—each of which has established (tacitly or intentionally) a different relation to both the history and contemporary use of these terms. These practices are also experimenting with the resulting shifts in typological frameworks and imperatives, and new programmatic configurations. The purpose of this event is, in part, to edit some of these terms—form, function, typology, program—in order to dismiss them in favor of other concepts or to render them anew for continued use in our time.

 

Participants

Andrew Atwood is Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley. He has taught at both SCI-Arc and USC where he offered design studios and visual studies seminars. His work centers on techniques of representation as historical and conceptual instruments and how they specifically relate to the production of architecture and architectural pedagogy. His machines, drawings and other works have been exhibited widely, including shows at the Beijing Biennale, the Pacific Design Center, and the SCI-Arc Gallery. His published writings include recent articles in Log and Project journals. Atwood holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard GSD and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Richmond.

In 2011, Atwood established First Office with Anna Neimark in downtown Los Angeles. Their work and writing show a commitment to expanding the role of architecture in the public realm and to bringing the community into a closer relationship with art and architecture. Built projects include a collaboration on the Pinterest Office Headquarters in San Francisco, a temporary Screening Room at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, a One-Room House in Los Angeles and a rehabilitation of a Shotgun House in Lexington, Kentucky. Collaborative texts have been published widely, including in architecture journals Log, Perspecta, Project, and Think Space Pamphlets. A selection of essays and projects have been compiled in a small book, Nine Essays by First Office, published by Graham Foundation’sTreatise: Why Write Alone. First Office has received numerous honors in competitions and has notably been awarded the Architectural League Prize in 2015.

 

Antón García-Abril, (Madrid, 1969) is a Registered Architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and European PhD Architect by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (E.T.S.A.M.U.P.M.). He received the Spanish Academy Research Prize in Rome in 1996, established Ensamble Studio architecture office in 2000 and is full-professor at the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) since 2012, after acquiring extensive academic experience as associate professor at the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (E.T.S.A.M.U.P.M.) for a decade, and invited professor at numerous universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011, Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2010, Cornell University in 2008 and University of Texas in 2006, among others.

 

Sharon Johnston ,F.A.I.A., is a partner of Johnston Marklee & Associates, based in Los Angeles. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 30 major awards. A book on the work of the firm, entitled HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. This followed a monograph on the firm’s work, published in 2014 by 2G.

Sharon has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.

Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning seven countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, on the campus of the Menil Collection, scheduled to open in 2018; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, completed in September 2017; and the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California.

The firm’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich.

Together with partner Mark Lee, Sharon was the Artistic Director of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

 

Mark Lee is a principal and founding partner of the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 30 major awards. A book on the work of the firm, entitled HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. This followed a monograph on the firm’s work, published in 2014 by 2G.

Mark has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Technical University of Berlin, and ETH Zurich. He has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.

Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning seven countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, on the campus of the Menil Collection, scheduled to open in 2018; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, completed in September 2017; and the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California.

The firm’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich.

Together with partner Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee was the Artistic Director for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

 

Débora Mesa Molina, (Madrid, 1981) is European Licensed Architect by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (E.T.S.A.M.-U.P.M.). She joined Ensamble Studio in 2003 and became partner of the architecture office in 2010, after playing a major role in the realization of numerous projects and works. She is Ventulett Chair in Architectural Design at Georgia Tech College of Architecture and has previously served as visiting professor at different universities, like Pratt Institute in 2018 and Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union in 2017 amongst others- and as research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 2013 and 2018, after co-founding with Anton Garcia-Abril the POPlab (Prototypes of Prefabrication Laboratory) in 2012.

 

Anna Neimark is Principal of First Office, a practice co-founded with Andrew Atwood in 2011. Built projects have primarily focused on residential and office rehabs and gallery installations. Her texts, both independent and in collaboration with Atwood, have been published widely, in Log, Future Anterior, Perspecta, Project, and Think Space Pamphlets, and have recently been compiled in a Graham Foundation book, Nine Essays, published by Treatise Press. First Office has received numerous honors in competitions, including the Architectural League Prize, The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Young Architects, and the nomination as a Finalist in the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at SCI-Arc, Neimark taught at the University of Southern California and worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam and New York. She holds a B.A. in Architecture from Princeton University and an M.Arch 1 from Harvard's Graduate School of Design (GSD).

 

Moderators

Michael Hays is Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, as well as Interim Chair for the Department of Architecture. Hays joined the Faculty of Design in 1988, teaching courses in architectural history and theory.

Hays has played a central role in the development of the field of architectural theory and his work is internationally known. His research and scholarship have focused on the areas of European modernism and critical theory as well as on theoretical issues in contemporary architectural practice. He has published on the work of modern architects such as Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Hilberseimer, and Mies van der Rohe, as well as on contemporary figures such as Peter Eisenman, Bernard Tschumi, and the late John Hejduk. Hays was the founder of the scholarly journal Assemblage, which was a leading forum of discussion of architectural theory in North America and Europe. From 1995 to 2005 he was Chair of the PhD Committee and Director of the GSD’s Advanced Independent Study Programs. In 2000 he was appointed the first Adjunct Curator of Architecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a position he held until 2009.

Hays received the Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1976. From MIT he received the Master of Architecture degree in Advanced Studies in 1979, and the Doctor of Philosophy in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art in 1990.

 

Catherine Ingraham has lectured and published widely in architecture and architectural history and theory. Her current book, Architecture, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness(Princeton University Press, forthcoming), is an examination of architectural work in relation to property systems, primarily in the United States. Ingraham earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University.  She was an editor, with Michael Hays and Alicia Kennedy, of the critical journal Assemblage and is currently a Professor of Architecture in the Graduate Architecture program at Pratt Institute in New York City, a program which she chaired from 1999-2005.  Dr. Ingraham periodically teaches as a visiting professor at Columbia University and the Graduate School of Design.  For the past two years she has been a senior visiting fellow in the Center for Urban Real Estate and Design at Columbia University. Her publications include Architecture, Animal, Human (Routledge Press, London 2006), Architecture and The Burdens of Linearity (Yale University Press, New Haven 1998), as well as numerous articles and invited essays in journals and book collections.

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