Tuesday the 21st of April // Li Xiangning // Building Shanghai: Transformation of a Modern City

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Thursday the 23rd of April // Izaskun Chinchilla // Organic Growth

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Farshid Moussavi // The Function of Style

Tonight, as part of the Spring Lecture series 2015, we had the pleasure of hosting Farshid Moussavi who discussed the Function of Style, title of her last book, and part of the Function triolgy: ‘The Function of Ornament’, ‘The Function of Forms’, and ‘the Function of Style’ based on her research and teaching at Harvard.

What is the function of style today? If the 1970s were defined by Postmodernism and the 1980s by Deconstruction, how do we characterize the architecture of the 1990s to the present? Some built forms transmit affects of curvilinearity, others of crystallinity; some transmit multiplicity, others unity; some transmit cellularity, others openness; some transmit dematerialization, others weight. Does this immense diversity reflect a lack of common purpose? In this book, acclaimed architect and theorist Farshid Moussavi argues that this diversity should not be mistaken for an eclecticism which is a product of external forces.

The Function of Style presents the architectural landscape as an intricate web in which individual buildings are the product of ideas which have been appropriated from other buildings designed for the different activities of everyday life, to produce singular buildings which are related to one another but also different.

Moussavi argues that by embracing everyday life as a raw material architects can change the conventions of how buildings are assembled, to ground the aesthetic experience of the buildings in the micro-politics of the everyday.

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Tuesday 14th of April // Farshid Moussavi // The Function of Style

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Giovanna Carnevali // Fundació Mies van der Rohe: Made in Europe

Tonight we had the pleasure of hosting Giovanna Carnevali, Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, as the first of the Spring Lecture Series for 2015. Giovanna discussed contemporary architecture through the experience accumulated thanks to the Mies van der Rohe Award since 1988.

Europe is made up of cities, and architecture is what makes cities. Today we find ourselves in a moment of historical change, and it becomes necessary to understand the role of architecture in this transitioning Europe, and become aware of the evolution over the previous decades.

During a time when a great variety of media bombards daily with an overconsumption of information, there is, albeit paradoxically, a need for a cross interpretation that will allow us to see past the cacophony of information.

The Mies van der Rohe Award has been a catalyst for the interpretation of the state of architecture for 26 years already, fostering the biannual compilation of the contemporary European architectural production. Conscious of the current historical change, the Fundació is changing in scale, acting from Barcelona towards Europe as an element capable of processing all of the knowledge that the Prize offers. The Fundació generates data, connects key players and encourages the debate on what role architecture should have in relation with the contemporary social European necessities.


 

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Thursday 9th of April // Giovanna Carnevali // Fundació Mies van der Rohe: Made in Europe

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Digital Matter | Intelligent Constructions // Research Trip // NY & Boston

Digital Matter | Intelligent Constructions Research Studio travelled to the States last week for their Studio Research Trip. The students and faculty arrived in New York where they had the opportunity to visit the city. They then travelled to Boston where they visited and had crits at the Harvard GSD with Bradley Cantrell, also visiting the Harvard Microbiotics Lab.

In Boston they also visited the MIT, with a presentation at the MIT Senseable City Lab, led by Carlo Ratti, with Erin Baumgartner, as well as at the MIT Jerome Lemelson Center and its Labs. They also had a sit down and presentation with Skylar Tibbits in the MIT Self Assembly Lab, and saw the oldest 3D Printer in the USA.

They then returned to New York where they visited the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in particular Terreform ONE with Mitchell Joachim, and Gen Space. They closed the trip with a tour through Brooklyn and New York City.

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