Architecture IV

1/10 Playtime, Jacques Tati 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesdays  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

The first three lectures are a trio providing the thematic introduction to the rest of the course. They draw upon diverse sources — from architecture, anthropology, history and culture — and serve as reflections on design, skill, craftsmanship and nature: broadly the context in which we practice architecture today.

 

The four lectures that follow are a series of more in-depth case studies from the long twentieth century. They focus on particular architects and places, exploring how the making of the city can be described in making and construction, just as much as by the history of urban design. The final lecture on the Picturesque — and ultimately our place within nature — brings the series to a close. 

 

It may quite simply be an anthropology of architecture. But in this case, one not written by anthropologists but by architects. It is about being modern and pre-modern. It is about being local and globalized. It is about material, culture and skill. As a whole, the series will make you reflect on larger issues to do with how we construct the world.

 

 

 

Course Schedule

 

I: Natural Design

Tuesday 23rd February

 

II: Craft

Tuesday 1st March 

 

III. Bricolage

Tuesday 8th March 

 

IV: Mies Makes 

Tuesday 22nd March 

 

V: Charles & Ray Eames

Tuesday 5th April 

 

VI: Real Estate Opportunities: Frank Gehry & LA

Tuesday 12th April 

 

VII:  Lina Bo Bardi

Tuesday 19th April

 

VIII: London: Part I

Tuesday 26th April

 

IX: London: Part II

Tuesday 3rd May

 

X: London: Part III 

Tuesday 10th May

 

XI: How the Picturesque Ruined the World

Tuesday 17th May

 

 

Trying to be There

photograph by Richard Wentworth from Making Do and Getting By 

 

Talk and guest crit by artist Richard Wentworth, Tuesday 27 October 2015, 6.30pm, HIL F 41.

 

Architecture IV 

 

Playtime: Jacques Tati 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesdays  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

The first four lectures are a quartet providing the thematic introduction to the rest of the course. They draw upon diverse sources — from architecture, anthropology, history and culture — and serve as reflections on design, skill, craftsmanship and nature: broadly the context in which we practice architecture today.

 

The six lectures that follow are a series of more in-depth case studies from the long twentieth century. They focus on particular architects and places, exploring how the making of the city can be described in making and construction, just as much as by the history of urban design. The final lecture on the Picturesque — and ultimately our place within nature — brings the series to a close. 

 

It may quite simply be an anthropology of architecture. But in this case, one not written by anthropologists but by architects. It is about being modern and pre-modern. It is about being local and globalized. It is about material, culture and skill. As a whole, the series will make you reflect on larger issues to do with how we construct the world.

 

 

 

Course Schedule

 

I: What is Design?

Tuesday 17th February

 

II: Craft

Tuesday 24th February 

 

III. Mies Makes

Tuesday 3rd March 

 

IV: Bricolage 

Tuesday 10th March 

 

V: Plecnik in Ljubliana 

Tuesday 24th March 

 

VI: Stirling's Arrows

Prof Dr Laurent Stalder 

Tuesday 31st March 

 

VII:  Crafting Design in Post-war Italy 

Dr Catharine Rossi 

Tuesday 14th April

 

VIII: Real Estate Opportunities: Frank Gehry & LA

Tuesday 21st April

 

IX: Dirty Old River: London (Part I)

Tuesday 28th April

 

X: Lina Bo Bardi  

Nicholas Lobo Brennan

Tuesday 12th May

 

XI: Dirty Old River: London (Part II)

Tuesday 19th May

 

I. What is Design?

1/6 Earth Rises: NASA 

Architecture IV 

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 17.02.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

 

Further Reading

 

Tim Ingold, Making

Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environment

Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern 

Claude Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind 

David Pye, The Nature and Aesthetics of Design

David Pye, The Nature and Art of Workmanship

 

Further Viewing

 

Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon 

Sergei Bondarchuk, Waterloo 

 

 

II. Craft

1/6 American Baloon Frame 

Architecture IV 

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 17.02.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

Further Reading

 

Michel Houllebecq, The Map and the Territory

William Morris, News From Nowhere

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman

 

 

 

III. Mies Makes

1/5 Barcelona Ottoman 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 03.03.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

 

 

IV. Bricolage

1/9 Bull's Head, Pablo Picasso 

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 10.03.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

Further Reading

 

Isaiah Berlin, The Hedgehog and the Fox

Claude Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind 

Charles Jencks, Nathan Silver, Adhocism

 

Further Viewing

 

Jacques Tati, Playtime

Jacques Tati, Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot

Tom Sachs, Space Program

Buster KeatonThe Scarecrow


 

V. Plecnik in Ljubljana

 

 

Architecture IV 

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 24.03.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

VI. Stirling's Arrows

1/4  

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Prof. Dr. Laurent Stalder

Tuesday 31.03.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 


VII. Crafting Design in Post-war Italy

 

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Dr. Catharine Rossi

Tuesday 14.04.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

Dr. Catharine Rossi is a Senior Lecturer in Design History at Kingston University, London where her research specialisms include 20th and 21st century Italian design, the relationship between design and craft and ethically engaged approaches to design past and present. 

 

The curator of Space Electronic: Then and Now at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, she has co-edited The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976 (Sternberg Press, 2013), contributed to publications including the V&A's Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990 (2011) and La Moda: The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 (2014), is the author of Crafting Design in Italy: From Post-War to Postmodernism (Manchester University Press, forthcoming) and is a regular contributor to magazines including Crafts, Disegno and Domus.

 

VIII. Real Estate Opportunities: Frank Gehry & LA

1/3 Gehry Residence, Santa Monica 

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 21.04.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

 

 

IX. Dirty Old River: London

 

1/7  

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 28.04.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

Further Reading

 

Steen Eiler Rasmussen, London: the Unique City

R.S.R. Fitter, London's Natural History

Ian Nairn, Nairn's London

 

 


X. Lina Bo Bardi

1/3  

 

Architecture IV

Studio Tom Emerson

Nicholas Lobo Brennan

Tuesday 12.05.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

 

 

 

XI. Dirty Old River: London (Part II)

Sir John Soane's Tomb, St Pancras Old Church 

 

Architecture IV 

Studio Tom Emerson

Tuesday 19.05.15  8:15am 

HIL E3

 

Constructing the World

 

The three bridges, Ljubljana - Joze Plecnik 

 

A lecture series exploring the relationship between construction, craft design and the making of the city. Urban design is often considered to be a subject about large scale territories. Yet the making and experiencing of the city is local and human. From Ljubljana to Los Angeles, the city has been determined by the interrelation of making, materials and skill.

 

 

Architecture VIII

Studio Tom Emerson

Every other Tuesday, starting on 18th February

HIL E4, 8-10AM

 

 

Craft and (Radical) Architecture

 

 

Dr. Catharine Rossi is a Senior Lecturer in Design History at Kingston University, London where her research specialisms include 20th and 21st century Italian design, the relationship between design and craft and ethically engaged approaches to design past and present. 

 

The curator of Space Electronic: Then and Now at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, she has co-edited The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976 (Sternberg Press, 2013), contributed to publications including the V&A's Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990 (2011) and La Moda: The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 (2014), is the author of Crafting Design in Italy: From Post-War to Postmodernism (Manchester University Press, forthcoming) and is a regular contributor to magazines including Crafts, Disegno and Domus.

The History of the World in Three Materials

 

History is usually told through accounts and interpretations of the unfolding of events and people over time. However it can also be told by examining what we make. The conceptual art pioneer, Seth Siegelaub, who talked in our lecture series last year, abandoned art to collect textiles. He describes how the story of civilisation can be read in the development of textiles – law, economics, religion, agriculture, art, class, craft, technology, even architecture. In other words every aspect of human activity has been shaped by weaving. We shall look at how the primary classes of materials, the basis for architecture, has affected not only architecture but also our broader culture and how our decisions as architects are embedded in the world. It could be seen as the anthropology of materials. Our series will look at the primary classes of materials, timber, stone, metals, ceramics and glass from a technical and cultural perspective and explore how knowledge and meaning in architecture emerges out of the of material production.

 

Material and Skill

 

Tom Emerson

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
19 February 2013, hil e4, 8–10am 

 

Timber and Culture: Making Connections

 

David Leviatin, London.

 

Architecture viii

Studio Tom Emerson
5 March 2013, hil e4, 8–10am 

 

 

David Leviatin specialises in the conservation and construction of timber framed buildings. A Harvard Ph.D. in American Studies, Leviatin's interdisciplinary work brings together his experience as a documentary photographer, cultural historian and carpenter. His London based company, Boxed Heart Timber Frame, focuses on combining the practical and theoretical aspects of building construction in an effort to reveal the connections between craft and culture.

 

 

Brick: The Forgotten Material

 

 

James Campbell, Cambridge.


Architecture viii

Studio Tom Emerson
April 2013, hil e4, 8–10am 

 

 

Dr James Campbell is an architect and architectural historian. He has practised as an architect in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United States. He and Frank Salmon together formed the MSt in Building History, a course in the Faculty run jointly with English Heritage.

His research focuses on three areas: the development of building construction;

17th c. architecture (particularly Wren and Hawksmoor); and the history and development of libraries. His PhD looked at the work of Wren and seventeenth-century carpentry. His first book, Brick: a World History (2003), was featured as Guardian ‘book of the week’ and is available in eight languages. His book Building St Paul's (2007) provides an introduction to the key issues in seventeenth century architecture and building construction through a retelling of the story of the building of the cathedral. He is currently working on a book on the history of libraries, to be published by Thames and Hudson and editing a book on staircases to be published by Donhead.

 

Premature Iron

 

Douglas Murphy, Glasgow

 

Architecture viii

Studio Tom Emerson
23 April 2013, hil e4, 8–10am 

 

 

Douglas Murphy is a writer on architecture. He is the author of The Architecture of Failure (Zero books), and is architecture correspondent at Icon magazine.

 

His research focuses on cultures of technology and nature in radical architecture from the late 19th century to the present day. 

 

He is currently writing Last Futures for Verso, about the missed opportunities of experimental urbanism in the 60s and 70s.

 

He blogs at Entschwindet und Vergeht.

 

Crafting, constraining, weaving, recording , but not completing


At the turn of the twentieth century, the mathematician and physicist Henri Poincaré defined two types of truth: scientific or ethical. A scientific truth is demonstrable while an ethical truth is felt and together these form the totality of human experience. In this lecture series we shall explore five themes which form part of that human experience and in particular architectural experience. We shall explore notions familiar to every architect but perhaps not sufficiently discussed: craft, constraints, weaving, the making of history and incompleteness. They do not claim to construct a theory but rather ask certain questions about how the world is made and how the architect contributes to its unending experiment. 

 

Craft

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
21 February 2012, hil e4, 8–10am 

Constraints

Constraints - Saul Steinberg, 'The Art of Living', 1949 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
3 April 2012, hil e4, 8–10am 

How is art history made?

1/4 How is art history made?  

Seth Siegelaub in conversation with Professor Philip Ursprung

 

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
April 2012, 6.30pm, Cabaret Voltaire
Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich 

 

Seth Siegelaub was born in the Bronx in 1941. After running his own gallery in New York from 1964 to 1966, he played a pivotal role in the emergence of what became known as Conceptual Art, which resulted in a series of 21 art exhibitions in groundbreaking formats he organised between 1968 and 1971. In 1972 he left the art world and moved to Paris, where he published and collected leftist books on communication and culture and founded the International Mass Media Research Center. In the early eighties he began collecting textiles and books about textiles, and in 1986 founded the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles, which conducts research on the social history of hand-woven textiles. In 1997 he edited and published the Bibliographica Textilia Historiae, the first general bibliography on the history of textiles, which has since grown online to over 25,000 entries. 

Stichting Egress Foundation 
Raven Row

 

To build is to weave

To build is to weave 

Professor Timothy Ingold

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
24 April 2012, hil e4, 8–10am 

Professor Tim Ingold is Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Taking an unconventional approach to anthropology he is looking at ways of bringing it together with architecture, archaeology and art and their mutually enhancing ways of engaging with our surroundings.
 

His bibliography includes Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill (2000). Lines: A Brief History (2007), Creativity and Cultural Improvisation (with Elizabeth Hallam, 2007), Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description, 
(2011).

Professor Tim Ingold's full biography

 

 

The unfinished

The unfinished 

Professor Robert Harbison

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
15 May 2012, hil e4, 8–10am 

 

Robert Harbison is Professor of Architectural History and Theory. He obtained a BA at Amherst College and a PhD at Cornell University. His research interests range widely across cultural history and include gardens, architecture and the other arts, overlaps between different cultures, and the Baroque in all its forms. He has taught at the Architectural Association, Cornell University and Washington University, St Louis.

Craft

1/5 Craft 

Tom Emerson on craft, the pilgrim fathers, square cuts, Gehry and why things shouldn’t be done too well.


Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
22 February 2011, hil E6, 8–10am


Bricolage

1/5 Bricolage 

Irénée Scalbert on bricolage, Lévi-Strauss, Colin Rowe, Charles Jencks, Guiseppe Penone, Robinson Crusoe and other topics.

 

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
8 March 2011, hil e4, 8–10am


Constraints

1/5 Constraints 

Tom Emerson on constraints and treatment of space in the writings of Georges Perec.

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
NEW DATE April 2011, hil e4, 8–10am

 

Measure

1/5 Measure 

Robert Tavernor on Smoot’s ear, the metric revolution, and the measure of humanity.

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
19 April 2011, hil e4, 8–10am

 

Where do shapes come from?

1/5 Where do shapes come from? 

Artist Richard Wentworth on points, claws, optics and the shapes of flight.


Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson 
3 May 2011, hil e4, 8–10am


 


We were never modern

1/5 We were never modern 

Tom Emerson on flight, Tati, nasa and making the modern interior.

 

Architecture viii
Studio Tom Emerson
17 May 2011, hil e4, 8–10am


 

Architecture viii

Six turns in the architectural imagination

At the turn of the twentieth century, the mathematician and physicist Henri Poincaré defined two types of truth: scientific or ethical. A scientific truth is demonstrable while an ethical truth is felt and together these form the totality of human experience. In this lecture series we shall explore 6 themes which form part of that human experience and in particular architectural experience. They shall be of the ethical order but will stop to pick up and even challenge scientific, verifiable knowledge. We shall explore notions familiar to every architect but perhaps not sufficiently discussed: measure, failure, constraints, craft, bricolage and shapes. Together they will present one story through knowledge and the architectural imagination. They do not claim to construct a theory but rather ask certain questions about how the world is made and how the architect contributes to its unending experiment. They could be seen as 6 turns of the architectural imagination.

 

      Submission

For this course you are asked to prepare your own seventh turn in the architectural imagination. You are to produce a short written or illustrated essay on a subject of your choice, a subject which you feel deserves more consideration in architectural discourse. You may either write an essay – of 1500 to 2000 words (in English or German) or taking inspiration from John Berger's Ways of Seeing, produce a visual narrative, not unlike an illustrated lecture.

 

You should submit your title by end of week 4 and, unless it has been challenged by the chair, you should proceed with defining your term or terms and then develop your story.

 

The submission date is Tuesday 10 May. A selection of the best essays will be presented at the end of the course.