Sep '04 - Aug '08
Its almost 10pm and I should be detailing wall sections for my wood construction class, City of Wood, but instead I'm finishing up the website for what promises to be a fantastic conference we're hosting at the GSD in April.
Website: LOOPHOLES between Discourse & Practice
A conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, April 15th & 16th.
The loophole is a model of opportunistic deviance. Like lawyers exploiting contract ambiguities, financiers engaging in arbitrage, or accountants practicing tax evasion, the loophole suggests an opening for the dexterous professional. Borrowing this concept as a provocation for an architectural mode of operation, the loophole suggests an opportunistic mode of practicing within the constructs of theory.
In the past decade ambivalence regarding the relationship between theory and practice has dominated architectural discourse, prompting the emergence of new modes of practice. Theory as an autonomous activity in advance of and at a critical distance from practice has increasingly come into question. And while some may question the imperatives of theory, instead its form and engagement with practice must be questioned. To this end, the multidimensional figure of the loophole functions as an instrument of affiliation, aligning disparate modes of architectural practice as a means of departure. Such an evasive methodology does not depend on its adherence to a theoretical discourse, but rather intentionally deviates within theory's construct. And while we may never operate 'after theory,' this outlet finds the latent opportunities for identifying theory's loopholes.
The two-day symposium proposes four potential loopholes for architecture: geometry, geography, imaging, and effects. Through a mix of writers and practitioners, established and emerging voices, and critical as well as projective approaches, we hope to discover what it means to practice within the loophole.