Sep '06 - May '08
So here at MIT, Mark Goulthorpe has spearheaded a new lecture series titled "Homegrown (with Mustard)" in which MIT Design faculty as well as practitioners from the Boston/Cambridge areas present their work; however, different from the usual lecture format most design schools may have, this series introduces a moderator, selected by the lecturer, to inject interrogations, critique, questions, and/or psychoanalysis of the presenter with the hope of exposing narratives, insights, and reactions which would remain hidden in a typical lecture setting. Its an interesting format, and while I don't know if other schools have similar events, its new to me.
The first lecture was two weeks ago, and featured Nader Tehrani moderated by Preston Scott Cohen. I was unfortunately only able to attend the first 20 minutes of the lecture before I had to leave. Last night, however, I was able to see our Department Head, Yung Ho Chang (Atelier FCJZ) moderated by Sanford "the Kwint" Kwinter. It was a pretty good lecture, by my measure. The topic quickly shifted from YHC's architectural work to discussions regarding Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Fuller, Voyeurism, Violence, Hong Kong film noir, Chinese etymology of the term "revolution," and artistic production in China, to name a few.
As you could probably tell, the discussion featured a lot of talk about film, which stemmed from YHC's love of Hitchcock's work. Here are some comments from the lecture that I wrote down:
Kwint - (referring to YHC's taxonometric patterning of his projects) "You're from Berkeley, did you run into Christopher Alexander over there?"
YHC - "You know, there are some people you try your best to avoid. I was pretty successful avoiding Chris."
Kwint - "I think you're architecture has a James Stewart complex."
YHC - "You know, he went to architecture school."
Kwint - "Contrasting you're architecture with Herzog + Demuron, their's is much more pornographic."
Kwint - (quoting *Godard) "All you need (for a film) is a gun and a girl. In some ways, thats your architecture."
YHC - "I think most architecture is boring, or not nearly boring enough."
YHC - (regarding his love of film and the staging potential of space) "I think architects really need to address pop culture. That's why I respect Venturi's discourse, his writing. I think architects are too conservative."
All in all, an entertaining evening. It was nice to see the department head giving a lecture in a much more casual and less "properly academic" of an environment than is the norm around here in Cambridge. Here's looking forward to the next: Meejin Yoon moderated by Sheila Kennedy (Nov 15th)