San Diego, CA
San Diego—March 26, 2012—Noted architect Joshua Prince-Ramus spoke to NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students and faculty members on the topic of “slow architecture” as part of the university’s acclaimed lecture series. Prince-Ramus is principal of REX, an architecture and design firm based in New York City. He has been described as the “savior of American architecture” by Esquire magazine and has been credited as being one of the five greatest architects under the age of 50 by The Huffington Post.
“It was an honor to be invited to speak in San Diego as a guest lecturer by the students and faculty of NewSchool of Architecture and Design,” said Prince-Ramus. “The school’s dedication to inspiring a new generation of architects and designers through an academic culture of discourse and critiques made for a receptive and engaging event for all involved.” More than 600 people, including members of the NSAD community and the general public, watched the March 2 lecture in person and through a live video stream provided by the university.
During the lecture at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Prince-Ramus explained the meaning of “slow architecture” and shared examples of projects that reflect this philosophy. “We are at a time when architecture should slow down and let ideas gestate and that means that architecture can actually be doing things,” he said. “It’s not so much about form vs. functionality. Rather, it’s about doing both and doing them a lot and doing them well—and that’s how we should be talking about architecture.” Prince-Ramus said this means “putting the agenda back into architecture.”
He described the process of designing the Seattle Central Library. On that project, his team identified competing notions of what a library should represent: a place of media or social responsibility. They developed a design that didn’t exclude one or the other but took into account the library’s need to evolve over the years according to changing priorities in the media and digital space and its role as a community center.
Prince-Ramus also talked about using this approach in designing the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas. The process resulted in a versatile space that allows the theater to offer a variety of staging options including sections that can merge with and incorporate the outdoor space. “We moved things around that are normally constrained so that the audience could engage with different parts of the building and even the real world during the performance,” he said. “The result is that the theater and its audience have many different opportunities for interaction.”
Prince-Ramus is the latest speaker in NSAD’s lecture series by notable architects and designers. “The fields of architecture and design are constantly evolving and we are bringing some of the brightest thinkers and creators to NewSchool of Architecture and Design to ensure our students are on the cutting edge of their professions,” said NSAD President Steve Altman. Other recent NSAD guest lecturers have included award-winning Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels and Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder.
About NewSchool of Architecture and Design
NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), founded in 1980, is located in San Diego, California. NSAD is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. NSAD’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NSAD also offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Construction Management and a Master of Science in Architecture.
For more information, visit www.NewSchoolArch.edu.