Yale School of Architecture (Enrique)

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    The Only Way Forward Is Forward

    By Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke
    Jan 21, '07 11:13 PM EST

    The past two weeks sped along at a dizzying pace. Not only am I writing my thesis, but the rest of the second-year MED students and me are busy in the realm of programming. As I've mentioned earlier, we are still putting the touches on our symposium. Called The Market of Effects, the symposium will be held on March 29-30 here at Yale, following a keynote lecture by Professor Mark Gottdiener from SUNY Buffalo. According to the school website, "This symposium, organized by students in the School's Master of Environmental Design program, will explore the creation of narrative, visual, sensual and technological effects in recent architecture and urban design. The participants will articulate the historical, economic, and technological aspects behind these effects, and speculate on their ideological motivations." Six presenters, from graduate programs across the country, will be presenting. This event is unusual, and we anticipate a good turnout. We've been working on this since May of last year ... it's nice to see it coming to fruition.

    In addition, this past weekend, I attended the Seduction symposium. Much like the design work featured in the program, the event was smooth, slick and sexy -- the architecture and discussions were provocative, featuring a who's-who gallery of usual suspects: Greg Lynn, Jeffrey Kipnis, Hernan Diaz-Alonso, David Erdman, Kivi Sotamaa, Roemer van Toorn, David Erdman, Peter Eiseman, Mark Linder, Mark Gage. In addition, there were presentations from journalists/curators, including Herbert Muschamp, Henry Urbach, Chrissy Iles, and Peggy Phelan. My two favorite presenters were Sylvia Lavin (who gave a really well-researched and thoughtful keynote lecture) and Gregory Crewdson. I only know Crewdson from the cover art he did for Yo La Tengo's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000) -- but he was a fantastic presenter. It's amazing, because he puts the same amount of energy in a single picture that a production crew would put into shooting a scene. Fantastic stuff.

    Our colloquium, entitled "Critical Imaginaries" is proceeding well. Last Tuesday, we had Dietrich Neumann, from Brown University, who is this year's Vincent Scully Visiting Professor. His talk was entitled Full Immersion, and he presented some important historical precedents to our topic. In considering issues of simulation and travel replacement, Professor Neumann's talk focused on the scopic regimes of panoramic images. Touching on work by Schinkel, as well as early examples of motion pictures, Neumann posited that simulation is, by necessity, a panoramic strategy.

    On Tuesday, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid) will come to our class. This promises to be great ... and I'll keep you to speed on what happens.

    And next Tuesday, January 30 ... it's Reinhold Martin (Columbia).

    More later ....


    • treekiller

      what's the deal with suny buffalo and big intellects? We never hear a peep from students there, but their faculty seems to be everywhere else with big ideas...

      Jan 22, 07 9:16 am  · 

      thanks for the update. How is Sotamaa regarded over there? I've witnessed only a part of his lecture here in Finland (presenting OCEAN North - stuff) but he's something of a maverick-finn. taking a decisively different path than most finnish architects (well, he is actually not a trained architect, even loosely defined), resembling more stefan lindfors and other finnish product designers than any of the young professionals in his field.

      Anyway- all the stuff I've seen from him has been somewhat pretentious crap - the ground zero proposal, stealth-plane-inspired furniture, ... but I could be just blinded by a national prejudice. And, I've got not much idea what he is doing in Ohio (where he is teaching at the moment- to my understanding). Would appreciate a comment on one of the few of our architects over there.

      Jan 22, 07 9:23 am  · 
      Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

      True ... they do have big names (Henry Sussman, Hadas Steiner, Omar Khan, Mark Gottdiener). I have no idea why we don't hear from their students -- they have a very good urban planning program as well as an interesting architecture/media studies program. It's a very interesting school.

      Jan 22, 07 9:24 am  · 
      Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

      Helsinki ... I'm not sure how Sotamaa is regarded over here. To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen him on a jury. And quite honestly, his stuff does not really interest me at all. But that's just me. As for other Finns, the only ones I've seen over here are (beside my advisor) Marco Steinberg.

      Jan 22, 07 9:36 am  · 

      Your advisor being ms. Pelkonen? She organized a symposium a few years back in Jyväskylä - part of the activity of the Alvar Aalto Foundation - it was a good sampling of people and a few outstanding lectures (as well as many not-so-captivating paper presentations). anyway, as a happening an anomaly in Finland.

      Yeah, it's funny that Sotamaa is in the Finnish context an "outsider"-figure, when in the international arena he totally just disappears in all the similar noise filling publications and websites.

      Jan 22, 07 10:16 am  · 

      I found his webpages at
      He seems to be both a professor at the Ohio State and the Applied Arts University in Vienna [where Hadid and Prix teach] and is building a large housing project in Ohio. He seems to be moving on from his ground zero stuff and OCEAN NORTH days. I found funny interviews of Herbert Muschamp and Kipnis on the site as well. They give a pretty good idea of how he is considered in the States.

      Feb 1, 07 5:53 pm  · 

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