University of Illinois Chicago (Matthew)

The Shape of Cool

  • anchor

    Live Blogging Paul Andersen

    Matthew Messner
    Apr 6, '11 2:19 PM EST

    Paul Andersen is the last candidate for the assistant professorship here at UIC. I am goin to try and blog a bit while he is talking.

    Paul Andersen, Wednesday, April 6
    Paul Andersen is director of !ndie Architecture, a Denver-based office that develops new design strategies and aesthetic directions for suburbia. He has previously taught at Harvard, UCLA, and Cornell University, and has been a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. He holds degrees from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania.

    Paul Started with an analogy to Sienfeld. Pointing out the uniqueness of its form and how the parts work togther in seemingly

    Spoke about serial Homology through the example of leg and hand bones of animals.

    On to his work he started with the design of a lobby for a movie theater complex based on consulting through behavior analysis. The main part of the project was special wall design that incorporated a radiant heating system. The radiant heating lattice that ran through the wall worked in a way that produced micro climates though out the open spaces. Planters would be used through out the space matching the specific climate of each space of the lobby,

    Next he moved on to pattern and a book that he produced, "Architecture of Patterns." He pointed out that Pattern can be a touchy subject. He also points out the Pattern versus Pattern, the graphic versus the C.Alexander definition of timeless universal building. He went on to talk about the famous graphic designer David Carson who worked on the cover of the book. Carson's fight with the publishers over the form of the book and its legibility. (answering a question I put forward after the lecture. about the book) They felt that the book could explore a third definition of Pattern. They thought that they had found a soft spot in the the discussion on pattern.

    The next portion moved on to suburbia with a look at john shermer movies set in Chicago suburbia. (farris buller, breakfast club etc.) and then a look at suburbia in the 90's film and the shift to the disturbing with silance of the lambs of the early 90's to the truman show and american beauty. Next he spoke about the perception of the city in film in the 80's, Adventures in Babysitting, going to the city as a wild adventure into the wild. this segued into a look at the more recent perception of the city. He pointed out the use of the word InnerCity and how it has lessened from its hight in the 70's. Also pointing out the switching of the demographics of the city in recent years as Minorities have a greater population in the suburbs and how there are signs of a reverse white flight into the cities.

    I need to go check on my laser plot so I need to step away.... this is tough.

    ok back

    now talking about a court lot project with housing around a shared space. This project is in Denver. He discussed the idea of density in the city and how people are not always interested in living in highly dense housing, particularly in CO. The project works to expand the size of the housing units while adding more open space. This is done with getting rid of allies and through formal arrangements. The houses use interesting garage solutions which look at hiding the garage in the form of the building. I will try and update this with some images. this project was for an exhibition and publication. He says that they are working on getting the project to be realized.

    The Next project is in Hill Top suburb of Denver CO. The idea being that a six lot area would have six houses that work as a more urban fabric over individual houses. The six houses would include Hydrogen fuel stations that are part of a plan that works on an entrepreneurial model. Because Hydrogen fuel can be produced dispersed as opposed to in centralized factories, it can be integrated into a more suburban context. He contrasted a map of where current fossil fuels are produce as opposed to how Hydrogen fuel could be a part of a community.

    THe next project also addressed suburbia. This project was produced at PS1 MoMA. the project looked at the lawn. the project would work with nontraditional use of astroturf. Turf would be colored, used as wall covering, submerged and other arrangements. The turf could be used for climate control based on the exact arrangement and material.

    Now he is going through some small projects very quickly. I might not be able to keep up.

    An Earth ship that is currently under construction.

    An exhibit (Energy Effects) which looks at energy and the use of surplus energy and how it defines an civilization by how they use it. DO we use it for Hydron colliders, rockets, war, art. This project is being into book. Looks super awesome. I can't write fast enough. ahhh

    A project for the Denver botanical garden. This project formally looks like two plies being pulled apart with stretched bubble gum columns. literally pink, and bubble gum shaped.

    Ahhh a few more projects that i am missing.

    He closes with a discussion of discipline. (sorry for not elaborating on this.) he spoke about the discipline of Sienfeld despite its focus on something that does not seem disciplinary...

    Prof Penelope Dean puts forth a question about the formal design of the projects that seem to often take the shape of the cul de sac. His answer explains that the shape is rooted in how sub urban design works and that his history of designing with curves.

    Grant Gibson follows up with a question about the use of pattern (the cul du sac) as the embrace of subjectivity.

    His answer. The practicability of pattern can be evolved with "noise" being added to the pattern. In practice he says that pattern can be used as analog to measure whether their work is repeating and how much noise they are injecting into their work.

    Jeff Goldberg asks about the relation between Urban and Suburb an how Anderson is not working to blend the two or necessarily separates the two.

    His answer talks about the use and need for both Urban and Suburban using the example of artist like Pollock, and Smithson whom showed in the city but actually worked in the suburban NJ. Pointing out that the relationship is more complex then past rejections or embarrassed of the city or the suburb separately.

    That is all I can get. a few more clean up questions and discussion of the suburbs and housing crisis. Sorry I can't elaborate more.

    I will try and get some pictures up on here if I can find some and have some time.

    Pardon, spelling, tense and grammatical error. i will try and go through this a bit to clean it up.

    thanks for reading


    • Lian Chikako Chang

      yay for live blogging!

      Apr 6, 11 4:00 pm  · 

      The bit about He closes with a discussion of discipline. (sorry for not elaborating on this.) he spoke about the discipline of Sienfeld despite its focus on something that does not seem disciplinary to me reads as if he is suggesting a sort of disciplinary focus which tends to the thematic and "critical" but undefined.

      In the same way Seinfeld was a sitcom about how sitcoms aren't about anything yet are about everything (life in general), an architecture/design practice which is engaged with anything/everything but is "critically" self-reflexive with re: to discipline(s)?

      Does that make any sense or ring true with his usage?

      Apr 6, 11 7:09 pm  · 

      Once again, apologies for not being a little clearer. Let's see if i can put this correctly.

      He used Seinfeld in a few ways, and in the last part of the talk he explained how though the show seemed to lack structure it was based and planned in a very disciplinary manner. Pointing out that a rule the writers of Seinfeld had was "no hugs" as in the show was never to become sentimental. It was to be purely about comedy. The lossness of the show was under-lied by a strictness.

      Does that make sense?

      your comment does not seem far from that. I am just trying to repeat his point without putting too many words in his mouth.

      IF you happen to read this Mr.Andersen, feel free to correct any of my dictation. I am trying to convey the points as objectively as possible.

      Apr 6, 11 10:34 pm  · 

      yes, absolutely.... thanks for clarifying

      Apr 10, 11 10:28 am  · 

      As objective as I tried to make this post. The lecture was very good. The conversation among students and faculty continued well after the talk. Another great candidate the admin will have to choose from.

      Apr 10, 11 10:59 pm  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

An in-depth look at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago. The People, The Happenings, The Projects, and the Discussion.

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with University of Illinois Chicago:

Recent Entries