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    Stair Sessions with Robert Somol and Neil Denari

    Meredith Garda
    Nov 4, '15 2:01 PM EST

    On October 13, The Knowlton School hosted a 'stair session' with this year's Herbert Baumer Distinguished Visiting Professors, Neil Denari and Robert Somol. Denari made is second visit to the Knowlton School this year as he wrapped up a two part seminar with third year architecture graduate students. 

    As a part of the Baumer seminar, students presented a final analysis of Denari's work to complete the first half of the course. Somol, a former professor at the Knowlton School, joined Denari for a discussion with students in the morning and the 'stair session' in the afternoon.  

    The session was facilitated by Knowlton assistant professors, Kristy Balliet and Justin Diles, who are co-teaching the Baumer Seminar course this year. Balliet and Diles came with a series of questions for Somol and Denari: topics ranging from Denari's forthcoming monograph to Somol's thoughts on the trajectory of practice. The session can be viewed on the school's website.

    Somol will return in the spring to help wrap up the Baumer seminar with the students and give a public lecture at the school. 


    More information about the school and a full schedule of lectures can be found at Previous lectures can be viewed at


    • I went to this. I found the conversation really interesting and rich but exceptionally hard to follow. What excited me about that was thinking that a bunch of students in a seminar were being exposed to these very upper level conversations about the discipline, not just in a podcast or one panel discussion, but in a classroom setting with lots of time to flesh them out and follow new ideas that spark.

      My favorite bit was when Somol  accused/praised Neil for having "a cultural obligation to design something" rather than just let parametric data make a shape.

      Would have loved being in the seminar itself. Seriously, I was intellectual sprinting and barely keeping up! Great stuff.

      Nov 4, 15 4:15 pm  · 

      Again, who the fuck cares about these circle-jerk academics? 

      Nov 4, 15 10:06 pm  · 

      if circle-jerking gets you this type of work, must be something to it, no?

      Nov 5, 15 12:13 am  · 

      God, exactly, Olaf! Thank you for that. It's a super cool building.

      Nov 5, 15 6:46 am  · 

      That building sucks, horrible form, hokey finish, but well detailed - looks like some bad Jetsons building.  Dripping in cash tho - would think you could do a lot more.

      Nov 6, 15 2:25 pm  · 

      assuming you're referring to the red buildings, their crowns match shape but not color?  why?  poorly executed and derivative.  and i don't think you can even do fire exits like that anymore.  are those supposed to be ornamental?  this is the kind of over-intellectualize we need to get rid of in universities today.

      Nov 11, 15 5:42 pm  · 

      Yeah totally. Those exposed fire escapes are so PoMo.

      Nov 11, 15 6:42 pm  · 

      the unit of width was 22" back in '68.....fat people would never be able to escape, such cruel design

      Nov 11, 15 7:05 pm  · 

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This blog will be a feeder for recent news, events and student work occurring at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Posts will typically center around updates from the school's lecture series, exciting projects from recent student reviews and updates from other school events.

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