Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Los Angeles, CA


SCI-Arc Fall 2011 Public Programs Announced

By sciarcnews
Aug 1, '11 6:45 PM EST

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to announce its Fall 2011 schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions. The school welcomes award-winning architects, urban historians, writers, designers, and artists for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary art to technical practice. Events and exhibitions at SCI-Arc are always free to the public.

Our Fall 2011 schedule features:

Sept 11: Thom Mayne Commencement Address at the 2011 SCI-Arc Graduation Ceremony
Sept 19: Exhibition discussion with 2011 Selected Thesis winners and Eric Owen Moss
Sept 21: Philip Beesley
Sept 28: Jesse Reiser
Oct 5: Zvi Hecker
Oct 12: Odile Decq
Oct 14: Exhibition discussion with Odile Decq and Eric Owen Moss
Oct 19: Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas
Oct 26: Markus Miessen
Oct 28: Exhibition discussion with the SCI-Arc/Caltech Solar Decathlon Team and Eric Owen Moss
Nov 2: Jose Oubrerie
Nov 9: Mark Foster Gage
Nov 16: Xu Weiguo
Nov 30: John Southern

Lectures are free and open to the public in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall and are broadcast live on

September 11, 5pm in the Graduation Pavilion on the SCI-Arc campus

Thom Mayne: 2011 Commencement Address
Founder and Design Director, Morphosis; Member, SCI-Arc Board of Trustees
A product of the anti-establishment of the 1960s, Mayne was among seven faculty members and approximately forty students who left Cal Poly Pomona in 1972 to create SCI-Arc, “a college without walls.” Since then, he has been a frequent guest, juror, lecturer and generous supporter of the school. Founded as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and rigorous research, Mayne’s firm, Morphosis Architects, was formed in 1972, the first year of SCI-Arc’s history. With Morphosis, Mayne has been the recipient of 25 Progressive Architecture awards, over 100 American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards and numerous other design recognitions. Under his direction, the firm has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions. Drawings, furniture, and models produced by Morphosis are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco MOMA; the MAK in Vienna; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; and the FRAC Centre in France. Some of his best-known commissions include the Caltrans Building in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Federal Building, 41 Cooper Square—The Cooper Union’s new academic building in Manhattan, the Phare Tower in Paris and the pre-fabricated housing prototype FLOAT House in New Orleans.

September 21, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Philip Beesley: Diffusive Architecture
Professor, University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Toronto, Canada
Philip Beesley’s creative work has focused on ‘field’ oriented sculpture and landscape installations over the last two decades, developing into responsive kinetic architectural environments that approach near-living functions. The textiles in these installations have recently taken the form of interlinking matrices of mechanical components and arrays of sensors and actuators that respond to occupants moving within the environment. Lightweight lattice and geodesic organizations form a structural core, employing digitally fabricated lightweight scaffolds that contain distributed networks of sensors. The structures are designed at multiple scales including custom components, intermediate tessellations composed of component arrays, and general structural systems. Current work focuses on integrating control systems with decentralized responsive intelligence. Beesley’s work is based on gradual development moving toward applied architectural environments that include manufactured filtering and shading systems.

September 28, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Jesse Reiser: Projections and Receptions
Principal, Reiser+ Unemoto, RUR Architecture, New York
Jesse Reiser received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union in New York and completed his Masters of Architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  He was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome in 1985 and he worked for the offices of John Hejduk and Aldo Rossi prior to forming Reiser + Umemoto with partner Nanako Umemoto.  He is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and has previously taught at various schools in the US and Asia, including Columbia, Yale, Ohio State, and Hong Kong universities. Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture, is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary design firm, which has built projects at a wide range of scales: from furniture design, to residential and commercial structures, up to the scale of landscape, urban design and infrastructure.

October 5, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Zvi Hecker: Memory is the Soil of Architecture
Architect, Berlin, Tel Aviv
Born in Kraków, Poland in 1931, Zvi Hecker grew up in Samarkand, studied Architecture in Technion, Haifa, painting at Avni Academy, Tel Aviv, and taught Architecture at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada and at the University for Applied Arts, Vienna. In 1960, Hecker set up his practice in Tel Aviv, and in 1991 he moved his office to Berlin. In Israel, he designed the Bat-Yam City Hall; the Dubiner House (with A. Neumann and E. Sharon); the Spiral Apartment House; the Palmach Museum of History, Tel Aviv (with R. Segal); and the Military Academy in the Negev Desert. In Europe, his work includes the Jewish School and the Lindenstrasse Memorial (with E. Weizmann and M. Ullman) in Berlin; the Jewish Centre in Duisburg, Germany; and the Royal Dutch Military Police Complex at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Hecker lives and works in Berlin.

October 12, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Odile Decq: Beyond Horizon
Director, École Spéciale d’Architecture; Principal, Odile Decq Benoît Cornette, Architectes-Urbanistes, Paris, France
Odile Decq set up her practice after graduating from La Villette in 1978, while studying political science in Paris and pursuing a postgraduate program in Urban Planning. Her first commission, Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, France—completed in 1990—received international acclaim and numerous prizes. Publications documenting the building underlined the emergence of a new style born from punk rebellion, while also questioning the project, the use, the matter, the body, the technique, the taste, and the  architecture of Odile Decq Benoît Cornette. In 1996, her firm was awarded a Golden Lion in Venice. Working independently since 1998, Decq has been truthful to her original style, while diversifying and radicalizing her research. Recently, she completed the new wing of the Museum for Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO) in 2010, and the restaurant at Opera Garnier in Paris, in 2011. Since 2007, Decq has been serving as Executive Director of the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.

October 19, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas: Back to the Future
Architect, Professor, University of Granada, Spain
Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas is a professor of Architecture at the University of Granada, Spain, and a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, Switzerland. His works have been acknowledged internationally, and received awards including the European Prize for Urban Public Spaces, the International Prize of Stone Architecture, and the Contractword Award. His Nasrid Wall Project received the National Prize for Best Project on Historical Heritage and eight other prizes and mentions, becoming the most awarded of its kind in Andalusia. His buildings have been selected for the Venice and Spain Biennales, the Mies Van der Rohe Award, and the BSI Swiss Architectural Award. In 2007, Torrecillas received the National Prize in Architecture for Best Project  on Architectural Heritage from the National Board of Orders of Architects of Spain.  Torrecillas has guest lectured at numeours universities and institutions in Europe, Africa, Asia and the US.

October 26, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Markus Miessen: The Nightmare of Participation
Principal, Studio Miessen, Berlin; Professor, Städelschule, Frankfurt, Germany
Markus Miessen is an architect and writer. He has published numerous titles, in various collaborations, including “Waking Up From the Nightmare of Participation” (Expodium, 2011), “The Nightmare of Participation” (Sternberg Press, 2010), “Institution Building: Artists, Curators, Architects in the Struggle for Institutional Space” (Sternberg Press, 2009), “East Coast Europe” (Sternberg Press, 2008), “The Violence of Participation” (Sternberg Press, 2007), “With/Without: Spatial Products, Practices, and Politics in the Middle East” (Bidoun, 2007), “Did Someone Say Participate?” (MIT Press, 2006), and “Spaces of Uncertainty” (Müller+Busmann, 2002). His work has been published and exhibited widely, including at the Lyon, Venice, Performa (NY), Manifesta (Murcia), Gwangju, and Shenzhen Biennials. In 2008, he founded the Winter School Middle East in Dubai and Kuwait. As visiting professor, he has taught at the Architectural Association, London, the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, and at Haute École d'Art et de Design, Geneva. In fall 2011, Miessen will launch a new professorship for Critical Spatial Practice at the Städelschule in Frankfurt.

November 2, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Jose Oubrerie: Architecture in a Time of Uncertainty
Professor, The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, Columbus, Ohio
Jose Oubrerie is a Professor at The Ohio State University Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, which he joined as Chair in 1994 after his tenure as Dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Oubrerie has also taught in the Architecture School of Beaux-arts in Paris, The Cooper Union, Columbia GSAPP, CCNY School of Architecture, and Cornell University. After an early career in painting, Oubrerie studied Architecture in Paris and became the protégé of Le Corbusier, working on numerous projects such as the Brazil Pavillion, Hotel d’Orsay, the Strasbourg Convention Center, the Olivetti Offices and Factories in Milan, the Venice Hospital, the Zurichhorn Pavillion, and the Firminy Church. In 1970, Oubrerie became a registered architect and started his own office in Paris with several commissions: to establish the final project for the L-C‘s Firminy Church; to re-build the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in Bologna in collaboration with Giuliano Gresleri; to build a Computer and Research Center in Fontainebleau for the École des Mines de Paris; and to realize the French Cultural Center in Damascus, Syria. Later, while teaching in the US, he created together with his wife the Atelier Wylde-Oubrerie in Lexington, KY to build the Miller House. Oubrerie’s work has received numerous awards and has been published internationally. A monograph of essays about the Miller House, edited by architectural theorist Jeffrey Kipnis, is due this winter as well as a book about Oubrerie’s recent CCNY exhibition “Architecture With and Without Le Corbusier,” featuring the Firminy Church and the Miller House.

November 9, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Mark Foster Gage: Design Liquidity
Assistant Dean and Associate Professor, Yale University School of Architecture; Principal, Gage/Clemenceau Architects, New York
Mark Foster Gage serves as Assistant Dean and is an Associate Professor at the Yale University School of Architecture, where he has taught since 2001. His writings have been published in numerous academic and popular publications including Log, Journal of
Architectural Education, A+U, Volume, Fulcrum, Perspecta, and AD.  Gage was a guest editor, with Florencia Pita, of the fall 2009 issue of Log (Log #17) and a co-editor of the book The Millennium House. Recently completed books include Composites, Software and Surfaces: Towards a High Performance Architecture with Greg Lynn, and Aesthetic Theory: Essential Texts, for W.W. Norton & Company publishers, both published in 2011. The work of Gage/Clemenceau Architects has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Deutsches Architektur Zentrum in Berlin, and the 2010 Beijing International Biennale. The firm has won numerous awards including the New York Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum in 2008; was a finalist in the MoMA PS1 Young Architects program in 2007; received the AIA New Practices Award from AIA New York in 2006; and was nominated for the inaugural Ordos Prize in Architecture in 2009. Gage’s work has also been featured widely by publications and media outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, Vogue, Wired, Surface and Fox News, as well as in numerous books and venues internationally.

November 16, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Xu Weiguo: XWG Works
Professor, Tsinghua University School of Architecture; Principal, XWG archi-studio, Beijing, China
Xu Weiguo is a Professor and Head of the Architecture department at the Tsinghua University School of Architecture in Beijing, China. He was awarded his doctorate from Kyoto University in Japan and was a visiting scholar at MIT. Weiguo has published more than ten books on design methodology and new digital technologies in architecture, and his papers have been included in numerous journals. Weiguo has served as one of the curators of the last four editions of the prestigious Beijing Architecture Biennale. He has also lectured internationally including in the US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Israel and Russia. He is principal of XWG archi-studio in Beijing, China.

November 30, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
John Southern: Seeding Production, Explorations and Conjecture in Contemporary Culture
Principal, Urban Operations, Los Angeles
John Southern (M.Arch ‘02), a SCI-Arc alumnus, is principal of the Los Angeles architecture firm Urban Operations.  His office specializes in design/build projects, installations, and research endeavors which seek to expand critical discourse within the design profession. Urban Operations has extensive experience in collaboration and focuses on a variety of practical topics and conceptual avenues within contemporary culture.  The firm’s work has appeared in galleries and publications in both Europe and the US.  Recent projects include a pocket park for the Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles, an experimental hillside home, and a pair of CNCfabricated formwork pieces entitled Diamond Dogs. Southern teaches design studio and theory seminars at Woodbury University School of Architecture in Burbank, Calif.  As a journalist, he has written for several publications specializing in the fields of urbanism and design, including, Loudpaper, MONU, Junkjet and Form.



September 10 – 11, 2011 throughout the campus

Graduate Thesis Weekend
Thesis Reviews: Saturday, September 10, 9–6pm & Sunday, September 11, 10-5pm
Work remains on view until Friday, September 16.
A celebration of academic achievement, SCI-Arc's graduate thesis weekend is regarded among theoreticians and practicing architects as a major forum for the discussion of fresh insights and innovative concepts in architecture. Among guest jurors attending this year's thesis reviews are Peter Cook, Joe Day, Jeffrey Kipnis, Greg Lynn, Eric Owen Moss, Jesse Reiser, and many others.

September 19 – September 30, 2011 in the SCI-Arc Gallery
Selected Graduate Thesis Exhibition
Discussion and Opening Reception: Monday, September 19, 7-9pm
SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss and 2011 Selected Thesis Winners discuss the projects on view in the exhibition. A juried exhibition of exceptional thesis projects by 2011 M.Arch candidates, the Selected Graduate Thesis Exhibition features the winning thesis projects and several other picked by guest jurors. Graduate thesis reflects SCI-Arc's rigorous architectural education that is responsive to cultural change, promotes architectural experimentation and creative and academic freedom, and supports a fluid relationship between education and practice.

October 14—December 4 in the SCI-Arc Gallery
Odile Decq Benoît Cornette, Architectes Urbanistes: Anisotropy
Discussion and Opening Reception: Friday, October 14, 7-9pm
Architect Odile Decq and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the exhibition.
Whereas our perception of space is typically forged through the analysis of sensory information gathered from our surroundings, Odile Decq’s Anisotropy installation in the SCI-Arc Gallery explores the way we move through space as to challenge our mental perception. The project creates a series of spaces, each unique in experience, though the physical environment stays the same. The primary geometry of each space is the triangle, but by inclining the walls at different angles and cladding them with mirrors, Decq invites the audience to experience a play of reflection and illusions. Furthermore, each space is dis-functional as to alter and obscure the perception we construct of the space and place the mind in a constant state of disorientation. Hence, when exiting the space, the viewer is imprinted with a lasting effect of disorientation and dis-functionality.

Odile Decq, principal of Odile Decq Benoît Cornette, Architectes Urbanistes, set up her practice after graduating from La Villette in 1978, while studying political science in Paris and pursuing a post-graduate program in Urban Planning. Her first commission, Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, France—completed in 1990—received international acclaim and numerous prizes. Publications documenting the building underlined the emergence of a new style born from punk rebellion, while also questioning the project, the use, the matter, the body, the technique, the taste, and the architecture of Odile Decq Benoît Cornette. In 1996, her firm was awarded a Golden Lion in Venice. Working independently since 1998, Decq has been truthful to her original style, while at the same time diversifying and radicalizing her research. Recently, she completed the new wing of the Museum for Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO) in 2010, and the restaurant at Opera Garnier in Paris, in 2011. Since 2007, Decq has been serving as Executive Director of the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.

October 28 – December 16, 2011 in the Library Gallery
Solar Decathlon 2011 Exhibition
Discussion and Opening Reception: Friday, October 28, 7-9pm
The Solar Decathlon 2011 exhibition documents the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House entry in the award-winning juried competition organized every other year by the U.S. Department of Energy. In early 2010, SCI-Arc and Caltech joined forces to become the first team from Southern California to be selected for the prestigious competition that invites student-led teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy efficient, and well designed. Among the competition highlights, through orchestrating an unprecedented viral campaign involving all participating Solar Decathlon teams, the SCIArc/Caltech Team was instrumental in ensuring the Solar Decathlon competition will continue to be hosted on the National Mall in Washington D.C. In addition, the team secured one of the biggest cash sponsorships received by a team this year through a sponsorship from Chinese-based solar panel manufacturer Hanwha Solar—who is principal sponsor and exclusive solar module supplier for the SCI-Arc/Caltech Solar Decathlon Team.  A striking feature of the SCI-Arc/Caltech design is its soft, insulating exterior, which gives the building the appearance of a giant ski parka. The Hanwha Solar CHIP House is also the only two-story structure in the competition.

Public Programs
SCI-Arc Gallery exhibitions and public programming are funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Parking and admission are free. No reservations are required. Lectures, talks, and discussions are broadcast live online at

SCI-Arc Public Programs are subject to change beyond our control. For the most current information, please visit or call 213-613-2200.

Parking and Hours
The entrance to SCI-Arc's parking lot is at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles, between Traction Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm; the Library Gallery is open daily from 12pm-6pm.