2019-2020 Lecture Series: RELEVANCE
Architecture’s relevance too often goes un-questioned by those within the discipline, even as it is increasingly marginalized in public discourse and private experience. While we argue that there is no realm of human activity untouched by architecture, there is a clear need to more explicitly demonstrate architecture’s contribution to our environment, broadly defined. How can we more convincingly, authentically, and directly respond to the questions: Why does architecture matter? What is its value and its cultural weight? And how can the relevance of architecture be leveraged, expressed, and experienced?
Architecture enters into a civic discourse with those who inhabit and shape our neighborhoods, cities, nations, and planet. It can provide the social infrastructure for equity, inclusion, justice, and responsibility, making a significant material impact on the complex and urgent issues that define public life. It can be aspirational, making space for questions, ideas, and creativity. Form, material, composition, representation, and production are not only aesthetic concerns; they are also mechanisms for heightening awareness of and engagement with contemporary and future cultures.
All lectures will take place in the HSA auditorium at 720 N. Washington Ave, Springfield, MO.
Paul Mankins, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is principal at substance architecture, a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm that has designed significant and award-winning corporate, residential, civic, and higher education facilities around the country. In addition to being an accomplished and premeated designer, Mankins has also taught at Iowa State University since 1998. He will discuss his practice in relation to this year’s lecture series theme, RELEVANCE.
Rafi Segal is an award-winning architect-urbanist-educator who heads MIT’s Master’s program in Urbanism. His practice takes a multi-disciplinary and system-based approach to addressing socio-economic and environmental challenges to produce collective spaces that impact the way we live. He has worked on the scale of the building, the neighborhood, the settlement, and the region with an aim of creating civic value.
Design and construction are fundamentally optimistic acts since to conceive and build space
isto imagine a transformed future. As an activated (and potentially activist) art, architecture seeks to improve the private as well as the social experiences and activities of individuals, communities, and organizations. As local and global challenges emerge and evolve, the discipline and the profession are called on to do more than simply respond, adapt, or mitigate; they must also envision, facilitate, and contribute to empowering and ennobling future possibilities.
Even as we acknowledge its progressive capacities, we also recognize architecture’s limits. Economic realities, structures of power, and governmental and institutional processes all conspire to constrain what is possible. OPTIMISM features speakers who meet these challenges with confidence in the transformative potential of design and public engagement.
We are proud to announce this year's guest lecturers for HSA's 2018-2019 lecture series OPTIMISM.
All lectures will take place in the HSA auditorium, 720 N Washington Ave, Springfield, MO.
University of Washington
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Gina Ford, PLA, FASLA
Principal and Co-Founder
Agency Landscape + Planning
Interboro, Brooklyn, NY
Jay Reeves '00Shane Hood '02
SPACE, St. Louis, MO
W Design, Tulsa, OK
Olivia Snell '16
MWA Architects, Portland, OR
Yasuko Tarumi '08
Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA
Brooks + Scarpa
Los Angeles, CA
Recently, theorists and practitioners considering technical aspects of
buildinghave been drawn to the term ‘performance’ to refer to measurable qualities of functionality and efficiency while also suggesting a more dynamic role for building technique. Advanced materials and systems can now dramatically increase measurable performance, but they can also bring a ‘performative’ aspect to design, with buildings and sites optimizing function, use, and experience in ways that depend on and respond to context. These developments invite a reinvestigation—perhaps even a rejection—of reductive oppositions within architecture between art and science, the objective and the subjective, creative design thinking and technical problem-solving. Instead, designing and producing architecture increasingly involves an opportunistic and integrative search for potential—rather than a singular solution—by acknowledging and questioning rules, limits, and relational design parameters.
PERFORMANCE-ART features speakers who, as individuals or members of collaboratives, investigate the interconnectedness and co-dependence of art and science, form and function, buildings and their environments, extending the discipline and profession to include a variety of creative practices, including those of fabricators, engineers, artists, writers, and others, while still engaging issues that are fundamental to architectural work.
Saint Louis, MO
Perkins + Will
Derek Porter Studio / Parsons School of Design
New York City, New York
PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania
Erik Martin ‘06
Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles / Detroit