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Architecture Inside/Out Workshop #03

AVANT-GARDE ORGANICISM: UNRAVELING THE RHETORIC OF EMERGENT GENETIC ARCHITECTURE

Christina Cogdell, Design Historian and Mellon Fellow, UPenn

Christina Cogdell will introduce her new research project examining the overlaps in contemporary developments in architectural and scientific theory and practice. She focuses on theories of emergence and self-organization in complex biological systems, as tied to shifting theories on the interaction of genes and environment in relation to growth, development, and evolutionary change. Contemporary architects make use of scientific rhetoric, theory and computational processes in varying amounts and to different ends. Some focus on avant-garde form finding with littler interest in serious scientific collaboration, whereas others are teaming up with biomedical scientists to study changes in tissue architecture during disease. A few radicals pronounce the imminence of genetically engineered living buildings. Cogdell situates contemporary architectural practices in relation to historical discourses of evolutionary and eugenic architectures of the twentieth century, in order to lay a foundation for broader inquiries into and discussion about today's varied methods and goals.

Christina Cogdell is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania this year, and will be Associate Professor of Design, Art History, and American Studies at the University California- Davis starting Fall 2009. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas in 2011, and is the author of Eugenic Design: Streamling America in the 1930s (2004).

This Workshop discussion continues the Architecture Insidel/Out Project, an interface for discussion about notions of insides and outsides in architectural discourse.

Coordinated by the PhD students in architecture history and theory at the GSAPP. Sponsored by GSAPP, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.