GSAPP Conversations offer a window onto the expanding field of contemporary architectural practice through discussions on the current projects, research, and obsessions of a diverse group of invited guests from emerging and well-established practices. Hosted by Columbia GSAPP’s Dean Amale Andraos, the conversations also feature the School’s influential faculty and alumni, and give students the opportunity to engage architects on issues of concern to the next generation.
Making Books Now: WORKac in Conversation with Johnston Marklee
Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee speak with Amale Andraos in this first of six conversations recorded live at the conference Making Books Now on September 15, 2017. The conference was co-organized by Columbia GSAPP and the Chicago Architecture Biennial on the occasion of the Biennial’s opening at the Chicago Cultural Center, and was hosted by GSAPP’s Director of Publications, James Graham.
Amale Andraos, co-founder of WORKac with Dan Wood, and Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, co-founders of JohnstonMarklee, speak with one another about their respective books, We’ll Get There When We Cross That Bridge (Monacelli, 2017), and House is a House is a House is a House is a House (Birkhäuser, 2016). Andraos is Dean of Columbia GSAPP, and Johnston and Lee served as curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
“A book is a slow medium, and architecture is a slow medium. Culture is fast, but architecture is slow. ... It’s important to take advantage of that slowness.”
Malo Hutson in Conversation with Amale Andraos
Dean Amale Andraos speaks with GSAPP Associate Professor Malo Hutson, who teaches in Urban Planning and directs the school’s Urban Community and Health Equity Lab. The interdisciplinary research lab operates at the intersection of health inequalities and urban planning, and collaborates with community groups, students, and academic and professional colleagues.
In this podcast, Andraos and Hutson discuss how housing and place affects residents’ health, day-to-day life, and sense of community – particularly for areas going through a neighborhood transformation. They also speak about how the benefits can be shared equitably between diverse communities as cities change, and how to move beyond the “paralysis of analysis.”
“So much of the built environment impacts our everyday lives and shapes the places that we live. The fundamental piece of my work is asking how does place matter: for your health, for economic opportunities, for education, for the environment – for all those things”
Frida Escobedo in Conversation with Andrew Nolan Davis
Andrew Nolan Davis, second-year student in the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices Program at Columbia GSAPP, speaks with Mexican Architect Frida Escobedo, whose exhibition ‘No. 9' opened at the Arthur Ross Architectural Gallery on October 20, 2017.
They discuss the tension between social and historical time, and how that can shape understandings of architecture. Escobedo also touches on her desire to reactivate forgotten spaces, such as in the Hotel Boca Chica, and how the process of making No. 9 echoed the creation of the original sculptures.
“Exhibitions and biennials have allowed us to understand architecture in a very different timeframe. When you think about architecture you think about years … But with these temporary installations you get to see architecture from a different perspective, it's almost like compressing the life of architecture.”
Jo Noero in Conversation with James Brillon
They discuss the relationship between democracy and architecture and how this is expressed in Noero’s Table House project: stacking structures that provide shack dwellers with a framework to both improve their homes and acquire skilled labor. They also consider what an architect gains from teaching, and Noero shares his advice for students:
“Go where the work is. Leave America. Leave Western Europe: they’re finished. … Africa’s population is going to double in forty years time. It’s going to be the continent of the future. That’s where you should go.”
James Wines of SITE in Conversation with Jarrett Ley
Columbia GSAPP student Jarrett Ley speaks with James Wines on the occasion of his lecture at the school on October 9, 2017. Wines founded SITE, an environmental art and design organization, in New York City in 1970. His architecture, landscape and public space designs have been influential for decades. The work is based on a response to surrounding contexts, and spans more than one hundred and fifty projects internationally. Wines is also a Professor of Architecture at Penn State University, and he continues to write and lecture on integrative thinking and environmental issues internationally.