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The Media of Architecture: Print, Exhibitions, and Communications at Columbia GSAPP

Fri, Dec 9, 2016    12:30pm

Architecture has been confronting questions of representation throughout its recent modern history. But what is the “media” of architecture beyond the physical buildings themselves? Modernity’s radical transformation of architectural production—as examined in writings from Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Message to Beatriz Colomina’s Architectureproduction—could be understood as a practice of media, display, and communication. But the role of narrative in architecture continues to evolve new methods of content creation and dissemination.

Rather than examine these methods within the production of architecture itself, this event explores architectural narratives as they are expressed within academic, critical, and cultural settings. We will consider the role of exhibition making, print and digital publications, as well as communications strategies with senior staff members from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. How might the exhibitions, events, publications, and social media content produced by an architecture school such as Columbia GSAPP provide a useful case study for evaluating design storytelling on a broader scale?

Steffen Boddeker, Senior Director of Communications and Events, GSAPP
James Graham, Director of Publications, GSAPP
Irene Sunwoo, Director of Exhibitions, GSAPP
Moderated by Marcelo López-Dinardi, Partner, A(n) Office and GSAPP Incubator Alumnus

If you are not part of the GSAPP Incubator or NEW INC community and would like to attend this event, please send your RSVP to: aes2280@columbia.edu.


Steffen Boddeker is GSAPP Senior Director of Communications and Events, responsible for the institution’s public outreach and image, he oversees events, promotion, and press relations. Previously he was Director of Communications at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). He initiated a strategy for an institutional online presence through major projects including a new website, a series of exhibition microsites, and the use of online platforms for the dissemination of program resources and promotional tools. Before joining the CCA, Böddeker was Director of Communications at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2003-06) and Responsible for Public Affairs at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (1997-2002). He studied design and earned a Masters in Visual Arts Administration at New York University in 1996.

James Graham is the Director of Publications at Columbia GSAPP, where he is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor. He directs the Columbia Books on Architecture and the City imprint, for which he has edited or co-edited a number of volumes, including Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (2016) and *2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory *(2015). In 2014, he founded the Avery Review, a digital periodical of critical essays on architecture at www.averyreview.com. His own scholarly work has been published in Grey Room, AA Files, Manifest and JSAH, among other journals. James is currently completing his Ph.D. at Columbia GSAPP. His dissertation, titled “The Psychotechnical Architect: Perception, Vocation, and the Laboratory Cultures of Modernity 1914–1945”, examines the influences of applied psychology on architectural pedagogy and practice in Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States. He also has degrees in architecture from MIT and the University of Virginia, and is a registered architect.

Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, researcher and educator based in New York City. He is Partner of A(n) Office, teach architecture studios and seminars as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Barnard + Columbia, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Lecturer in Penn Design. He holds an MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices of architecture from Columbia GSAPP. He was selected to represent the United States Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and more recently selected as a Fellow for Ideas City Athens and event organized by New York City’s New Museum and the Neon Foundation in Athens.

Irene Sunwoo is the Director of Exhibitions and Curator of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Previously, she was Associate Curator of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, a new global platform for contemporary architecture that launched in 2015. Sunwoo is the author of In Progress: IID Summer Sessions (AA Publications, Fall 2016), and is preparing a book on the history of the Architectural Association. She has published articles and essays in Grey Room, AA Files, Journal of Architectural Education, The Avery Review, and Domus, among other journals. Her research has been supported and recognized by grants and awards from the Graham Foundation, the Paul Mellon Centre, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She holds a PhD from Princeton University, MA degrees from the Architectural Association and the Bard Graduate Center, and a BA from New York University.