From Abstraction to Zeitgeist.
September 29, 2012 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The SCI-Arc Media Archive features 600+ video lectures on modern architecture and design, with an emphasis on Southern California.
posted by xowie (2 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Found this one interesting as the architects set themselves against Christopher Alexander.
"Is the architect simply a victim of circumstances or may he be allowed to cultivate his own free will?"

"The last statement in regarding to architecture as a willful activity is something that we find significant to us [...] in that we're educationally products of the sixties, and of people like Alexander [... ]who dealt with architecture as a responsive system. I think that our interest at this time is in looking at the relationship between the willful and the responsive, or active and passive."

"We have attempted to look for solutions that exploit the particular circumstance -- the circumstance of place, of use, of scale, etc, and the attempt to derive out of this their basic vitality."

"Another aspect is the development of priority in the sense of looking at which aspects from each particular problem are critical to that problem, of finding a solution to the type of vitality we're looking at."
They go on to lay out their Five Major Interests:
1. Program which is both stated and interpreted: the building type, the specific use, the inherent content, which is observed.
2. Environment: homeostatic state in a passive way between building and environment.
3. Technology: prediliction for using many types of materials with attention to how they are employed and assembled. Using technologies from present, past and introducing future technologies.
4. Structure, which is expressed, sometimes in a straight-forward way and sometimes in an ambiguous way.
5. Communication, or the means for graphically presenting the other four points: the architectural language of the project. The language is unique to each building.

It's passively expressed, but close to Roark's principles in the Fountainhead. I then go to Wikipedia to see what they've built and it's horrific looking. Ironically, Alexander ends up looking like the more expressive architect.

However, it's noted at the beginning that Mayne, one of the speakers, organized the speaking series, so we presumably have him to thank for many of these recordings.
posted by michaelh at 4:09 PM on September 29, 2012

with an emphasis on Southern California.

To be fair, this isn't just some thing about architecture focusing on Southern California, it's a product of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (AKA SCI-Arc), which is an architecture school in LA.
posted by LionIndex at 5:30 PM on September 29, 2012

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