Curator: Jeffrey Kipnis
Producer: Designer, Andrew Zago
Exhibition: March 10-25, 2017
Exhibition closing reception: March 24, 7:30pm
The exhibition asserts as self-evident that the constellation of hand architectural drawings reached an apex in its conceptual and technical development around 1990 just as computational technological instruments such as wireframe drawings, renderings page definition illustrations and 3-d models began to supplant its predecessor entirely as the primary vector for disciplinary and professional communication. Indeed, the anticipation of inevitable computational transformation, already forecast by film animation, scientific illustration and magazine graphics, fueled hand drawing’s last outburst of creative and technical development.
The exhibition is not an encyclopedic survey of that transition as such, but rather, in keeping with SCI-Arch’s unique pedagogical charter, it is an examination of a small group of architects, most just a few years out of graduate school at the time, who were then united by a precocious and deeply vested interest in the hand drawing, though each in his or her own, way – sometimes personal and idiosyncratic, sometimes conceptual and technically arcanely, and sometimes esoteric though stringent in drawing process. Each went on to negotiate the transition to the computational environment forthrightly and in highly original ways, maintaining a loyalty to their legacy without nostalgia in the new work.
In addition, the exhibition offers a small selection of a new generation of architects whose work, in the opinion of the curator, seems to keenly aware of the disciplinary legacy and vicissitudes of the hand drawing constellation, and desires to offer in its own way, again without nostalgia and with true originality, a continuing reflection on the question, what are drawing’s conclusions.
Preston Scott Cohen
Jeffrey Kipnis is a visiting faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a professor of architecture at the Knowlton School where he teaches courses on architectural design and theory. For more than three decades, Kipnis’ work has shaped the thinking, imagination and creative work of architects and critics. From seminal studies of the work of such key practitioners as Philip Johnson, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind, to theoretical reflections on the intellectual, cultural and political role of contemporary architecture in such essays as “Toward a New Architecture,” “Twisting the Separatrix” and “Political Space I,” to exhibitions on architectural drawing and design, Kipnis has brought a restless, generous and provocative originality to bear on the issues that have defined contemporary architecture.
Andrew Zago is principal of Zago Architecture, faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Over the course of thirty years he has built an international reputation for his insightful and groundbreaking contributions to architecture and architectural education. Together with partner Laura Bouwman, Zago Architecture has consistently brought open-ended, creative inquiry to disciplinary concerns in architecture. Noted for its prescient articulation of emerging sensibilities, the practice weds aesthetic studies to the practical art of making buildings and cities. In doing so, Zago Architecture reaffirms the substantial and productive link amongst art, architecture and urbanism.
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