Rice Architecture conducts threefold fall lecture series

Rice University’s School of Architecture will host three concurrent lecture series this fall, kicking off with a lecture and exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts Aug. 30. All lectures are free and open to the public. The Moody exhibit will run through Sept. 21.

The opening talk by Zoë Ryan is part of the Futures of the Architectural Exhibition Lecture Series and will take place at the Moody Center’s Lois Chiles Studio Theater Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m. Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and curator of architecture and design at The Art Institute Chicago, will explore the impact of architecture and design on society.

Along with Ryan’s talk, the Moody Center will debut Rice Construct’s “Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling.” The exhibition will run only through Sept. 1 and will be tied to an open house at Construct’s +House, a small house built for counselors at Agape, a Third Ward outreach program. (Read more and see a video about +House here: http://news.rice.edu/2018/08/27/small-homes-real-and-imagined-2/).

Rice Architecture students frame an exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts, which will host the first in the Futures of the architectural Exhibition Lecture Series on Aug. 30. Photo courtesy of Rice Architecture Construct

Rice architecture students frame an exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts, which will host the first in the Futures of the Architectural Exhibition Lecture Series on Aug. 30. Photo courtesy of Rice Architecture Construct

The Futures series is organized by Rice’s Reto Geiser, an associate professor of architecture, and the University of Houston’s Michael Kubo, an assistant professor of architectural history, theory and criticism.

Dean Sarah Whiting, Rice’s William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture, is curating the school’s Cullinan Lecture and Seminar Series. The talks will focus on the theme of “conduct,” both as a noun (in other words, comportment) and a verb (how one organizes or leads). Four visitors will come to campus to speak on the relationship between architecture and conduct.

“While it can be hard to grasp what is meant by good conduct, we have typically relied on something akin to ‘I know it when I see it,’ as put forth in Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s 1964 definition of obscenity,” Whiting wrote in her introduction to the series. “But what happens when we can no longer see or know good conduct? Does the obscenity of the moment – our moment – mean that codes of conduct have altogether vanished?

“Architects are guided by particular codes of conduct,” she noted. “We don’t necessarily agree about them, but they grant us a shared rudder, a means of navigating the swirling political, financial, environmental, ethical and professional waters in which we swim.”

The third series, which focuses upon the relationship of the contemporary sharing economy to architecture and urbanism, is organized by the Rice Design Alliance (RDA) in collaboration with the student editors of Plat, the architecture school’s journal.

The lectures will be delivered on the following dates:

Sept. 6: Mario Ballesteros, director and chief curator at Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, “Exposing the Margins: An Autoconstructed Approach to Researching and Exhibiting Design South of the Border,” 6:30 p.m. at the University of Houston College of Architecture and Design, Room 143.

Sept. 27: Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Yugoslav Architecture at the Crossroads of International Exchange in the Cold War,” 7 p.m. at the Favrot Auditorium, Glassell School of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Oct. 4: Giovanna Borasi, chief curator of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, “Museum Work and Museum Problems,” 6:30 p.m. at Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall at Rice.

Events in the Cullinan Lecture and Seminar Series on Conduct are:

Sept. 24: Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York, “The Role of Architecture in the Age of Anthropocene,” Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 15: Ellen van Loon, a partner in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), “Was it Just a Dream? Architecture and Social Inclusion,” Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 22: Jack Self, director of the REAL Foundation, London, “Attitude as Form,” at MATCH, 7 p.m. This lecture is shared with the RDA/Plat series.

Nov. 5: Tom Emerson, founding director of 6a Architects and a professor of architecture at the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, “Never Natural,” Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall, 5:30 p.m.

In addition to Self’s talk, two more lectures comprise the RDA/Plat lectures on Sharing:

Oct. 10: Peggy Deamer, a professor at the Yale University School of Architecture, “Lobbying for Architecture,” at Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston, 3400 Main St., 7 p.m.

Oct. 29: John Alschuler, chairman of HR&A Advisors Inc., New York, “Innovation Lands in Urbanism: What’s Next?” at Farish Gallery, 7 p.m.

The Futures lectures are part of a Rice University Humanities Research Center masterclass and are supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rice University Arts Initiative Fund.

The Cullinan Lectures are supported by the Cullinan endowment as well as the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund.

The Plat and RDA lectures are supported by the Humanities Research Center and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ GradStarter program.

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.