UPenn architecture professor David Leatherbarrow to present 2013 Hansen Lecture Feb. 13 at Iowa State


AMES, Iowa — David Leatherbarrow, professor and interim chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, will present the 2013 Richard F. Hansen Lecture in Architecture Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Iowa State University.

In "The Architect's Shadow," Leatherbarrow will address the subject of "presence" by considering the work of a single figure—Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn (1924-2009), winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal for architectural excellence.

Leatherbarrow's talk will be at 5:30 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, room 101 College of Design. Part of the ISU Architecture Advisory Council Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public.

"Both [Fehn's] buildings and his writings are very beautiful, yet they must be read with both care and imagination," Leatherbarrrow said.

"The German philosopher Martin Heidegger once observed that the 'greater the work accomplished, the richer the unthought-of element in that work.' I hope to evoke this unthought-of element in Fehn's work, particularly, the ways architecture presents itself, how it rewards focused regard (like a painting or a printed page) and, at the same time, unobtrusively accommodates everyday affairs," he said.

Leatherbarrow will reference several projects by Fehn as well as those of Fehn's colleagues, Louis Kahn, Aldo van Eyck and Le Corbusier, but mainly he will retell and interpret one of Fehn's short but enigmatic texts, "The Origin of Our Dimensions."

Leatherbarrow also will serve as a guest juror for this year's Richard F. Hansen Prize, established by Iowa State alumni Richard F. and Barbara E. Hansen in 2004 and awarded annually to the winner(s) of a design studio competition held in conjunction with the lecture. Five student teams will present projects completed in the fall 2012 architecture third-year studio courses. Presentations will take  place from 1:30 to 4 p.m., with prize winners announced at the beginning of the lecture.

Leatherbarrow teaches architectural theory courses and design studios in the master’s programs and directs the doctoral program in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He also has taught theory and design at Cambridge University and the University of Westminster (formerly the Polytechnic of Central London), England. He maintains a private architectural practice with Lauren Leatherbarrow in Philadelphia.

Leatherbarrow holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and a doctorate in art from the University of Essex, Colchester, England. He is the author of "Architecture Oriented Otherwise" (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), "Surface Architecture," with Mohsen Mostafavi (MIT Press, 2005), "Topographical Stories, Studies in Landscape and Architecture" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), "Uncommon Ground: Architecture, Technology and Topography" (MIT Press, 2000), "On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time," with Mohsen Mostafavi (MIT Press, 1993), "The Roots of Architectural Invention: Site, Enclosure, Materials" (Cambridge University Press, 1993), and "Masterpieces of Architectural Drawing," with Helen Powell (Abbeville Press, 1983).

Peter Goche, Architecture, (515) 294-3560, goche@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu