Department of


Public Programs


For Other Architectures

Iowa State University Department of Architecture
Public Program 2017-18 Series

For over a century, architecture has been called upon to do good. Modernism’s ambition to build an equitable society can be traced to today’s adoption of ‘sustainability’ as a basis on which ‘best practice’ is measured, or found in the gestures of democratic participation that cybernetic urbanism promises. Architecture’s unspoken mandate is to solve problems, whether social, environmental or both.

This mandate calls into question whether the architect can and should function as expert on, advocate for, or guardian of an abstract communal imaginary. While we have long since dispelled of the myth that the world may be organized according to the needs of a universal human subject, in so doing, our understanding of architecture has begun to reveal the many asymmetries and injustices that such a perception conceals in its practices and presumptions.

In practice, scholarship and pedagogy today, architecture is increasingly reckoning with its un/intended consequences in the world: from the gender-coding of modern domestic and urban space to the racism and classism propagated in urban planning; from the violence of colonial modernism, to the neocolonial plunder of nature committed in the name of ‘green capitalism’; from the precarious labor of architects to the precariously laboring bodies who build architecture.

Out of this milieu, a range of practitioners, educators and scholars have emerged, charged with an audacity to transform architecture—to demystify its good intentions, to decolonize its forms of knowledge, to de-universalize its unspoken subjectivity and to transform its techniques into tools of social and political action. This year’s Public Program for the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University will host a group of professionals, thinkers, and educators who will discuss what it means to partake in architecture today in a moment of tumultuous change. Collectively, their work aims to open up experimental, critical practices, situated and politicized histories, and radical pedagogies: a growing call for other architectures.

Fall 2017 Lectures

Sep 9 MAD Architects,
Charles E. “Chick” Herbert Lecture

Sep 18 Emily Scott, ETH Zurich

Sept 28 Louise Braverman, FAIA, Braverman Architects
8.15-9.00 AM at the AIA Iowa Convention Iowa Events Center 833 5th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa

Oct 6 Catie Newell, University of Michigan: 5.00-7.00 PM at Black Contemporary

Oct 18 Madeline Gannon, Carnegie Mellon

Nov 11 Ana Maria Leon, University of Michigan

Spring 2018 Lectures

Spring Adrian Lahoud
Royal College of Art
Curt F. Dale Lecture

Spring Douglas Spencer Architectural Association

Spring Dan Wood
Columbia University
Richard F. Hansen Lecture

Spring AIA – ISU Sponsored Keynote – ISU Convention Sponsored Keynote

Spring Alejandra Navarrate Llopis (After Belonging)

Spring Fake Industries


Sep 23 Penumbra Opening
Des Moines Social Club, 5:00 PM

Fall Datum No. 9 Launch

Fall Datum Auction

Spring OPN Workshop

April 18 & 19 Adaptive Facades Symposium

All lectures begin at 5:30 and are held in Kocimski Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Spring lectures series details to be announced in late 2017. ISU Department of Architecture Lectures are made possible with the support of the Architecture Advisory Council, the Curt F. Dale, Charles E. “Chick” Herbert and Richard F. Hansen endowments, an ISU Women and Diversity Grant, and the Vernon Stone Fund. Additional interdepartmental support comes from Community and regional Planning, Arts and Visual Cultures, Industrial Design, Master of Urban Design and Master of Design of Sustainable Environments Programs. Annual Masterclasses are made possible by a generous donation from OPN Architects.