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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

  Date   Lecturer   Lecture Title   Video Link   Press Release
  Sept. 9 MAD, Architects Charles E. “Chick” Herbert Lecture  MAD, Architects   Here
  Sept. 18 Emily Scott Architecture as Enforcement and Emancipation: The Case of Herman’s House   Emily Scott, ETH Zurich   Here
  Sept. 28 Louise Braverman AIA Convention Speaker   None   None
  Oct. 6 Catie Newell Field Talk at Black Contemporary   Catie Newell   None
  Oct. 18 Madeline Gannon Robots are Creatures, Not Things   Madeline Gannon   Here
  Nov. 11 Ana Maria Leon Counter-Exhibit: Lina Bo Bardi and Ephemerality as Resistance   Ana Maria Leon   None

Spring 2018 Lectures

  Date   Lecturer    Lecture Title   Video Link   Press Release
  Jan. 24 Douglas Spencer Still Dreaming: Spectacle and the Indifference of Architecture   Douglas Spencer   Here
  Jan. 31 Cristina Goberna On Architectural Sins, Epic Architecture and everything in between  Cristina Goberna   Here
  Feb. 7 Adrian Lahoud Curt F. Dale Lecture   Adrian Lahoud   Here
  Feb. 9 Neyran Turan Another Planetary   Neyran Turan   Here
  Feb 23 Léopold Lambert The Funambulist   Léopold Lambert   Here
  Mar. 7 Dan Wood Richard F. Hansen Lecture   Dan Wood   Here
  Mar. 28 Alejandra Navarrate Llopis After Belonging   Alejandra Navarrate Llopis   None
  Apr 18 Angela Brooks Spring AIA Convention   None   None


Sep 23 Penumbra Opening, Des Moines Social Club

Dec 9 Datum No. 9 Launch

Dec 9 Datum Auction

Feb 9-12 OPN Workshop with Neyran Turan, Berkeley, NEMES Studio

April 13 Arch 202 Design Build Public Opening

April 19 Adaptive Facades Symposium

All Wednesday lectures begin at 5:30pm, and all Friday lectures begin at 5:00pm, held in Kocimski Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. 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.