Towards an Architecture of Happy Nihilism
In a career spanning 30 years, Sean Griffiths has practiced as an architect, artist and academic. He has also published writings on architecture in books, magazines and online journals. He is a professor of architecture at the University of Westminster in London and works under the name Modern Architect.
From 1991 until 2014, Griffiths was a founding director of the English art and architecture practice FAT, where he was responsible for some of its best-known works, such as the Blue House, St. Lucas Art School and the BBC Wales television studios. FAT dissolved shortly after it represented the UK at the 2014 Venice Biennale. He has previously served as a visiting professor of architectural design at Yale School of Architecture.
In this lecture, Griffiths will describe his career-long quest for architectural meaning and his abject failure to find any. It will relate his attempts to connect ideas in architecture, philosophy and politics from his early architectural education, through the formation and eventual dissolution of the practice FAT, to his current practice as an artist, architect, writer and academic. It will cover his deeply unfashionable embracing of Post Modernism in the 1990s and his recent, and equally unfashionable, rejection of it today. Above all the lecture will be a lesson in how to construct a meaningful critical career through the rejection of everything and the embracing of nothing.
Part of “Anonymity,” the ISU Department of Architecture’s 2018-2019 Public Programs Series.