The growing desire to better understand our impact on the environment has been manifested in a number of ways in recent decades—in everything from curbside recycling programs and green architecture to eco-tourism.
Landings: Summer Design Series 2004
, at 7 pm Tuesdays, July 6–27, at Ralph Rapson Hall Auditorium, University of Minnesota, 89 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis, considers the world around us, focusing on the intersection of the natural and manmade, whether finding the beautiful potential of toxic waste sites in the work of Julie Bargmann or experiencing the intrinsic beauty of the Sonoran Desert in architect Rick Joy’s rammed earth dwellings. The series will also consider the natural, cultural, and commercial histories and futures of various spaces, places, and sites, whether the Center for Land Use Interpretation’s explorations of abandoned shopping malls or architect Brad Cloepfil’s adaptive reuse of a warehouse.
From the desert to the simply deserted, Landings explores the expansive territories and intrinsic potential of the environment in its broadest sense. Terms such as sustainability, site, contextualism, remediation, reclamation, regionalism, land use—at once loaded and generic—demonstrate a need to frame our engagement with the world around us. This year’s speakers’ distinctive projects allow us to reconsider such terms and invite a wider discussion of the critical possibilities. Landings: Summer Design Series 2004 is presented by the Walker Art Center, the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and the American Institute of Architects Minnesota (AIA Minnesota).
Landings: Summer Design Series 2004
Tuesdays, July 6–27, 7 pm
Ralph Rapson Hall Auditorium, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota
Individual Tickets: $24 ($12 AIA and Walker members, students)
Series Tickets: $80 ($40)
Tickets: 612.375.7622 or www.walkerart.org/tickets
Seating is limited. Convenient paid parking is available at the Church Street Garage across the street from the Auditorium.
AIA Minnesota is a registered AIA/CES provider. AIA attendees will receive 1.5 hours of continuing education for each lecture. For more information, call Deanna Christiansen at 612.338.6763.
D.I.R.T. Studio, Charlottesville, Virginia
Tuesday, July 6, 7 pm
D.I.R.T. Studio, an acronym for various possible expressions such as “Dump It Right There,” is a critical design practice focused on the regeneration and research of the working urban and postindustrial landscape. Since 1992, Bargmann has joined teams of architects, engineers, scientists, artists, and historians, along with corporate clients and local communities, to find the beauty in derelict sites. “We feel obligated—better yet, inspired—to remake vast trashed sites into renewed landscapes of ecological and cultural production,” she says. “We’re not talking about cleanup or makeup jobs. We mean truly regenerative sites—buildings and landscapes—producing all the stuff we need along with clean air, clean water, and clean dirt.” With a background in sculpture, she evokes the late artist Robert Smithson to describe her connection to the unprivileged landscapes of derelict mines, toxic-waste dumps, landfills, and other so-called brownfield sites. Bargmann is the recipient of a 2001 National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She teaches at the University of Virginia School of Architecture and taught at the University of Minnesota from 1992–1995. She was recently featured in the New York Times Magazine with an alternative landscape proposal for the World Trade Center site.
Brad Cloepfil, Principal
Allied Works Architecture, Portland, Oregon
Tuesday, July 13, 7 pm
Allied Works Architecture has garnered significant critical acclaim for approaching each project as an opportunity to create architecture resonant to its context, or as Cloepfil maintains: “To initiate an act of architecture is to initiate a dialogue.” Maryhill Overlook, a site work situated on a bluff above the Columbia River Gorge, is a continuous concrete structure that emerges from the ground and unfolds across the landscape, creating specific relationships and references to the surrounding environment. The recently completed Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, located next door to Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and the redesign of Edward Durell Stone’s Two Columbus Circle building as the new home of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City respond to their respective architectural and urban contexts. Established in 1994, Allied Works Architecture quickly gained national recognition for projects like the 2281 NW Glisan building, an urban residential and retail in-fill project, and the headquarters for the advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy in its hometown of Portland, Oregon. Highly refined detailing, attention to craft and materials, and an elegant geometric ordering characterize the studio’s resolutely modern work. Recent commissions include expansions to the Seattle Art Museum and the University of Michigan Art Museum in Ann Arbor.
Matthew Coolidge, Founder/Director
The Center for Land Use Interpretation CLUI), Culver City, California
Tuesday, July 20, 7 pm
The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a research organization exploring landscape issues, engages in projects such as Event Marker, a series of signs similar to roadside historical markers that are erected to commemorate significant but obscure land-use phenomena like bomb test sites and film locations. CLUI also executes exhibitions such as The Best Dead Mall in America and A View into the Pipe (an excavation exposing Los Angeles’ main sewer pipe, offering a rare glimpse of the inner workings of the metropolis). Other activities include guided bus tours and interpretive programs as well as initiatives like the Land Use Database, an online resource of unusual and exemplary sites throughout the United States designed to educate and inform the public about our landscape as it is altered to accommodate the complex demands of society. Neither an environmental group nor an art collective, CLUI resists categorization by maintaining a diverse, eclectic program of activities that invite a closer examination of “humankind’s interaction with the Earth’s surface.” CLUI is the lead agency for the establishment of the American Land Museum, a network of exhibition sites in various interpretive zones across the country, which together form a dynamic portrait of the national landscape.
Rick Joy Architects, Ltd., Tucson, Arizona
Tuesday, July 27, 7 pm
Perhaps best known for his use of rammed earth in the construction of dwellings, Rick Joy creates modern designs that draw upon a wide palette of materials and techniques and are carefully planned and situated to take full advantage of their extraordinary context. As Joy notes, “The desert is a fantastic place in the most correct meaning of the word; it is at times a dreamlike fantasy of a landscape. . . . The desert’s beauty extends beyond objects and things to an atmosphere of place that is defined by quality of light and other sensory kinds of input.” His architectural practice eschews disciplinary boundaries and is actively involved in the entire building process. Architect Steven Holl, writing in the foreword to Rick Joy: Desert Works, a monograph published in 2002 by Princeton Architectural Press, noted the benefits of such an approach: “To be directly engaged on the construction site and, in the case of Rick Joy, to build things directly allows a clear link to intuitive imagination. Experimentation with materials and details in orchestration of phenomenal and experimental spatial aims sets this work as the near opposite of empty formalism and banal execution.” With a background in music and carpentry, Joy studied architecture at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and worked in the office of William Bruder on the team for the Phoenix Central Library before establishing his own practice in 1993.
Walker information/box office: 612.375.7622.