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Archinect Sessions

Updated 9 days ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Design
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A biweekly discussion of pressing architecture news and issues, hosted by Paul Petrunia, Donna Sink, and Ken Koense.

Read more

A biweekly discussion of pressing architecture news and issues, hosted by Paul Petrunia, Donna Sink, and Ken Koense.

iTunes Ratings

38 Ratings
Average Ratings
31
5
1
0
1

Perfect for sleep deprived architecture students

By dan_spilman - Mar 10 2015
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I’m a graduate student pursuing my M.Arch at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. I just recently started listening to this podcast while I’m modeling/drafting/driving etc. Its a great resource for staying up to date on lots of things happening in the architecture community, such as current projects/awards, changes in NCARB & AIA, and general hot topics. As a student, its definitely given me current event topics to add to discussions in school. The interviews are especially great when they have people such as Tom Mayne and Bjarke Ingals (two of my favorites). Highly recommend!

It’s Fresh

By b3tadine[sutures] - Oct 17 2014
Read more
An honest, and refreshing look at the profession. Looking forward to seeing where this will go.

iTunes Ratings

38 Ratings
Average Ratings
31
5
1
0
1

Perfect for sleep deprived architecture students

By dan_spilman - Mar 10 2015
Read more
I’m a graduate student pursuing my M.Arch at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. I just recently started listening to this podcast while I’m modeling/drafting/driving etc. Its a great resource for staying up to date on lots of things happening in the architecture community, such as current projects/awards, changes in NCARB & AIA, and general hot topics. As a student, its definitely given me current event topics to add to discussions in school. The interviews are especially great when they have people such as Tom Mayne and Bjarke Ingals (two of my favorites). Highly recommend!

It’s Fresh

By b3tadine[sutures] - Oct 17 2014
Read more
An honest, and refreshing look at the profession. Looking forward to seeing where this will go.

Listen to:

Cover image of Archinect Sessions

Archinect Sessions

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

A biweekly discussion of pressing architecture news and issues, hosted by Paul Petrunia, Donna Sink, and Ken Koense.

The BIG Abstract

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you've already heard about Abstract, Netflix's incredible new documentary series on design. This week we're talking to Abstract's executive producer, Morgan Neville, who also directed the episodes featuring Bjarke Ingels and Christoph Niemann.

As one of the world's most groundbreaking and talented documentary filmmakers, there's a good chance you have already seen Morgan's work. If you haven't, a good place to start is "20 Feet from Stardom", his Academy Award-winning doc that takes a look at the fascinating lives of the often-overlooked backup singers. His documentary on Yo-Yo Ma, "The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble", will be premiering on HBO in March. I'm particularly looking forward to his upcoming Mr. Rogers documentary that he mentions in our conversation. 

Feb 17 2017

39mins

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Radical Candor

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This week Ken, Donna and I talk about some topics in recent architecture news, along with a little discussion about dealing with criticism. 

Apr 12 2018

1hr 13mins

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ZHA after Zaha

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The sudden death of Dame Zaha Hadid could not also mean the end of Zaha Hadid Architects. With major projects still ongoing all over the world, the firm had to keep things running strong, focusing on the future while managing grief. After working with Zaha for nearly thirty years, Patrik Schumacher has now taken over leadership at the firm, and joins us on the podcast to discuss what it was like collaborating with her "killer instinct", and how he can continue honoring the "DNA" of her work.

Apr 21 2016

52mins

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Session 14: His bjark is BIGger than his bjite—A chat with Bjarke Ingels at the opening of BIG's "Hot to Cold" exhibition

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This episode is a doozy. Paul and Amelia left the temperate sunshine of Los Angeles for Washington, DC's frigid monumentality, to interview Bjarke Ingels on the eve of his "Hot to Cold" exhibition at the National Building Museum. The 40-year old architect shared some quick-won wisdom about scaling a business, the Danish condition, and the indispensability of humor and play in architecture.

Donna and Ken joined Paul and Amelia to speak with Lian Chang about her recently published visualizations of the Archinect Salary Poll for the ACSA, in charming emoji-based data sets. The Sessions co-hosts also discuss Aaron Betsky's new appointment as the head of the deeply troubled Taliesin West, and what Thom Mayne's demolition of Ray Bradbury's house means for architecture preservation and sentimentality.

And for another climatological analogy, Paul and Brian Newman, Archinect Sessions's legal correspondent, poke at the tip of the iceberg concerning issues of copyright in architecture.  

A reminder: send us your architectural legal issues, comments or questions about the podcast, via twitter #archinectsessions, email or call us at (213) 784-7421.

Jan 29 2015

1hr 32mins

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Mental Health in Architecture

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This week Ken, Donna and I are joined by architect and writer Esther Sperber to discuss the very real and serious issue of mental health in architecture. Esther owns Studio ST Architects, a small practice in New York City, and frequently writes about mental health, with a specific focus on psychoanalysis and it’s relationship to architecture. 

Creative fields, especially those with long hours and high stress levels, are often rife with mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, chemical abuse... these are just a few of the indicators common in architecture. If you’re not suffering from any of these, you’re likely working around people that are. On today’s show we barely scratch the surface of this extremely complex subject. Our conversation ranges from learning to listen and empathize, to simple daily strategies for coping with mental health issues of your own and those around you, to more addressing more serious problems including chemical imbalances and professional treatment.  

May 11 2018

54mins

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Radical Reconfigurability

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This week Ken and I are speaking with the leadership team responsible for the upcoming Brown University Performing Arts Center – Joshua Ramus of REX, Carl Giegold of Threshold Acoustics and David Rosenburg of Theatre Projects. 

The Brown University Performing Arts Center is a formally stunning project designed by REX for the Brown University campus in the relatively small town of Providence, Rhode Island. The exterior of the almost 100,000 square foot building consists of a large monolithic mass clad in aluminum, with a cantilevered glass-encased 13-foot tall clearstory jutting out from the lobby level, covering a lower-level outdoor public space. 

The interior of the Arts Center, however, is where the magic happens. To facilitate the university’s requirement to host performances for a variety of needs and audience sizes, REX and his team of theater and acoustics specialists designed a transformable concert hall that can accommodate five completely different configurations, from a small experimental sound cube for media performances, to a 625-seat symphony orchestra hall.

Our conversation starts with Joshua Ramus describing the conception of the project, starting with the client’s brief… 

May 21 2019

50mins

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Everything's Gonna Be Great

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On this episode of Archinect Sessions we're joined by Eva Hagberg, a NY-based writer and architectural consultant. Our conversation covers Eva’s architectural studies at Princeton and Berkeley, and how that transitioned into a successful writing career spanning architecture criticism to writing about her own life in her recently published memoir How to Be Loved. We also talk about the unique personality traits of architects and her approach to helping architects communicate.

Mar 22 2019

1hr 12mins

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Archinect Sessions Episode 100 with Steven Holl

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This week, for our 100th episode of Archinect Sessions, we are excited to share our conversation with Archinect favorite Steven Holl. Our conversation spans a number of topics, including growing up in a small town in Washington state, his early career struggles, his inspirations, working in China, globalism, his friendship with Zaha, the Pritzker Prize, and the Steven Myron Holl Foundation.

Apr 13 2017

46mins

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Bro, Do You Even Quoin?

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On this week's episode we’re joined with Kate Wagner, the author of McMansion Hell, a blog that balances serious essays on architecture and urbanism, with brilliantly funny analysis of the absurd trends in American suburban architecture. Kate has recently emerged, triumphantly, from a widely publicized threat from Zillow to stop using their imagery. As reported on Archinect recently, Zillow withdrew their legal threats after the Electronic Frontier Foundation responded on behalf of Kate, and McMansion Hell is back in business, with a larger following than ever.

Jul 13 2017

1hr 5mins

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Bonus Session: Reflections on "Shelter" in Los Angeles

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The Architecture + Design Museum hosted two panels to close out its "Shelter" exhibition, focusing on local architects visions for future residential architectures in a changing Los Angeles.

The first panel, moderated by Mimi Zeiger (west coast editor of the Architect's Newspaper), focused on the LA River's impact, and featured exhibiting architects Jimenez Lai (Bureau Spectacular), Elizabeth Timme (LA Más), and Lorcan O'Herlihy (of Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects). The second panel, moderated by Amelia Taylor-Hochberg (editorial manager for Archinect), focused on the influence of the Metro expansion in front of LACMA, and featured exhibiting architects Jennifer Marmon (PAR), Bob Dornberger (WHY), and senior architect at LACMA, Priscilla Fraser.

Both panels were recorded live for this special Bonus content on November 6, 2015. In between the panels, you'll hear a special performance by local poet-urbanist, Mike the Poet.

Special thanks to Danielle Rago and Sam Lubell for curating the exhibition and putting the panels together, as well as B&O in Pasadena for their help recording the event.

Nov 20 2015

1hr 28mins

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Raw Rendering Ranters

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Peter Zumthor released new renderings for his LACMA redesign last week, and boy are people not impressed! We talk about the "undercooked" look of Zumthor's snaking concrete inkblot plan for the museum, and experiment with a new segment devoted to ranting. You've been warned.

Aug 11 2016

36mins

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Race for the Prize

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Last week we witnessed the loss of Dame Zaha Hadid, one of architecture's most formidable and prolific talents. We'll be devoting a later podcast episode to remembering her and honoring her work. Until then, we'll continue catching you up with the most significant architecture news from the past week.

This episode we discuss Alejandro Aravena's Pritzker acceptance speech (and the designs he's giving away for free), how NASA is experimenting with inflatable space houses, how we "crave" public space, and Nicholas Korody joins us to discuss the cockroach of unpaid architecture internships (they just won't die).

Shownotes:

Zaha Hadid Dies at Age 65

The NASA-grade work of Garrett Finney

Quilian Riano's Who Owns Space project  

Woman calls out Florida Governor Rick Scott in a Starbucks

Apr 07 2016

54mins

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Architecture & Film

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On this week's show we talk to Kogonada, the writer and director of the critically-acclaimed film Columbus, and Kyle Bergman, founder of the Architecture & Design Film Festival.

Our conversation with Kogonada touches on his inspirations and video-essay work prior to this spectacular debut feature-length film (currently 98% on Rotten Tomatoes!), his experience growing up in an midwest immigrant household and his passion for bringing architecture to film.

Kyle Bergman, who is also a practicing architect, shares his backstory behind the Architecture & Design Film Festival, and tells us about some of the very exciting new films that will be screening at the upcoming festivals in Whitefish, Montana in September and NYC in November.

Aug 31 2017

57mins

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Make it Rain

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This week on the podcast, Julia Ingalls joins us to discuss the byzantine considerations behind how architects charge for work, and shares some helpful guidelines from her recent piece about how residential architecture fee rates are determined.

We also dip into the recent $3M lawsuit against Architecture for Humanity for allegedly misusing restricted funds. After suddenly going bankrupt last year, many of AFH's volunteer cells have continued operating, and an offshoot organization, Open Architecture Collaborative, officially launched this past March. The lawsuit against AFH's founders could shed light into why the lauded nonprofit seemed to shutter so suddenly.

This episode of Archinect Sessions is sponsored by AIA Advantage Partner, BQE Software, and the makers of ArchiOffice. ArchiOffice is the only Office and Project Management Software built with the needs of architects in mind. It will help you manage people and projects, while you focus on designing great architecture. Our podcast listeners can get a fully functional 15-day trial of ArchiOffice at www.bqe.com/Archinect.

Jul 14 2016

26mins

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Last week’s architecture news. When it wasn’t so depressing.

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Collecting the most important news of the past week – that is, from the recording date's perspective of March 30th, the day before Zaha Hadid's sudden death – this episode brings stories on: the winning below-grade skyscraper (sinkscrapers?) of eVolo's Skyscraper Competition; a long-lost Le Corbusier tapestry returning to the Sydney Opera House; another twist on co-habitation in the co-work startup, PodShare; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects taking "revenge" on Charles Moore's Hood Museum; and our future of eating sandwiches while robots do our work

We'll discuss the late Dame Zaha Hadid's legacy on next week's podcast.

Mar 31 2016

1hr 2mins

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Golden Years

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On the happy and historic occasion of Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi being jointly awarded the 2016 AIA Gold Medal, we speak with Brown about whether this truly is a watershed moment for architecture, and the long road that she and Robert took to arriving here. We last spoke with Brown on episode #39, when the Vanna Venturi house hit the market.

If we accept that accolades like the Gold Medal have the influence to (potentially) nudge the profession in certain directions, then this time – the first the award has been given jointly, and to a living woman – could signal a movement towards increased inclusivity, and reevaluations of collaborative agency.

Dec 10 2015

38mins

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A Conversation with Theaster Gates

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This week on Archinect Sessions we’re sharing our inspiring conversation with Theaster Gates. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with Theaster, you’re in for a treat. Theaster Gates often refers to himself as a potter, and while it’s true that he is, through years of training and practice, he’s also an extremely talented multidisciplinary artist, urban planner and community-focused social activist.

Theaster may be most well known for his non-profit Rebuild Foundation. The foundation purchases abandoned buildings in the south side of Chicago, the neighborhood Theaster grew up and still resides in, and transforms them into beautiful community hubs that connect and inspire the local residents through art, creativity, and professional skill training.

Gates work extends into academia as well. He is a full professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, where he also the director of Arts and Public Life. It’s in this context that he is unveiling his latest project, part of an $80 million dollar renovation and restoration of the Edward Durell Stone-designed Keller Hall, home to the school’s Harris School of Public Policy. Theaster’s role involved designing a soaring communal atrium space, lined with wood from fallen ash trees, and milled by local residents.

Our conversation with Theaster Gates starts with his reuse of Chicago’s diseased ash trees into millwork and detailing for the new University of Chicago Keller Center, and quickly veers into topics of hand skills, black labor, neighborhood communities, and socio-cultural readings of beauty.

Feb 15 2019

23mins

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The Haves and the Have Nots

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As last week's episode was taken up by Pritzker-hooplah, this episode takes a look back at the major news items of the last week(ish) and gets you caught up with what's been happening on Archinect.

We discuss: the recent photo exhibition on homelessness at USC (which closes tomorrow!); the Treasury Department's controversial new practice of tracking and identifying secret buyers of luxury housing; how BIG's 2 World Trade Center is now in limbo after "anchor tenant" Rupert Murdoch has pulled out; the demolition of yet another not-beloved-enough Brutalist building; the big ol' chunk of cash the U.S. now has to prepare for driverless cars; and the ongoing debacle over the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, as Zaha Hadid Architects accuses Kengo Kuma Associates of copying their design, while Japan won't pay ZHA until they hand over the design copyrights.

Jan 21 2016

50mins

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Premiere Episode of Archinect Sessions One-to-One with Neil Denari

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Our new podcast, Archinect Sessions: One-to-One is an interview show, straight-up. Each episode features a single interview with a notable figure in contemporary architecture – it's that simple. Usually, One-to-One will be led by me or Paul Petrunia, while occasionally others will serve as guide. The conversation will be casual and spontaneous, touching on the interviewee's role in the expanding range of architectural practice, and will serve (we hope) a valuable archival role in future discourse.

For our very first episode, I spoke with Neil Denari of Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA). Aside from his firm's work, Denari is a tenured professor at UCLA, and was the director of SCI-Arc from 1997 - 2001. We spoke about the shifting focus of architecture education, multitasking, Los Angeles and the recession's impact on architecture.

Nov 09 2015

50mins

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Session 40: Now and Then

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Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Yi join us to discuss their recently published book, Haiti Now – a herculean resource on post-disaster urbanism in Haiti, published by their urban think tank, the NOW Institute.

The rest of this episode takes a look back at the first forty episodes of Archinect Sessions, as we wrap up season one. Each new episode has expanded, and sharpened, our idea of what the podcast can and should be. We've spoken with some pretty heavy hitters, including Denise Scott BrownKevin RochePatrik SchumacherTod Williams and Billie TsienBjarke Ingels, Thomas HeatherwickChristopher Hawthorne and Michael Rotondi, as well as some up and comers, like Andrés Jaque (winner of MoMA's 2015 YAP), Jimenez Lai, and Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki (winners of the Guggenheim Helsinki competition).

It's been a blast, but moving forward, we want to tighten up, dig deeper and move the proverbial furniture around. We'll start up season two in the coming weeks, but while we're on hiatus, we'd love to get your feedback – tell us what you think of the podcast by taking this short survey, or rating us on iTunes. Your thoughts will help us shape Sessions' next season.

Jul 30 2015

56mins

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Giving Shelter

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On this installment of Archinect Sessions, we’re sharing a conversation I had a couple of months ago with Sofia Borges and R. Scott Mitchell, the leaders of a design-build studio at USC that addressed one of the most pressing issues in Los Angeles today - homelessness. 

The MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio set out with the goal of addressing this city-wide crisis by developing a real-world architectural response. The initial motivation for the studio came from the founders of MADWORKSHOP, Mary and David Martin, who reached out to USC School of Architecture with the hope that the students would be able to come up with some practical, creative and buildable solutions of homelessness in Los Angeles. You can learn more about the studio in this feature we have previously published. Since the completion of the studio they have produced a book documenting the process and results in "Give Me Shelter." The book is currently available for purchase from ORO, the publisher, or on Amazon

Our conversation ranges from discussing both Sofia and Scott’s complementary backgrounds, considerations for approaching this difficult and delicate problem in an academic environment, to thoughts on how architects can actually make a positive difference to this growing problem. 

Nov 28 2019

1hr 7mins

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The Current State of LA's Architecture Student Publications

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On this episode of Archinect Sessions we’re sharing the recording of a panel discussion I moderated last weekend at the A+D Museum​, as part of the current exhibition The Los Angeles Schools​. The panel brought together five students and three faculty members representing student-led publications from LA’s architecture programs. Rayne Laborde and Phoebe Webster represented UCLA​'s POOL​​​; Marcelyn Gow represented SCI-Arc​’s Offramp​; Richard Mapes, Corie Yaguchi and Irvin Shaifa represented SCI-Arc​'s Underscore​; Alvin Huang​ represented USC​’s Supertall​; and Stephen Phillips​, Cal Poly LA Metro’s Director, represented their program’s hardcover publication LA Ten​. 

Our talk covers a lot of ground, exposing the inner-workings of editing and producing publications in today’s unique and highly transformative media landscape. Our conversations cover issues of editorial decision-making, design, freedom of expression and thoughts on the future of student publishing in architecture school.  

Oct 28 2019

1hr 13mins

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Madame President Goes ALL-In

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For Archinect Sessions episode #145 we are joined by Kimberly Dowdell, a principal at HOK in Chicago and the current President of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Our conversation covers Kimberly’s impressive path to success in architecture, and the leadership role she’s taking in NOMA. We’ll also discuss the upcoming NOMA conference taking place in Brooklyn in a few weeks from October 14th-20th.

Sep 26 2019

1hr 17mins

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The War on Cliché

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On this episode, we're joined by Chilean architect​​ Alejandro Aravena​​. A long-familiar name to most of our listeners, Aravena’s work gained significant media attention upon winning the Pritzker Prize in 2016​, elevating his reputation for working to address some of today’s most difficult issues through participatory design, engaging users, groups, experts, and the public-at-large. His most notable projects are his “incremental housing” developments, a partially subsidized low-income solution for displaced families providing half-built homes for families to complete on their own, within their own budgets and tastes. Elemental has since released the plans for these projects for free, via download from their website​.

This week Aravena was awarded another significant prize, the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development​. The award recognizes visionaries that are making significant contributions to international community building, with an emphasis on land use and development bettering society. Our conversation starts with him describing how this ULI prize is so important to him...

Sep 20 2019

52mins

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Space Settlements; A Conversation with Author Fred Scharmen

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This week we’re joined by one of our favorite regulars, Fred Scharmen. Fred currently teaches architecture and urban design at Morgan State University's School of Architecture and Planning, and is the Principal and Co-Founder of The Working Group on Adaptive Systems. What brings him on today’s show is his just-released new book Space Settlements. The 400-page paperback contains a visually stunning collection of designs for space colonies from the mid-70’s, including iconic artwork and comparison studies of 20th and 21st century architecture projects. Our conversation talks about his research leading up to this book, the process of writing the book and the fascinating stories discovered along the way.

Aug 29 2019

1hr 3mins

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In Conversation with Paul Goldberger

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We have a very special July 4th episode for you today. 

Today’s show offers a very American conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Paul Goldberger. The discussion was recorded live at Archinect Outpost last month for the launch of his latest book Ballpark

Ballpark takes a deep dive into the history of the ballpark, and the impact it’s had on the evolution of the American city. The book looks at a selection of case studies to arrive at a simple yet compelling thesis: “In the ballpark,” Goldberger writes, “the two sides of the American character - the Jeffersonian impulse toward open space and rural expanse, and the Hamiltonian belief in the city and in industrial infrastructure - are joined, and cannot be torn apart.

If you’re interested in a copy of the book, we have a few copies available at Archinect, both in our shop in downtown Los Angeles, and online at outpost.archinect.com

Paul Goldberger began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. From 1997 through 2011 he served as the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where he wrote the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He is currently a contributing editor for Vanity fair and holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. 

Jul 04 2019

42mins

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A Conversation with Dream the Combine

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On this latest episode of the Archinect Sessions podcast we're joined by Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of the Minneapolis-based practice Dream the Combine.

Jennifer and Tom are a husband and wife team that specialize in site-specific installations. Their work is deeply-collaborative, directly referenced in the name of their practice, and looks at the overlaps in art, architecture, and cultural theory, while manipulating the boundary between real and illusory space.

Jun 20 2019

1hr

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Radical Reconfigurability

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This week Ken and I are speaking with the leadership team responsible for the upcoming Brown University Performing Arts Center – Joshua Ramus of REX, Carl Giegold of Threshold Acoustics and David Rosenburg of Theatre Projects. 

The Brown University Performing Arts Center is a formally stunning project designed by REX for the Brown University campus in the relatively small town of Providence, Rhode Island. The exterior of the almost 100,000 square foot building consists of a large monolithic mass clad in aluminum, with a cantilevered glass-encased 13-foot tall clearstory jutting out from the lobby level, covering a lower-level outdoor public space. 

The interior of the Arts Center, however, is where the magic happens. To facilitate the university’s requirement to host performances for a variety of needs and audience sizes, REX and his team of theater and acoustics specialists designed a transformable concert hall that can accommodate five completely different configurations, from a small experimental sound cube for media performances, to a 625-seat symphony orchestra hall.

Our conversation starts with Joshua Ramus describing the conception of the project, starting with the client’s brief… 

May 21 2019

50mins

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Olson Kundig's Alan Maskin on Icons and Architecture for Children

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This week Ken and I are joined by Alan Maskin, partner and co-owner of Seattle-based Olson Kundig. Alan shares his story growing up on the East Coast, working as an artist and arts educator before moving onto architecture school in his 30s. He tells us about how he finally landed a job at Olson Kundig after 4 failed job applications, and then strategically moved his way out of his initial role of IT manager. He provides insight into what it took to move up in the firm, eventually becoming a partner and co-owner, and what kind of qualities Olson Kundig looks for when hiring new talent that fits well with time-crafted firm culture.

Of course, we also talk about his work, including the highly publicized renovation of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, and some recent projects he has designed for children and families. We even get his thoughts on two topics weighing heavily in the news these days - unpaid internships and the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  

Apr 30 2019

1hr 10mins

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Everything's Gonna Be Great

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On this episode of Archinect Sessions we're joined by Eva Hagberg, a NY-based writer and architectural consultant. Our conversation covers Eva’s architectural studies at Princeton and Berkeley, and how that transitioned into a successful writing career spanning architecture criticism to writing about her own life in her recently published memoir How to Be Loved. We also talk about the unique personality traits of architects and her approach to helping architects communicate.

Mar 22 2019

1hr 12mins

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From Tower Fantasies to Writing Realities

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On this week's episode of Archinect Sessions we talk with Carlo Aiello, a Mexican-born, LA-based designer and founder of eVolo . Most of our readers are familiar with eVolo's (very) popular annual skyscraper competition and related series of books. Carlo, the founder of eVolo, is also the designer of the award-winning Parabola Chair  and the designer of the Kickstarter-success ESCALA , a 2-in-1 drawing tool combining the scale-ruler with an insertable fountain pen . In our conversation we track his progress from his studies at Columbia's GSAPP , to working for SOM  and Asymptote , to embarking as a self-made entrepreneur with a move west, to LA. 

Mar 01 2019

51mins

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A Conversation with Theaster Gates

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This week on Archinect Sessions we’re sharing our inspiring conversation with Theaster Gates. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with Theaster, you’re in for a treat. Theaster Gates often refers to himself as a potter, and while it’s true that he is, through years of training and practice, he’s also an extremely talented multidisciplinary artist, urban planner and community-focused social activist.

Theaster may be most well known for his non-profit Rebuild Foundation. The foundation purchases abandoned buildings in the south side of Chicago, the neighborhood Theaster grew up and still resides in, and transforms them into beautiful community hubs that connect and inspire the local residents through art, creativity, and professional skill training.

Gates work extends into academia as well. He is a full professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, where he also the director of Arts and Public Life. It’s in this context that he is unveiling his latest project, part of an $80 million dollar renovation and restoration of the Edward Durell Stone-designed Keller Hall, home to the school’s Harris School of Public Policy. Theaster’s role involved designing a soaring communal atrium space, lined with wood from fallen ash trees, and milled by local residents.

Our conversation with Theaster Gates starts with his reuse of Chicago’s diseased ash trees into millwork and detailing for the new University of Chicago Keller Center, and quickly veers into topics of hand skills, black labor, neighborhood communities, and socio-cultural readings of beauty.

Feb 15 2019

23mins

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Afternoon Delight with Midnight Charette

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This week we are joined, in studio, by David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, the hosts of the Midnight Charette podcast. You may be already familiar with their podcast, or perhaps you’ve just heard about the podcast since they released their episode with me a couple days ago.

The Midnight Charette has been podcasting for a while now. They're quickly approaching their 100th episode. They describe their show as an explicit podcast about design, architecture and people. The format is casual, and unscripted, and tends to run on the long side, 2 hours being about average for an episode. While this is an architecture podcast, it’s often not addressing architecture directly, rather, David and Marina discuss non-architectural issues from the perspective of a couple of architecturally-minded professionals.

In today’s conversation we learn more about the host's backgrounds, and how they came together and conceived of the podcast. We also take a peek behind the curtain by talking about all of the little details that we use to make these podcasts.

Feb 07 2019

1hr 12mins

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A Conversation with Rusty Long, State Architect, Furloughed by the Government Shutdown

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On this week's episode of Archinect Sessions Ken, Donna, and I share our conversation with Rusty Long, an architect based in Cary, North Carolina. Rusty’s private practice focuses on sustainability and community engagement with a style that bridges modernism and the history of the the American South. 

Rusty’s day job, however, is a State Architect for the USDA Rural Development office. As a federal employee, Rusty is one of approximately 800,000 individuals currently furloughed by the Government Shutdown. On this 34th day of the historic shutdown, as he and many others remain unpaid after two pay cycles, Rusty sits down with us to share his story. We talk about how and why he entered public service, the work he typically undertakes as a state architect, and the problems that this shutdown are causing for him, his colleague and the US taxpayers in general.

Jan 25 2019

52mins

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A Conversation with Alex Baca on City Engagement

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On this episode of Archinect Sessions we're joined with Alex Baca, a Washington DC-based journalist focused on smart cities, planning, bike advocacy and urban mobility devices. Recent news, and related controversy, surrounding Amazon’s newly announced move into New York City and Washington DC is what initially motivated us to bring Alex onto this show.

Nov 26 2018

52mins

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A Conversation with Sou Fujimoto on the "Futures of the Future"

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This week we’re sharing my conversation with Sou Fujimoto, recorded immediately before his new show opened to the press at Japan House in Hollywood last Friday. The show, titled “FUTURES OF THE FUTURE”, brings together large-scale renderings and photographs, along with over 100 models showcasing a selection of Fujimoto’s distinctive work and process.

Our conversation covers his upbringing in Hokkaido, his academic and personal studies in Tokyo, and how these experiences contributed to his highly unique approach to architecture; investigating primitive lifestyles, blurring boundaries and breaking down walls. If you’re in the LA area, the exhibition will remain until December 12th at Japan House, which is located on the 2nd floor of the bustling, tourist-filled Hollywood and Highland complex.

Nov 01 2018

19mins

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Hip Hop Architecture with Sekou Cooke

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On this latest episode of Archinect Sessions we talk with Sekou Cooke, Syracuse-based architecteducator and curator of the upcoming exhibition at the Center for Architecture, "Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture", scheduled to open this Monday, October 1st in New York City.

Sep 28 2018

55mins

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Long Time Listener First Time Talker

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This week's podcast episode is all about podcasting. So meta. We're joined by Sera Ghadaki, a recent graduate of Pratt M.Arch program, and a contributing editor of Tarp: Digital, Pratt’s podcast spinoff from their long-running student publication.

Sep 07 2018

52mins

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Transparent Value

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On this latest issue of the Archinect Sessions podcast Ken, Paul and Donna talk with Peggy Deamer  and Shota Vashakmadze , from the Architecture Lobby . For those of you unfamiliar, the Architecture Lobby is a non-profit organization run by and for architectural workers that advocate for the value of architecture to the public, and for the value of architectural work within the industry. The Lobby is rooted in a 10-point manifesto:

  1. Enforce labor laws that prohibit unpaid internships, unpaid overtime; refuse unpaid competitions.
  2. Reject fees based on percentage of construction or hourly fees and instead calculate value based on the money we save our clients or gain them.
  3. Stop peddling a product–buildings–and focus on the unique value architects help realize through spatial services.
  4. Enforce wage transparency across the discipline.
  5. Establish a union for architects, designers, academics, and interns in architecture and design.
  6. Demystify the architect as solo creative genius; no honors for architects who don’t acknowledge their staff.
  7. Licensure upon completion of degree.
  8. Change professional architecture organizations to advocate for the living conditions of architects.
  9. Support research about labor rights in architecture.
  10. Implement democratic alternatives to the free market system of development.

One of the most recent initiatives by the Architecture Lobby is Just Design , recognizing firms exhibiting exemplary labor practices. Archinect is currently working in partnership with the Architecture Lobby to profile these firms, which we are excited to announce soon, so stay tuned. Until then, enjoy this conversation with Peggy and Shota... 

Aug 17 2018

50mins

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Johnston Marklee, Live from the LA Design Festival

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Earlier this summer I sat down with Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to discuss their practice, Johnston Marklee, in front of a live audience at this year's LA Design Festival. We discuss the origin of their practice, their relationship to LA, the eclectic group of collaborators they have worked with over the years, and their unique approach to telling the story of their work in their recently published monograph.

Jul 27 2018

43mins

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