Rank #1: Mental Health in Architecture
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
Rank #2: Unzoning
Mar 23 2018
Rank #3: ZHA after Zaha
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
Rank #4: Fear of Commitment
On this week's show, Archinect Sessions episode 124, Ken and Donna look back at this year's AIA National Convention in NYC.
Jul 13 2018
Rank #5: Olson Kundig's Alan Maskin on Icons and Architecture for Children
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
Rank #6: The BIG Abstract
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
Rank #7: Architecture & Film
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
Rank #8: Session 14: His bjark is BIGger than his bjite—A chat with Bjarke Ingels at the opening of BIG's "Hot to Cold" exhibition
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.
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
Rank #9: Every City Needs a Crank
This week we're joined by Inga Saffron, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you haven't read her latest piece on Henry Wilcots, the relatively unknown architect responsible for finishing Louis Kahn's masterpiece in Dhaka, go read it now. We talk with Inga about her experience meeting with Wilcots, architecture criticism pre and post-internet, Philadelphia and more.
Aug 18 2017
Rank #10: Archinect Sessions Episode 100 with Steven Holl
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
Rank #11: Equity, Secrets and Relevancy of AIA - 1 Year Post #NotMyAIA
Nov 16 2017
Rank #12: Radical Reconfigurability
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
Rank #13: Everything's Gonna Be Great
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
Rank #14: Hip Hop Architecture with Sekou Cooke
On this latest episode of Archinect Sessions we talk with Sekou Cooke, Syracuse-based architect, educator 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
Rank #15: Valorizing the Normal
Donna, Ken and Fred all converged in the meatspace that was the AIA National Convention last week in Philadelphia – to explore the massive Expo floor, visit local architecture, vote on resolutions and oh yes, those keynotes (!) from Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Neri Oxman and Rem Koolhaas. Spoiler alert: Rem's was the most boring.
For more information about the resolutions up for debate at the convention, check out our episode with Gregory Walker covering unpaid internships and WTC-truthers.
And don't forget to check out our ongoing coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale – we collaborated with the Taubman students setting up the US Pavilion, have a bunch of interviews with curators in the Features, and will soon be publishing dispatches from Venice to the News.
Fred Scharmen's work with outer space for The Working Group on Adaptive Systems
LMN Architects in Seattle named AIA's 2016 firm of the year
Neri Oxman’s 'Qamar' wearable for extraterrestrial environments
May 26 2016
Rank #16: Brute Force
This week on the podcast, Donna, Ken and Amelia discuss the uncertain future of downtown Atlanta's brutalist Public Library (the last building Marcel Breuer designed), how Shigeru Ban's relief efforts in Ecuador relate to his celebrity, and the emergence of a heavy-hitting lobbyist group for driverless cars in the US.
News pieces discussed in this show:
- Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo join forces to lobby for autonomous vehicles
- Shigeru Ban arrives in Ecuador to train locals in relief architecture
- Breuer's Brutalist library in downtown Atlanta faces demolition
The campaign to save Marcel Breuer's Grosse Central Pointe Library, started on Archinect
May 05 2016
Rank #17: Archinect Sessions Site Visit: Exhibit Columbus
This week we're releasing a special, in-between, episode of Archinect Sessions. In this show we’re sharing some conversations recorded by Ken and Donna from Exhibit Columbus, while visiting a selection of installations and local architectural masterpieces. Exhibit Columbus describes itself as an “annual exploration of architecture, art, design, and community created to celebrate Columbus’ extraordinary design heritage.” This inaugural exhibition opened on August 26th, and will continue until November 26th. We’ve covered Exhibit Columbus many times on on Archinect, including episodes 83, 94 and 103 of Archinect Sessions.
Oct 28 2017
Rank #18: Session 6: Money Changes Everything
This week on the podcast: student debt, Chicago's "State of the Art of Architecture", and our new series, Archinect's Lexicon. Paul, Amelia, Donna and Ken are joined by architecture students Jarrod and Elliott to discuss how student debt is changing their lives and careers. We also consider what Chicago has in store for its inaugural architectural biennial next year, and how architectural language (and English in general) is changing with the internet.
As always, you can tweet questions/comments about podcast topics to #archinectsessions, or leave a message for us at (213) 784-7421. You could hear your voice on the next episode.
Nov 13 2014
Rank #19: Session 3: Keep Portland Architecture Weird!
This week, Paul and Amelia talk with co-hosts Donna and Ken about the fickle pomo debate that is Michael Graves' Portland Building. We're joined by special guest Brian Libby, a freelance architecture journalist based in Portland, who's spent his fair share of time writing, reporting on, and inside the Portland Building.
We also hash out the Guardian's boondoggle on Obama's Presidential Library, and introduce our upcoming coverage on the ACADIA Conference, taking place October 23-25 in Los Angeles, including a conversation with co-chair Alvin Huang.
Oct 23 2014
Rank #20: Mitch McEwen and Marc Miller Steal the Mic
On this week's show we are trying out something new by inviting on guest hosts to take over the mics. Our guest hosts today, Mitch McEwen and Marc Miller, are familiar figures to regular listeners of this podcast and readers of Archinect.
Mitch is the principal of McEwen Studio, co-founder of the studio collective, A(n) Office, and an Assistant Professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture. Mitch's writing can be found on her Archinect blog Another Architecture. She has also been a guest on previous episodes of Archinect Sessions Equity, Secrets and Relevancy of AIA; 1 Year After #NotMyAIA, Twilight Zoning: What 100 years of zoning hath wrought, and Another year, Another Architecture.
Marc is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State University, in addition to being a regular voice of reason and intelligence in our discussion forum and comments section. Marc previously joined us on the podcast to discuss HUD and Zaha Hadid Architects in HUD-winked: Ben Carson takes on housing for Trump and ZHA distances itself from Patrik Schumacher.
Mar 09 2018