Jan 13, 2012

Aberration on Hollywood Boulevard

Enjoyed this talk on the theme of Aberration at Woodbury University School of Architecture's space on Hollywood Blvd. The school has smartly hired writer Mimi Zeiger to give itself a stronger identity within the field. Zeiger and Chicago-based designer Iker Gil of MAS Studio, who publishes the journal MAS Context, introduced what turned out to be very intellectual discussion on the theme, which is a good thing in this case. It featured a presentation by guest editor John Szot, architect and professor at Pratt Institute. You can download the journal as a PDF.


Szot's presentation on the issue and his own argument touches a soft spot for observational research-based urban thinking. Architecture has an immense capacity to recognize in physical form a world of politicized ideas, and Szot takes us on a journey through a set of "pathogical activit[ies] that present overpowering ideas that are captivating in their grotesqueness." He concludes with his own project for a hotel in Tokyo [truncated in the video above].

Contemporary architecture often references politicized ideas without being able to transform the economic conditions or consciousness through which new forms of the social are produced. The effect is often a rationalization of innovative form rather than an architecture that can conceivably offer a pathway to new social conditions: form we can believe in but not much change.

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