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The old RISD Architecture blog

RISD 2011 Faculty Biennial

Friday, February 25, through Sunday, March 20, 2011 

 

The RISD Faculty Biennial, a longstanding tradition, is an exciting opportunity to view new studio work by the extraordinary artists and designers who teach at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Presented in the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design’s Chace Center galleries and the Gelman Student Gallery, this exhibition occupies two floors of the Museum.

Tremendous response from the RISD faculty has made it possible to show works by 207 full- and part-time faculty — nearly 30 more than participated in the Museum’s last Faculty Biennial, in 2009. The works featured are as varied as the many departments and divisions in which the faculty teach — ranging from apparel, textiles, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, illustration, photography, jewelry and metalsmithing to graphic design, industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, film, animation, digital media, furniture, and more.

Schnitt 

Poster by Bethany Johns, Associate Professor, Graphic Design

all current risd museum exhibitions here


Istanbul: Maps, Stories, and Buildings

Gabriel Feld, Professor of Architecture, returned recently from a trip to Turkey with 12 students who are participating in his current studio titled “Istanbul: Maps, Stories, and Buildings”. Gabriel and his group had the good fortune to connect with RISD alumni  Basak Oymen BArch ‘97, Leyla Tara BArch ‘89, Mert Yilmaz BArch ‘00 and Fatos Diplan ‘82 BFA/BArch ‘83. These generous alumni, in addition to guiding the group around Istanbul,  arranged a boat trip along the Bosporus, a visit to Bursa–the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and linchpin of the Silk Road, a special visit of the restoration site of the Suleimaniye Mosque (the greatest Sinan work in Istanbul) that has been closed for years, including a ride to the top of the scaffolding (more than 120 feet above the ground) where they literally touched the dome with their fingertips and climbed the stairs of the tallest minaret to take in  breathtaking views of Istanbul all the way to the Asian side. The group was joined for a time by Elizabeth Grossman, Architecture History Professor Emerita, and Baruch Kirschenbaum, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Liberal Arts, whose independent visit to Itanbul happily coincided with the group.

Thanks to the amazing good will from RISD alumni in Istanbul, the RISD students gained a much richer knowledge of the city, its history and challenges for the future.  Now that the students are back on campus, they will develop architecture projects that capitalize on what they’ve learned after studying Istanbul “in the flesh”.

via our

Kyna Leski on Creativity

Kyna Leski, an architect and art professor at RISD, gave her students a painting by Paul Klee – asked them to build a third dimension to the painting. One student assigned height to rectangles based on color, and built a complex object. He’d somehow osmotically absorbed the work of Klee and created an object that refracted the morning light to recreate the Klee painting.

The creative process makes me think that I am an atheist, and that I am not.

We become mystified by words like creative ability, talent or genius. These are different intelligences. Artistic sensibility is a keen intelectual perception. It’s on the cusp between percept and concept. It comes from the latin root that means “to gather”. I reckon, I get it, I gather, I see…


Kyna Leski, photo by Kris Krüg

If we’re asked to hold a sheet of paper, we grasp it between a thumb and forefinger. There’s a lot of intelligence in this simple gesture – we’re creating a cantilever and introducing dimension to the paper.

A medium is something that goes between and connections. When we choose materials and processes, they go between the questions that we’re asking. The friction in a thread and a magnet might capture the tension between living and working in a single space. These material geometries do not need translation. But metrics are needed to translate these things up in scale.

Finding, forming materials can be thought of as “material reasoning”. The word material comes from the word for mother, mater; the word for pattern from pater or father. Matrix comes from the word from womb. The matrix is where pattern and material are married. It is a generative order that holds the whole.

The sketch of a design for a chapel, starting with a church’s need to grow and breathe also starts with a trapezoidal footprint. We kept putting on a spire, and it kept getting knocked off. The word “spire” comes from spirit – inspire, spiral. We found that if we squared the walls to the trapezoidal plan, the building took on a spiral shape, looking as if the building is exhaling.

Creativity is not in knowledge, like we might get from a search engine – it’s about discovery, finding yourself somewhere in the unknown. The first studio class at RISD is designed to remove foundations, not put students on firm footing. Students look at cellular strucutres, to build a set of joints – critical for architects, the articulated meetings. Students make matrices which have distinct behaviors, a product of the articulation of the joints. In the process, they create a ground, or perhaps a raft, of their own, without room for previous baggage.

A creative work coheres by recognizing connections – coherence gathered and meaning made. (via Ethan Zuckerman)

Kyna Leski at Pop!Tech

RISD Professor of Architecture Kyna Leski spoke this past weekend at Pop!Tech. Here is Ethan Zuckerman’s summary of Kyna’s talk on creativity. (via our.)

News from Landscape Architecture: Mikyoung Kim shine a light on public art (see the PROJO article)

News from Landscape Architecture: Mikyoung Kim shine a light on public art (see the PROJO article)

PARDON ME?

Kevin Kelly, Out of Control can be read here.

As a response to the installation in the gallery and the short lecture on Monday: A conversation I had with Kyna last week came back to my mind — what do you do about making with hands?  This question is still in my notebook, has not yet settled in my mind, so I found the installation to be a good excuse to bring up the topic, my stance differs for now, but perhaps this will get some responses.

The installation in the BEB gallery: n-Natures, variations on the Riemann Zeta Function, is a physical reappearance (quite literally looks the same) of something from 2002 (might have been 2003) —installation at the graduate gallery by Harry Loud and David Constable (both M.ARCH 2003). A Ruled surface, a color affect, pre-Architecture or, rather, a test of Architectural instruments, string and metal.

The presentation, of course, is what makes it different, now. In 2002, it was just the string occupying the whole gallery, and today it’s about the “Epistemological Shift in Architecture”…

Back in 2002 we were looking at The Projective Cast by Robin Evans, especially chapter seven and the geometry of Ronchamp-Notre-Dame du Haut, Gaudi and his use of geometry (here), Boston Science Museum and its section on mathematical forms—these were going through some minds of people behind the 2002  installation.

Last Monday, we heard about informatization of the real, Riemann Zeta function, computational protocol, behavioral model, algorithm, for examples.  Maybe I heard something about environmental parameters as well.

There are three “excuses” I can think for why the epistemological shift in architecture produces nearly the same (physical) installation.

1. The current installation lacks critical faculty.  (I do not hate the thing — it looks nice, but it lacks any ability to be critically responsive to what it is written/what is being said on the wall).

2. It is a victim.  The adaptation of physical production to the computational faculty is so slow, our epistemological faculty (mind) needs new sets of hands (or its analogous).

3. Epistemological Shift does not affect the physical end-resolution of architecture, however the process is different.

The presentation on Monday showed their interest in form making, meaning, all of the context-environment were made numeric to alter the given-desired form.  It alluded that environment does not conceptualize form, it is not one of the “faculty” that is “shifting” (regardless of current “climate change” etc.), epistemological form is the subject of (an) adjustment… (Perhaps where they want to go is beyond tweaking shapes and understanding environment as faculty of physical production as well?)

This is where I wanted to end this post, returning to the topic of hands / making-with-hands, by hand.  Does understanding environment as “faculty” shift our understanding of what it means to make?

- Yu Morishita

Stack to Fold was on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 8 November 2008 to 8 February 2009 as part of the show The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now.  By Lauren Crahan (B Arch 96) and John Hartmann (adjunct professor) partners and Brian Briggs (B Arch 08) from Freecell.

Stack to Fold was on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
from 8 November 2008 to 8 February 2009 as part of the show The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now.  By Lauren Crahan (B Arch 96) and John
Hartmann (adjunct professor) partners and Brian Briggs (B Arch 08)
from Freecell.

3SIX0 > NEW CHAPEL
Professors of Architecture Chris Bardt and Kyna Leski and their architectural firm 3SIX0 have much to celebrate as they begin 2009: one of their recent commissions, the 60-seat children’s chapel for the Shepherd of the Valley United Methodist Church in Scituate, RI, has already garnered much recognition, only two months after its consecration.
As architecture critic William Morgan noted, in designing their first church, the firm “tried to balance the practical needs of the congregation with explorations of the spiritual. […] Without spending a fortune, the church became a patron of good architecture. And, because of their desire to create a sacred space, the architects gave Shepherd of the Valley Church a real treasure.”
3SIX0 learned in late fall that their chapel had won an Honor Award (Gold) from the Rhode Island AIA, one of two they won - out of three state-wide awards. Congratulations, Chris and Kyna.
[Photograph above is from the The Providence Journal; article via our.risd.edu]

3SIX0 > NEW CHAPEL

Professors of Architecture Chris Bardt and Kyna Leski and their architectural firm 3SIX0 have much to celebrate as they begin 2009: one of their recent commissions, the 60-seat children’s chapel for the Shepherd of the Valley United Methodist Church in Scituate, RI, has already garnered much recognition, only two months after its consecration.

As architecture critic William Morgan noted, in designing their first church, the firm “tried to balance the practical needs of the congregation with explorations of the spiritual. […] Without spending a fortune, the church became a patron of good architecture. And, because of their desire to create a sacred space, the architects gave Shepherd of the Valley Church a real treasure.”

3SIX0 learned in late fall that their chapel had won an Honor Award (Gold) from the Rhode Island AIA, one of two they won - out of three state-wide awards. Congratulations, Chris and Kyna.

[Photograph above is from the The Providence Journal; article via our.risd.edu]

There’s a kind of closeness here between students and faculty that is unique. We have a dedication to teaching and to developing our students, but there’s also enormous mutual respect.
Kyna Leski, Graduate Program Coordinator / Professor

Flip through the virtual portfolio of 3six0 — the firm of C. Bardt (B.Arch 1983) and K. Leski, professors in the RISD architecture department.

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