Taking place April 26-27, the 'Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends' Symposium will explore the following provocative questions: How is architecture’s use value defined, and by whom? How can turning to other disciplines’ unexpected utilization of architecture expand our perception of its utility? And what are the future utilities of architecture? Today, the idea of architecture’s utility is perhaps more diverse than ever, as architecture commonly mingles with other disciplines, and as new typologies of building design emerge almost daily. Organized by Portland State University School of Architecture, three keynote speakers—Philippe Rahm, Jimenez Lai and Jill Stoner—as well as eleven notable architects, artists and academics will participate. More information after the break.
Grouped into three sessions, the symposium begins on Friday, April 26 at 4 pm in Shattuck Hall Annex with an exploration of architecture and the arts, with a keynote speech by Jimenez Lai, Leader of Chicago-based Bureau Spectacular, an architect and graphic novelist. Discussions of the role of art and design in the alternative utilization of architecture will follow. The evening concludes with a reception to celebrate the work of MacArthur award winning artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. The reception for Manglano-Ovalle’s exhibition, entitled “Always After (The Glass House)” will be held 7pm to 8:30pm at the Littman Gallery in Neuberger Hall. This exhibition will feature Always After (The Glass House) (2006), a film shot entirely on location at Crown Hall, Mies van der Rohe’s school of architecture on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. The film-based work explores the complex legacy of Modern architecture through the artful manipulation of footage from the 2005 dedication of the building’s renovation, when the architect’s own grandson broke the windows of the iconic building with a sledgehammer.
The event continues the next day, April 27, at 9am with a session on the origins and history of utility in architecture, with a keynote presentation by Jill Stoner, Associate Professor at University of California, Berkeley, an architect, author and editor of Toward a Minor Architecture and Poems for Architects: An Anthology. The third and final session focuses on the unexpected utility of architecture in the urban setting, culminating in a keynote presentation by architect Philippe Rahm. Based in Paris, Rahm’s firm is internationally recognized and praised for their innovative approach to sustainable energy in the built environment, often to unexpected and artful ends.
Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends begins at 4pm Friday, April 26 and continues until 5pm Saturday, April 27, in the Shattuck Hall Annex at SW Broadway and Hall Street, Portland, Oregon. Tickets ($15 advance; $25 from April 23 onward) are available through the PSU Box Office.
For a full schedule, to register, and more information, please visit here.