Archinect Sessions
'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #1: Frances Anderton and Christopher Hawthorne

When Frank Gehry's office was first attached to the L.A. River's master plan and redevelopment, the river began attracting fresh attention over a project that had already been evolving for decades. This October, in an attempt to do justice to the river's complexity and history (and the accompanying urbanist discourse), Archinect hosted 'Next Up: The LA River'—a live podcasting interview series with an array of architects, planners, artists, and journalists with varying perspectives on the subject.

We're now eager to share those conversations with everyone as eight Mini-Sessions, released as part of our Archinect Sessions podcast. Amelia Taylor-Hochberg, Paul Petrunia and Nicholas Korody moderated the conversations, which took place at the Los Angeles Architecture + Design Museum on October 29, 2016. While we reached out to them, unfortunately no representatives from Gehry's office were able to take part.

Our first Mini-Session was moderated by myself, with Frances Anderton (host of KCRW's 'Design and Architecture'), and Christopher Hawthorne (architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times). We cover their journalistic approaches to the river, and their own personal take on its role in the city.


Disruption

Recorded in the wake of Tuesday's election results, this episode got a bit emotional. Fred Scharmen—designer, researcher, and assistant professor at Morgan State University's School of Architecture and Planning in Baltimore—joins us to discuss the potentials and pitfalls of a technocratic urbanism, and whether the former king of cat memes can really offer anything to cities. Our conversation is largely in response to Fred's recent piece for Archinect, "Architects: If You Don't Start Disrupting Urbanism, Silicon Valley Will Do It for You.", with reflections on how technology and media are responsible for our current political climate.

 

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-88.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 12:20pm PDT

Cars in the Sky

Joining Miami's proud tradition of statement-parking projects by the likes of Herzog & de Meuron and Gehry Partners, Faulders Studio has a new garage-facade design set for Miami's formerly industrial Wynwood Arts District. Faulders joined us on the podcast to talk about the potentials of parking structures for local urbanism, the role of street art in the neighborhood, and how Miami is becoming a must-build place for globalized design.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-87.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 8:37am PDT

ZHA after Zaha [REBROADCAST]

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.

This episode originally aired on April 21, 2016.

Direct download: 61-zha_after_zaha.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 2:47pm PDT

A Friend in Deed

Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has had a tempestuous relationship with Donald Trump for years. As a developer working in Chicago, Trump's buildings have been critiqued by Kamin, and as often happens when Trump is criticized, he does not shy away from firing back personal attacks—calling him "dopey" and "a lightweight" when Kamin decried the developer's decision to slap a 20-foot-tall "TRUMP" sign on his downtown Chicago hotel. But instances like the "sign feud" aside, Kamin has also experienced Trump's kinder side, and can attest to the complex (to say the least) personality of the business man both before and after his profoundly strange pivot onto the national political stage. 

We invited Kamin on the podcast to discuss his relationship with the developer-candidate, how it's impacted his role as a critic, and how the 2016 campaign has invoked issues related to the built environment (or not).

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-86.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 12:35pm PDT

We discuss the latest big news from the awards-world of architecture, as we saw Caruso St John take home the Stirling Prize for their Newport Street Gallery, and the Aga Khan Award recipients ranged from a female Muslim starchitect to lesser-known female Muslim architects. We also take a slanted look at the hilarious winners of the satirical "Good Walls Make Good Neighbors, Mr. Trump" ideas competition.

 

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-85.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 1:39pm PDT

Hardware to Wetware

Architect Sean Lally of Weathers runs the podcast Night White Skies: "A podcast about architecture's future, as both Earth's environment and our human bodies are now open for design."

The podcast is in its infancy, but Lally has already logged some really fascinating interviews with the likes of Timothy Morton, architect Mitchell Joachim, and architects/authors Geoffrey Thün & Kathy Velikov. Lally joins us on this week's show to talk about the podcasting+architecture game, and the architect's collaborative role in science and technology.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-84.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 10:49am PDT

No Sage on Stage

Beginning today through October 1, Columbus, Indiana will celebrate its architectural history and identity with its very first Exhibit Columbus—an annual event alternating between a symposium and a design exhibition. Known for its rich architectural holdings of work by Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, Deborah Berke, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi and others, Columbus has earned its "Athens of the prairie" tagline, and Exhibit Columbus hopes to honor that proud tradition into the future.

We're joined by key members of Exhibit Columbus, Richard McCoy (director of the symposium's parent company, Landmark Columbus) and Joshua Coggeshall (partner at Shimizu + Coggeshall and co-director of next year's Ball State University installations) to discuss the city's architectural heritage, and what's planned for this year's inaugural symposium.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-83.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 2:13pm PDT

Grounded Research

Alvin Huang, founder and principal of Synthesis Design + Architecture in Los Angeles, joins us to talk about growing his practice into the award-winning firm it is today. Alvin dips back into his time in London, going to school at the AA and working with Zaha, and shares the terror and excitement that is starting your own firm. We also discuss taking criticism on social media, firm/teaching/life balance, and computation's role in design.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-82.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 2:14pm PDT

GSAPP United

In a landmark decision last month, Columbia University graduate students won the right to unionize in a case filed against the National Labor Relations Board. As a result, graduate students in private universities across the U.S. now have the right to collectively bargain. What effect does this have on architecture student labor, and the valuation of architecture overall?

We're joined this week by special guest A.L. Hu, a third-year GSAPP MArch student and key organizer with Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC-UAW). Hu shared what's happening at the school after the landmark decision, and how these organizing efforts can affect the architecture profession overall.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-81.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:45pm PDT