Trans-Scalar Lecture: Architecture Office
Monday, March 6, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Held in-person in the UH Architecture Building Theater.
Images and Stuff
Recent work of Architecture Office under the theme of the Hines College’s TRANS-SCALAR lecture series. Held in-person in the UH Architecture Building Theater.
Architecture Office is a Swiss-American practice led by Nicole McIntosh and Jonathan Louie. Their recent work has been exhibited at the Yale Architecture Gallery, the Kunsthaus Glarus and the 2021 Seoul Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism. Their contributions to design and research have been recognized by the Architectural League of New York with the Young Architect’s Prize (2017), ACSA Faculty Design Award (2020), and Swiss Federal Office of Culture with the Swiss Art Awards (2022).
Historically, design disciplines have been attached to specific scale spectrums -the scales of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Architecture, Urbanism, or Territory- However, the objects we design are not inert assemblies of material forms. In every design decision we make, we mobilize, increase pressure, and transform the Earth’s system, including within human and non-human life forms. Every design decision can provoke ecological tension, inequality, and disruptions that lead the planet to amplified natural catastrophes for which no one can quite be blamed. Design is trans-scalar if we realize simple equations: every pile produces a whole, and every material form has its equivalent negative somewhere else.
How do we think and practice design ethically when acknowledging the objects we design are not innocent, but the intractability washes the responsibilities of natural catastrophe? The way of displaying the complex reality of design is by disclosing its trans-scalar powers. Objects of design are assemblages of many layers -the ecological, political, social, formal, material, technological, and environmental-combined in ethical and aesthetic forms. When these layers come together in exemplary works, they disseminate knowledge by becoming paradigms.
In this new era of ecological consciousness, design becomes an embassy, a cross-section, of all these layers representing the myriads of scales in which every design decision operates from the molecular to the cosmic scales. This program series posits the question of trans-scalar design via the social, cultural, historical, and environmental realms and how designers respond to the responsibilities of trans-scalar materiality.
- UH College of Architecture and Design Theater