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Night White Skies

Join Sean Lally in conversation about architecture’s future, as both earth’s environment and our human bodies are now open for design. The podcast engages a diverse range of perspectives to get a better picture of the events currently unfolding. This includes philosophers, cultural anthropologists, policy makers, scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Each individual’s work intersects this core topic, but from unique angles. Lally is the author of the book The Air from Other Planets: A Brief History of Architecture to Come and an associate professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the recipient of the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture. www.seanlally.net
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Jun 29, 2020

Today is a conversation with Sylvia Lavin and we’re discussing her recent book ‘Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects’.

Book

Sylvia Lavin is Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University. Prior to her appointment at Princeton, Lavin was a Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, where she was Chairperson from 1996 to 2006 and the Director of the Critical Studies M.A. and Ph.D. program from 2007 to 2017.  

She is the author of Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture. Her most recent books include, Kissing Architecture, published by Princeton University Press in 2011 and Flash in the Pan, an AA publication from 2015.  

Professor Lavin is also a curator: including, Everything Loose Will Land: Art and Architecture in Los Angeles in the 1970s, was a principal component of the Pacific Standard Time series supported by the Getty Foundation and traveled from Los Angeles to New Haven and to Chicago.  Her installation, Super Models, was shown at the 2018 Chicago Architecture Biennial and most recently Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernists Myths, was an exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture. 

Jun 15, 2020

Natasha Sandmeier’s work and research straddles the worlds of architecture and visualization – with a long-standing interest the role of media within the creation and production of speculative architectures and environments. She is an educator and leads the postgraduate Entertainment Studio at UCLA Architecture & Urban Design. She is an architect and founding partner of Studio OUR, and the author and editor of Little Worlds (London, 2014); a monograph of projects and essays re-examining the role of the architect within contemporary architectural culture. 

Links:

Deep Fake of Nancy Pelosi <LINK>

Unreal Engine 5 launch <LINK>

William Gibson Article <LINK>

Jun 1, 2020

Just yesterday two astronauts launched into outer space from the United States for the first time in 9 years. Interesting side note, this launch was the first time in 40 years that NASA astronauts launched in a new space craft...The Space Shuttle had been around for over thirty years. Today is a conversation with Jeffrey Nesbit and we’re discussing the book ‘Extraterrestrial’ co edited by himself and Guy Trangos.  In looking to the extraterrestrial, the book is a collection of essays from a range of disciplines about tied to the term- extraterrestrial. And as you’ll here in the discussion today, the book includes an array of perspectives for how the term ‘extraterrestrial’ might be beneficial for exploring our own existence here on earth.  

As Jeffrey mentions during our discussion, extraterrestrial is more than just about that which originates ‘beyond’ our planet. This ‘extra’ along with the word ‘terrestrial’ also includes the heightening, exaggerating and intensifying of what we as humans or a planet might assume to be. Extraterrestrial might not be a found condition existing beyond us but something we strive to become. Becoming extraterrestrial! Now, I may have taken a bit of artistic or editorial license with that last sentence, but I like where it’s going. Maybe we can all strive to be a little more extraterrestrial these days! 

Jeffrey S Nesbit is an architect, urbanist, and recently received his Doctor of Design degree (DDes) from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is a research fellow in the Office for Urbanization at Harvard and founding director of the research group Haecceitas Studio. His research focuses on processes of urbanization, infrastructure, and the evolution of "technical lands." Currently, Nesbit’s research examines the 20th-century American spaceport complex at the intersection of architecture, infrastructure, and aerospace history. He has written several journal articles and book chapters on infrastructure, urbanization, and the history of technology, and is co-editor of Chasing the City: Models for Extra-Urban Investigations (Routledge, 2018), Rio de Janeiro: Urban Expansion and Environment (Routledge, 2019), and New Geographies 11 Extraterrestrial (Actar, 2019). Nesbit has taught architecture and urbanism, along with leading many design studios and theory seminars at Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and Texas Tech University. He also holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University 

A big thanks you to the Graham Foundation in Chicago for supporting this program! 

Until next time...Take care. 

Apr 20, 2020

Jane Hutton is a landscape architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Her research looks at the extended material flows of common construction materials and their social and ecological relations. Recent publications include Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements (Routledge, 2019) as well as an edited volume, Landscript 5: Material Culture – Assembling and Disassembling Landscapes (Jovis, 2017), and Wood Urbanism: From the Molecular to the Territorial (Actar, 2019), co-edited with Daniel Ibanez and Kiel Moe.  

A big thanks you to the Graham Foundation in Chicago for supporting this program! 

Mar 30, 2020

Larry Busbea is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Topologies: The Urban Utopia in France, 1960-1970 (MIT Press, 2007), The Responsive Environment: Design, Aesthetics, and the Human in the 1970s (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), and Proxemics and the Architecture of Social Interaction (forthcoming from Columbia Books on Architecture and the City).  

Mar 16, 2020

Fred Scharmen teaches architecture and urban design at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning. He is the co-founder of the Working Group on Adaptive Systems, an art and design consultancy based in Baltimore, Maryland. His work as a designer and researcher is about how we imagine new spaces for future worlds, and about who is invited into them. His first book, Space Settlements—on NASA’s 1970s proposal to construct large cities in space for millions of people—is out now from Columbia Books on Architecture and the City. He received his Masters Degree in Architecture from Yale University. His writing has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Log, CLOG, Volume, and Domus. His architectural criticism has appeared in the Architects Newspaper, Slate, CityLab, and in the local alt-weekly Baltimore City Paper.

Mar 2, 2020

Christopher Schaberg is Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA. In addition to his new book Searching for the Anthropocene: A Journey into the Environmental Humanities, he is the author of  The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (2012), The End of Airports (2015), Airportness: The Nature of Flight (2017), and The Work of Literature In An Age of Post-Truth (2018). He is series co-editor (with Ian Bogost) of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons.

Feb 17, 2020

Elisa Iturbe is a critic at the Yale University School of Architecture (YSoA), where she also coordinates the dual-degree program between YSoA and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her writings have been published in LogDearq, and Pulp, in addition to a forthcoming piece in Perspecta. Most recently she guest edited Log 47, titled Overcoming Carbon Form, an issue dedicated to redefining the relationship between architectural form and our dominant energy paradigm. She also co-wrote a book with Peter Eisenman titled Lateness, forthcoming in May 2020. In addition, she teaches studio, formal analysis, and a course on carbon form at the Cooper Union. She is cofounder of Outside Development, an architectural practice.

Feb 3, 2020

Today is a conversation with Charles Waldheim. Waldheim is a Canadian-American architect and urbanist. Waldheim’s research examines the relations between landscape, ecology, and contemporary urbanism. He is author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books on these subjects, and his writing has been published and translated internationally. Waldheim is John E. Irving Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he directs the School’s Office for Urbanization. Waldheim is recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome; the Visiting Scholar Research Fellowship at the Study Centre of the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the Cullinan Chair at Rice University; and the Sanders Fellowship at the University of Michigan 

Today we’re talking about an article he wrote called ‘Aero-Gangplank and the Avant-Gard' which appeared in LOG 46. This episode is called ‘Overcoming Spatial Fixity’.  I’m not sure that’s the BEST title for this conversation but we begin by discussing the development of airports in the 1950’s and the eventual use of gangplanks that get passengers from the terminal to the plane. This moves us to discussions of other examples within architecture that have sought to overcome fixity (from the kinetic movements of the Aero Gangplank, to Clip On’s & Plug In’s of Archigram and others, to the non monumental system architecture of Cedric Price’s Fun Palace. 

I thought it was a great conversation and I hope you enjoy. 

A quick thanks you to the Graham Foundation in Chicago for supporting this program! 

Until next time...Take care. 

Nov 11, 2019
Today is a conversation with Jo Lindsay Walton and we’re discussing a book called ‘Strange Economics’ which is edited by David F. Shultz. The book consists of 23 new science fiction pieces written specifically for the book that foreground various types of economic models.

Jo is a guest editor of ‘Strange Economics’ and wrote the afterward for the book. Jo is also co-editor (with Polina Levontin) of Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association. Recent essays and fiction appear in Strange Economics, Science Fiction Studies, Big Echo: Critical Science Fiction, Gross Ideas: Tales of Tomorrow's Architecture, and Economic Science Fictions. 

Sep 23, 2019

Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to the book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Dr. Barrett has published over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals in psychology and cognitive neuroscience

Sep 9, 2019

Alexander Eisenschmidt is the author of 'The Good Metropolis, Between Urban Formlessness and Metropolitan Architecture' Birkhauser, 2018 Alexander is a designer, theorist, and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches design studios and courses in history & theory.

Aug 12, 2019

Dr. Kiang is a biometeorologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York. She conducts research on the interaction between the biosphere and the atmosphere, focusing on life on land. Dr. Kiang also relates this work to research in astrobiology, particularly with regard to how photosynthetic activity produces signs of life at the global scale and how these may exhibit adaptations to alternative environments on extrasolar planets, resulting in other "biosignatures" that might be detected by space telescopes.

Jul 29, 2019

Neil Denari is principal of Neil M. Denari Architects / NMDA and a Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. With NMDA, Denari works on building projects in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2012, NMDA won first prize in the New Keelung Harbor Service Building competition. Denari lectures worldwide and has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, and Rice among other schools. He is the author of Interrupted Projections (1996), Gyroscopic Horizons (1999), and MASS X (2018).

Jul 15, 2019

This week is with Mark A. Cheetham discussing his book 'Landscape into Eco Art: Articulations of Nature since the 60's' 

Jul 1, 2019

This week is with Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture at the Department of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University. Rachel Armstrong leads Metabolism research in developing artificial biology systems showing qualities of near-living systems. Armstrong is the author of the books Origamy and Invisible Ecologies.

Mar 4, 2019

‘The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do’.  Edward Tenner is a distinguished scholar of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and a visiting scholar in the Rutgers University Department of History. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticThe Wilson Quarterly, and Forbes.com.

Feb 11, 2019

Perry Kulper, an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. He has recently published Pamphlet Architecture 34, ‘Fathoming the Unfathomable: Archival Ghosts and Paradoxical Shadows’ with Nat Chard. They are at work on a new book to be published by Routledge.

Jan 28, 2019

Dr. Catherine Bliss is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California San Francisco. Her research explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in science, medicine, and society. 

 Today we’re discussing her book ‘Social by Nature, The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics’. We discuss the relationships between our body's genetic makeup and the environments we live in.

Jan 14, 2019

Brad is the Chair of the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Virginia.

Brad is the co-author of the book ‘Responsive Landscapes’ with Justine Holzman. And co authored of the paper‘Designing Autonomy: Opportunities for New Wildness in the Anthropocene’ with Laura J. Martin, and Erle C. Ellis. This article is our jumping off point for the conversation which discusses the use of machine learning for maintaining areas of non human ecologies. What are the implications and opportunities in decision making when ecological territories are structured by an A.I. or machine learning strategy.

Dec 17, 2018

Today we discuss Chris's writings about augmented reality and cartography. Chris is a public servant within Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Directorate, Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as a guest writer for San Francisco based Venture Beat.

 

Nov 12, 2018

Today is a conversation with Chris Pak who is a scholar of speculative literature. His research interests are in the ecological and environmental significance of stories of terraforming and pantropy , which is to say the modification of other planets and the modification of bodies to enable the habitation of otherwise uninhabitable environments. His book (which we’ll be discussing today) is from Liverpool University Press called, Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction. The book focuses on terraforming and its link to climate change and geoengineering, global politics and the relationship between the sciences, philosophy and the arts.

Oct 29, 2018

Astrophysicist Adam Frank is a leading expert on the final stages of evolution for stars like the sun, and his computational research group at the University of Rochester has developed advanced supercomputer tools for studying how stars form and how they die. His most recent book is 'Light of the Stars, Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth'.

Oct 22, 2018

Muchaneta Kap-fundee is founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, which she co founded with Mano ten Napel in 2015. Fashnerd is one of the fastest growing digital magazines writing about fashion technology and wearables. www.Fashnerd.com

Oct 8, 2018

Today is a conversation with Ian Bogost. Dr. Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic.

We discussed privacy, machine learning, cows, and buying twizzlers.

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