The 1960s and 1970s are recognized in architecture as the period when the crisis of Modernism and the first symptoms of the Post-Modern epidemic became evident. What we have forgotten is that these years also produced radical new reflections on the status and the fundamental nature of architecture itself. How can we envisage a building that is not one? Can architecture transcend memory and experience, or need it be a kind of autobiography? How can architecture “listen” to the world that surrounds it – its multiple histories and its varied contexts? Can we replace “architecture” with “anarchitecture,” and what would “anarchitecture” be? Starting from very different premises and points of view, Cedric Price, Aldo Rossi, James Stirling, and Gordon Matta-Clark put forward diverse ideas on the role of the architect and the place of architecture in ideas. These reflections deserve renewed attention today.
The role of the architect and the place of architecture in ideas.
By examining anew a critical moment in the recent past, interesting issues emerge for the present: the role of architecture and its relationship to society; the ways in which architecture imposes itself upon other disciplines, absents itself from them, becomes inscribed within them, or merges entirely with them, transforming the unique status of architecture entirely or merges entirely with them.
An International Forum
In parallel with the exhibition out of the box: price rossi stirling + matta-clark at the CCA until September 6, the Canadian Centre for Architecture is organizing an international forum whose moderators will be:
Mirko Zardini, architect and Senior Consulting Curator at the CCA
Hans Ulrich Obrist, author and curator of many international exhibitions;
Attended by the following curators and critics:
Marco De Michelis, Dean of the Faculty of Design and Art at the Istituto Universitario de Architettura in Venice (IUAV)
Philip Ursprung, Swiss National Science Foundation Professor for Art History at the Department of Architecture of the ETH, Zurich
Anthony Vidler, Dean and Professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union in New York
Mark Wigley, Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University
And CCA Curators Hubertus von Amelunxen, Louise Désy, Pierre-Édouard Latouche, Gwendolyn Owens, Howard Shubert
Cedric Price as seen by Will Alsop
Thursday 25 March, 7 pm
Will Alsop is the architect of the new Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design, in Toronto. He currently leads an architectural practice employing over 100 architects with offices in London and Rotterdam. Known for his own new and audacious ideas. He worked in the 1970s for British architect and thinker Cedric Price, "the anti-architect" who for more than 40 years, consistently excited, influenced, and provoked his peers. He will give a first-hand view of his years with him.
© Roderick Coyne