KENT KLEINMAN: Good evening. My name is Kent Kleinman. I am the dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Welcome to the 2010 Frank HT Rhodes Professor Lecture Series.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Rhodes Class of 1956 professors, they were inaugurated-- the system-- the program was inaugurated in 2000 in honor of Cornell's ninth president to enrich the undergraduate experience by bringing individuals of great distinction to campus to interact with students across disciplines and colleges. The Rhodes professors hold three-year appointments and each year offer a university wide lecture. We are here to hear the second lecture of the 2009 to 2011 Rhodes professor, the eminent architect Peter Eisenman.
If we had been a bit more organized, we would have divided Professor Eisenman's vitae into three chapters to be read as serial installments over the three years of his appointment, for there is simply no way to do justice in a single introduction to the impact or the output of this extraordinary architect without shortchanging some critically significant dimension of his vast accomplishments. Peter Eisenman is an architect, a teacher of architects, an architectural theorist, and an author of critical architectural texts, both written and built. And this last formulation is intentional and important.
Before Peter Eisenman, one could not really claim that a built work was a critical text. It was Peter who insisted that architecture is never merely physical and always also semilogical. A column, a floor, a wall is dull in the context of gravity but immeasurably fascinating as a signifying element within an architectural syntax.
Peter's bibliography is momentous in size and significance and includes over 45 years of groundbreaking texts. In the last half decade alone, his work has been the subject of over 15 books and catalogs including in a very selective list Peter Eisenman Architects, the stadium for the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, 10 Canonical Buildings, 1950 to 2000 in 2008, Written Into the Void-- Selected Writings from 1999 to 2004 from 2007, The Former Basis of Modern Architecture from 2006, Holocaust Memorial in Berlin Monograph in 2005, Peter Eisenman Inside Out-- Selected Writings 1963 to 1988 from 2004, and Guiseppe Terragni, Transformations, Decompositions, and Critiques from 2003. And that is a highly edited list.
His realized buildings, his unbuilt projects, and his speculative design work never arrive quietly. They are much anticipated provocations, always staking out difficult and new architectural territory. A very highly selective list of Peter's projects include the Landscape Scale Complex for the City of Culture of Galicia, now nearing completion, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin dating from 2005, the small but beautiful insertions into the Garden of the Museum de Castelvecchio in Verona of 2003, the controversial Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio of 1989, the Aronoff Center for Design and Art in Cincinnati, the extraordinary project titled Moving Arrows and Other Eras of 1985, and the serial string of residential works from the mid 70s including the masterful unbuilt House 10 or House Roman Numeral X or House X or however you prefer to read it. Peter may elucidate us on that.
Peter is very well decorated. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Arnold Bruner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2001, he received the New York AAA Medal of Honor and the National Design Award in Architecture from the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Museum. In 2004, he was honored with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the International Architectural Biennale, and just last month he was awarded the prestigious 2010 Wolf Prize in Architecture and Art.
He has held faculty positions at universities of-- at the universities of Cambridge, Princeton, Illinois, Ohio State, Harvard, the Cooper Union, and, of course, Cornell, from which he graduated in architecture with a BArc in 1956. He is currently the inaugural Charles Gwathmey Professor of Architecture at Yale University.
Despite a wide ranging intellectual orbit, Professor Eisenman maintains a paper-like devotion to architecture and takes particular umbrage at those who would dilute the disciplinary primacy of architecture by conflating it with generic terms such as design. The thrust of Peter's lecture tonight is related in some subtle way to ongoing discussions at the college about what it might-- what it might mean to call AAP a college of design. His lecture is titled, quote, Architecture or Design Wither the Discipline, question mark, and that wither is spelled with only one H. Please help me welcome the inimitable Peter Eisenman.
PETER EISENMAN: Thank you.
My longtime mentor and erstwhile faculty member here, Colin Rowe, said once that once you reach the age of 75, you're allowed to sit to lecture. Given that prescription and since I have done that, I am going to sit.
Since I am finicky about details, I want to correct the dean in that I was not the class of '56, but I was the class of '55. And he must have me confused with Richard Meyer, but he always does that, my cousin.
He would like me to think-- or he would like you to think that I am a provocation, but it, in fact, it is his provocation that has caused me to defer from what I really wanted to talk about tonight to explain why I disagree with him about changing the College of Architecture to a College of Design.
First and foremost, why I don't like it is because there already is a college of design at the University of the North, and to emulate those people just because their colors are the same as ours I think is an enormous mistake. I would like to keep the sanctity of the term architecture if for no other reason that it already has been mutilated at another university.
Anyway, given that as a background, when I was at Cornell, all of my friends and myself included were all people who didn't get into the University of the North, and so we were here at Cornell. It was the school of second choice. And I imagine that much of the faculty both then and now have the same problem, that tenure was not available at the University of the North so that they are here.
So I would like to caution anyone who thinks that emulating that model would only continue to provoke the stereotype because I do believe, as Colin used to say, the institutions that are guaranteed by guaranteeing institutions are often better than those institutions which supposedly-- by which the supposedly they are guaranteed. And, of course, since I was at Cambridge, which is a guaranteeing institution for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, I can promise you that Cambridge is not as good as either of those institutions. And since I am now at one of those American guaranteeing institutions, I can also assure you that many of the institutions guaranteed such as Cornell far surpassed those guaranteeing institutions.
That is just by way of a prolegomenon to what I want to talk about tonight. There are two parts to my talk. One is since only very few of you are interested in the academic notion of what would be the difference between architecture and design, you can not listen to the first part of the talk because the second part I'm going to show pics of a project, which is what architects are supposed to do, of the Santiago Project, which fortunately I haven't showed here in Ithaca before. And what is very nice about it for me, I'm very excited is that the pope is coming on November 6th of this year to open the project so-- plus the king and queen of Spain-- and since I do find popes and kings and queens to be of my sensibility--
I would like to share with you what they're going to open. That having been said, I've got you all in a serious mood I can tell.
I want to talk about what is, in my opinion, the difference between the notion of design and the notion of architecture. And I would say that one has to start out by saying what is it that is architecture and what is it that is design. For me-- and this is probably definitions that you will not find in Wikipedia-- for me, design in its essence presumes to have an objective, either an objective that has to do with a goal or an object such as a program or a symbol a structure or a context in the terms of architecture, but they are-- these goals are in terms of architecture. That is things we know or we think we know what architecture as a discipline is supposed to be.
And in one sense, architecture as a discipline differs from its related fraternal disciplines such as art, sculpture, and the other physical arts in that it has to shelter. It has to define a use, et cetera, so that design as a initial attitude is a way of resolving conflicts of many of the supposed goals of architecture, but it is not architecture nor is it art. So design therefore initially has an objective, i.e. it is a strategy.
And in one sense it's a strategy, and in another sense, I would say it is the management of tactics towards an object strategy. So those are two possible ways of designing-- of defining design, one as a strategy and the other as a management of tactics toward an object strategy. For example, many of you who are architects realize that you're given a program in a studio and you move toward a resolution of goals toward the realization of that program.
Now I want to shift that idea to the notion of the word discipline of which architecture is one. It is a discipline in the sense, and design is not. Design is cross disciplinary. You can design structure, mechanical equipment.
Any number of categories have as a process design. That is the management of tactics toward the goal, the resolution of as it were difference. Design itself therefore is not a discipline. It is a subset of other disciplines.
Now, architecture as a discipline is usually defined as a series of norms, that is as classical architecture, Baroque architecture, et cetera. They are series-- any discipline is defined by what is assumed to be a series of norms at any given moment in time. The notion of discipline therefore changes over time and is defined as these norms change, which change from epistem to epistem from paradigm to paradigm.
My definition of discipline, i.e. architecture in this particular case, is that at any moment in time, discipline is not only based on norms but also, and more particularly, states of exception. That is a very important notion between the idea that is implied-- the goal-oriented idea implied in design-- that in order to have states of exception, first of all, you have to have norms. And in order to move and change norms, there has to be within those norms the possibility of uncovering states of exception.
My argument is that disciplinary activity, i.e. any process that is which includes the idea of design, that is as its process, but that the disciplinary activity is not necessarily defined by that process such as architecture, sculpture, and painting as opposed to design is one in which the disciplinary exceptions are revealed through these processes. So that while design is a synthetic process revealing a goal, architecture is revealed through an analytic process through the revelation of states of exception through those things which confound the design process, which is always looking for goals and therefore for norms.
All of architecture therefore-- that is the work of architecture-- is analytic in the terms that I am suggesting rather than synthetic. Whereas design is synthetic, architecture requires an analytic process. While all of each of these processes have to deal with program and shelter as norms, the question is within these norms, what is the possibility for exception.
My argument would be that exceptions-- that is defining of these which cannot be known at the beginning as a goal, that is the goal is uncovered as the process continues-- is what someone like Jacques Derrida would call the undecidable or which could also be called criticality. If something is to be critical, for me, it involves not the search for a goal but rather the search for exceptions. That makes any discipline-- and that is architecture as the nature of a discipline and design as an aspect of a search for a goal-- two different discourses.
Not only is design a subset of architecture, but as a discursive strategy, it is entirely opposed to what a critical or an undecidable architecture might be. Architecture therefore requires an analytic framework to understand the idea of exception. Exceptions, for example, can be a dialogue between modern and classical, between grammar and rhetoric, any number of dialectical pairs which no longer serve as goals but as ideas to be unraveled, let's say, revealed in their problematic state, and open to a search for a possible exception within these determinants.
In a design studio, for example, the process is always one of design, a program and a site, find a synthesis that is assuming a set of norms. Whereas for me, an architectural studio doesn't begin with a program or a site. It deconstructs any conditions of site and program to find those exceptions which lie potentially within any given conditions. It becomes an analytic process as a continual unraveling of given conditions as opposed to design.
And if one understands the work that I have been carrying on for a long time, it has nothing to do with arriving at goals or synthetic but, in fact, uncovering those moments in time where the synthetic process becomes problematic. My book, The Ten Canonical Buildings, which I think is relevant in this particular case, takes a series of 10 architects and describes buildings that are, as it were, a moment in time-- I call them cust buildings-- the cust building being one where there is a possibility of A or a possibility a B. A is a synthetic possibility that leads from that particular building to a structure of ideas, and B is a possibility of an analytic condition which leads to the deconstruction of those ideas and produces an entirely different result.
One of the specific examples I give is Lou Kahn's Adler & DeVore houses. I'm sorry. I don't have the slides to demonstrate what I mean. But in the book, the Adler & DeVore are two buildings never built by Kahn.
But in those buildings is the seed of two strategies. One, as it were, a normative strategy and the other a strategy of exception. Both are present in the project. And unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, Kahn chose the normative strategy, which led him to the Richards laboratory in Philadelphia, which is a direct outcome of the Adler & DeVore houses and then on to many of his other works, which to me are all exercises in the normative.
Now we can say that another question which arises in this context is how do we deal with the difference between a norm and a state of exception. For example, if we look at the idea of surface today, surface 50 years ago might not have been a normative condition. Today, I think it probably is.
There are several reasons for that. First of all, when Sigfried Giedion wrote his book, Space, Time And Architecture from 1919 to 1939, the norm of modern architecture was space, as opposed to say the 19th century idea of architecture. In fact Mies van der Rohe said that in 1924, that "Architecture is the will of the epoch translated into space."
So space, the translation of an idea of the zeitgeist into space, was a normative disciplinary activity of modernism. From that point in 1968 to 1972, Robert Venturi, in both complexity and contradiction and learning from Las Vegas, proposed that space was no longer the normative valence, but the idea of surface was. That is, the decorated shed, which was the meaningful element and that what was behind it, that is, the generic box or shed, it didn't matter.
So that what happened from 1949, from Giedion's book to Venturi's book, is the movement from a one normative condition in architecture, space, as opposed to the normative condition of surface. So that one could argue that the notion of surface is what we are dealing with today. That being said, the question is, how does one create surface in architecture as a state of exception?
And to look at architecture as many of my colleagues do and try and make out of space a state of exception has no purchase today. It is no longer any potency in any critical matrix. Because space is not the issue that the normative conditions of architecture propose.
The argument, therefore, is that, in one sense, all normative states become conditions of a zeitgeist, that is, what it is today. And therefore, always states of exception are related in some way and key to zeitgeist issues. That is, even when we look at history, whether it's the classical, the Baroque, the neoclassical, et cetera, there is always a condition that changes in terms of the time.
If we look at Alberti, for example, he's the first architect that brings the idea of surface in the Palazzo Rucellai in the Sant'Andrea in Mantua. Whereas Bramante, in Santa Maria della Pace brings the first idea of space as void into consideration. These then become normative conditions and then create the situation where the exception, that is the redefinition of architecture as a discipline, becomes important.
And if, again, we look at the history of architecture, we can see that what Alberti was trying to do is then contravened by Bramante as a state of exception and then contravened by Palladio as a further state of exception. And the interesting thing is that we have to be very aware that, as time moves, the zeitgeist also transforms. So that what we have to realize is that we have to be not only aware of history and the movement of time, but how those things create the conditions which we would call normative.
For example, I take Mies van der Rohe, who we could trace his career as a slow transformation from the notions of zeitgeist to the ideas of genius loci. That from the Barcelona Pavilion, which is mainly a zeitgeist project, to the Rieser house, which is mostly a genius loci argument, to his much later plinth projects, the fact that there is a movement from the piloti, which stands to the ground, where two Mies' columns which always, in his later work, stand on a plinth distinguish between ground and roof and thus are, in fact, genius loci projects.
So that what I'm saying is that we can witness in Mies a moment, an evolution, even within his movement from Germany to the United States, from his projects of 1923 to his later projects, like the National Gallery in Berlin, or his projects for IIT. A different Mies, that is, who considered, number one, that the norms had changed and that therefore the states of exception, which he was producing, had to change. I believe that Mies is a very good analysis use. One can use Mies to analyze the most subtle of all of these changes in modern architecture as a state of exception.
As opposed to Le Corbusier, who stated the normative conditions of architecture in his four compositions and Five Points and then proceeded to make demonstrations of those. So that while Le Corbusier set out the normative conditions of a modern architecture in all of his work, and then proceeded to move toward those, Mies was always trying to find a state of exception. And in fact, one can look at Mies as the architect who uses Le Corbusier as a normative counter to produce the state of exception.
Now I think that to achieve a state of exception today, one cannot just take up the project of the zeitgeist, that is, the project of today whether it be surface or not because that would be not understanding how disciplinary time acts as a continuum. That is, how disciplinary time moves between Alberti and Mies, or moves from Alberti and Mies. So in a sense, looking for the idea of exception, it's not merely the idea of surface or something that is in the geist of today, but the evolution of states of exception which define the ebb and flow of what we call architecture.
Therefore, it's not easy to merely go look at Alberti or the architecture of the 16th century as a disciplinary norm. Because then we arrive at architects likely Léon Krier. And clearly, we are not suggesting that Krier is a state of exception, as a matter of fact. Even though if you looked at his work to produce a classical discourse today, it could be seen as such. One is saying that it is merely the re-evocation of a normative state that has long ago lost its purchase.
So that what one is saying is that there is an addition to the momentary condition of the normative at any one time. There is the movement in time of the discipline, which assumes an ebb and flow between normative and states of exception. I believe that we are in a moment in time which I call lateness. And that is while we've witnessed the avant garde period of modern architecture, let's say from 1919 to 1939, then we witnessed the high period of modern architecture where capital assumed the goals of modernism from, let's say, 1945 to 1968. And then we witnessed, from 1968 to 1988, a moment in time of postmodernism, which is the critique of the high period.
From 1988 to what I consider to be the present, we are in another period, which is neither postmodern, as a critique of modernism, but another sense of time. And that is a period of lateness. I'm not going to talk about that tonight. But in the seminar that I've been having with the German department and others, lateness has been a crucial aspect of the discipline.
What I would argue is that every 25 to 50 years naturally, states of exception exist that cannot be integrated into the norms of the time, that is, through design. To me, education-- that is why you all are here and why I do what I do-- is the location and understanding of what constitutes these states of exception. In other words, how can they be understood? How can they be recognized? And what do they constitute when it comes to architecture?
I would argue that studying function, shelter, sustainability, symbolism, meaning, et cetera have really nothing to do with this search. While they are part of what we need to produce, they do not lead toward the exception, but the norm. Then you could ask me, and this is where my project that I'm going to show you comes in, what would be a state of exception today? Would they relate to the norms of postmodernism, because there are new no new norms that have been crystallized into another discourse?
And I would argue that I can't answer the question. I know that the project that I'm going to show you, the Santiago project, is different from my earlier work. It is different in scale. It's different in content. It's different in the sense that it concerns six buildings as opposed to one building, which is a very different relationship to architecture.
The final thing that I want to say is that while we will see in this project a relationship to history, a relationship to site, a relationship to program, all of those things are within the project. They understand the history of the place and the history of such projects, but don't resurrect these histories but create them as a field of exception. With that in mind, I'm going to show you some pictures of the project as it has evolved. And one has to understand that it was started as a competition in 1999 and is now almost 11 years old.
It was a competition at the time against Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Jean Nouvel, Steven Holl, many notable architects. There were 10 architects. It was an important competition.
And the way we worked was to understand what might be the strategies and management of strategies which would lead Daniel and Steven and Rem and others to the kinds of solutions that they may propose. While we, on the other hand, having realized that all of these avenues will be full, that is, if we went into the process like that, was to find a way to create out of this project a state of exception. And I would argue that what we produced as an idea was a series of analytic gestures-- and you will see them in the project-- that led us to the project that I'm going to show tonight.
This is not a perfect example because it contains many of the flaws that any project does contain. Because the purity of an idea is always compromised in the reality of project. So project itself has the anxiety of that compromise between design and other possibilities. OK. Let's turn out the lights. And we'll look at some pictures.
Just to explain about states of exception, the "N" in our logo is a situation where we have a palindromic possibility. Because if you take the other letters, twist them around the end, you get the French word, amnesie. So that you have remembering Eisenman and forgetting amnesie as a palindrome. And that's why the "N" is always in red, to key this notion of remembering and forgetting as a dialogue.
I want to start with my own history lesson and to talk about symbolic contexts. Because we are talking about a hillside site that is a symbolic context. And the first really important one that is a series a sequence of buildings. It's the Parthenon at 440 BC. And it serves as a model for the organization of several buildings on a symbolic site.
The second one that I always show is the Alhambra in Granada, which is an evolutionary project in an urban context which spreads from a single palace, a central donut, out through a complex of spaces. First, really, conceptualized by Charles the V in 1527, even though its earlier antecedents date from the 9th and 10th century and also from Moorish origins in southern Spain. And there is another view of the Alhambra as it spreads from its context on a green hillside into an urban fabric.
The third one that I want to show is-- and these all involve what I would call states of exception. That is the donut of Charles the V. Here, the state of exception is very clear. The Campidoglio becomes the first secular monument in Rome. It comes after the sack of Rome in 1527.
It's by Michelangelo. It's three buildings grouped around a square, which are the seat of government of secular Rome at that time. It's approached up a sequence of stairs here and remains, as it were, a very different condition of space as opposed to the Piazza and Obelisk, which marked the routes from place to place in Sixtus the V's plan for Rome and is very different, for example, than the Piazza del Popolo, which has an obelisk in its center and two churches flanking the Corso in Rome. So for me the Campidoglio reflects in this an idea first, of its secularity and second, in its organization of space, an exception at the time. This is really the first, what I would consider, complex of urban buildings devoted to a secular condition.
Here is another state of exception. This is the Philip II's Escorial outside of Madrid in Spain where, in a contemporary setting, a minor city is created with a chapel, a library, a palace, all the accouterments of a small royal city, as it were, in the 16th century, shortly after Michelangelo, that is, as an agglomeration of buildings. And what I'm showing you always is the notion of the different agglomeration of buildings as opposed to single buildings. Because we are dealing with six buildings as a state of exception.
Then you have something like the Hofburg in Vienna, which is a series of buildings, the [INAUDIBLE], the palace, and buildings, again, which take their cue from the context of a previous building and keep adding onto, that are generative from a single beginning and from the 13th century right through to the 20th century. And then the final agglomeration of buildings that I know and refer to is Richard Meyer's Getty Center in 1984 to 1997. And, again, an agglomeration of six separate buildings on a hilltop. And the first one, let's say, that takes other than the Siedlung, like, the Weissenhofsiedlung, or the Siedlung in Austria, but takes six buildings of differing functions and brings them together in one complex. So we can move from the Parthenon to the Getty as a series of differing views of how one brings buildings together.
Here is the project that we are going to look at tonight. It involves six buildings-- a opera house, which is under construction; a library; an archive; a museum of Galician history; another museum next to it, a Kunsthalle; and a research center. It has a 1,500,000 square feet under roof. And the cost is about $800 million.
So it's quite a huge project. And when you wanted to talk about the scale, here is an 11,000 seat sports hall here. So you can see how big these projects are in comparison to this sports hall.
Again, I was using, or we used, prototype spaces to deal with the relation of history to the present. And we used various prototypes to inform what we were doing. This is Wren's Library at Trinity College in Cambridge, which is a grand library space, very similar in certain ways to Michelangelo's Laurentian Library. And this is the space in our library, which I will show you in a later slide.
Here is the Church of Santo Spirito in Florence, another one of my favorite projects because of the play between the white and the gray and the red sandstone floor. And we were trying here to find the possibility of a red sandstone to go with the gray and white of the interior. This is a long argument. Because they all want local stone.
And the trouble is that there are no red local stones. And so all of the other stones here that you see in this palette are local except for these stones, which come from another part of Spain. And of course, this, 11 years later, is a fight that we are still waging. Certainly the idea of a state of exception, no one would care about that. They want local red and there is no local red.
Galicia, and especially Santiago here on the left, is a very rainy climate. It has more cloudy and rainy days than any other part of the Spanish mainland. It is in the high Northwest corner. And so that you find arcaded streets. And we, therefore, used the arcade as a tool for organizing the pedestrian caminos on the site.
Again, this is the first project that we've ever done which deals with the possibility of using materials similar to what exists in the context. That is, the red roof, the red stone tile roof, the gray granite, and use them in a different way on the buildings that we're working on. So it's the first time we ever used stone. But of course, we're using stone in a way that's not constructed, but as purely a facade element.
Paving patterns, again, that you see all over Santiago like this, we have, in a sense, done the same thing with the plazas in our project. One of the significant features because of the rainy climate, there are balconies which overhang, glass balconies, projections, all over the town, which is a feature of the architecture attempting to catch more natural light in these projections. And we have done the same thing with our facades, that the glass is always projected out in either two layers here or, you'll see in the next facade, in a series of three layers. So we're always trying to layer the glass out, reaching for more daylight.
This is one of my favorite slides. Because on the left is the facade in the city of La Coruña toward the bay. And, again, you see these various-- multiple variations of glass and facade right next to each other, which have an amazing pattern and patina, let's say, of a rhythm plus glass.
And we tried to duplicate this by creating a three-layered glass. So this isn't a curtain wall. But it is glass.
And you can see these are the horizontal elements, the vertical elements projecting horizontal, and projecting horizontal. So there is this play of three levels on the facade of the museum, which you'll see when we look at the museum project.
This was the model that we produced. And I see it as why I say it's a state of exception. It's the first project that we did where the buildings were, as it were, erupted out of the ground. That is the sum projection of the surface became, as it were, the surface of the buildings. The shape of the buildings, as it were, was provoked by a series of analytic exercises, which this is what we turned in this, and this, and the following drawings.
The idea was that this was a mountain top. We would cut this top off the mountain, create a building inside, and then put the stone back on top of the buildings. And none of the other competitors-- all the others did object buildings that looked like buildings. And we did a project that looked like a mountain. And of course, they were always talking about the magic mountain and the issues of making ground become a building were always in our mind.
These are the diagrams that we sent with our project to explain what we were doing. And why I'm very excited about the Pope coming to Santiago is that this is the year called in [SPEAKING SPANISH], Xacobeo, which is the year of St. James' birthday, falling on a Sunday which happens about, I believe, 10 or 11 times in a century. And this is one of the sacred pilgrimage sites of the Catholic church, Jerusalem and Rome being the others.
And in the year of Xacobeo, there will be 12 million pilgrims that come through to Santiago. Compare that with an average year at the Vatican of 3 million pilgrims, and you see the extent to which this small place has become an important condition. So like Michelangelo placing the Campidoglio in a sacred city, we're placing this secular city of culture into a religious context.
And so what we did was to say the idea of the site plan, the analytic work on the site plan was to take the street plan at the scale of the city and place it, superimpose it on the hillside as the actual street plan itself of the pilgrimage routes. There are five fingers of these routes that come through into the cathedral square, the Obradoiro and the Church of Santiago de Compostela. The second thing we did was to take those routes and disturb them by the natural topography. That is, to allow the topography to distort those routes and reimpose those distortions onto this to produce this second diagram.
And then there is a third diagram, which talks about the vectors of the so-called lay lines. In other words, how this place was discovered were by druidic monks, who read the world and the stars and produced a Codex about these religious implications of these lines of force. And we introduced these lines of force, as well as the idea of Compostela, which is field of stars, which is what led the pilgrims in the 11th century or 12th century to find the coffin of Santiago.
And of course one of the issues in understanding that it was the coffin of Santiago was the fact that it was decorated with scallop shells. And all important Jewish intellectuals at the time of Christ were buried in coffins with scallop shells. And so finding this coffin with the scallop shell, they thought they had found the true brother of Jesus, James. And so we saw the site as a scallop shell imprinted with the lay lines, with the topographic lines and the religious paths into a complex tapestry of form.
And here is the site plan that we produced which, first of all, you can see the lines of the pilgrimage routes which continue down the hillside and into the town. So that the modern day pilgrims would come through the secular city through to the religious city. Here is the archive building, the library building, the opera house, the Kunsthalle Museum, the Museum of Galicia, and the research building. And you can see the plazas, the different markings, the different grids and lines, which all reflect in their different materiality these three and four overlays of these different times of the topographic time, the topological time, the Cartesian time, and the medieval time, all superposed onto the project.
What is interesting about this project, we never thought they would ever build our landscape like this. Most projects they don't build the landscape. But for us, the landscape is the whole structure of the project, that the buildings by themselves without the particular landscape is nothing but a series of isolated buildings.
So the landscape is being built exactly with all of these different stone markings and colorings and pavings and this construct. So we're very pleased with that as it proceeds today, 11 years after drawing that building or that map. Here you can see another aerial view of the site. Well, let me go back.
The archive building, the library building, and of course, these pieces which are all part of the landscape are still to be built, which takes the buildings back to this dimension here. You can see the paths, the caminos, and what we call the tails will come out to this extension here, which is the tail extension of the opera house as you can see it being built here, the research building, and the Museum of Galicia. The four buildings that the Pope will open are the archive, the library, the research building, and this museum. These two buildings will remain under construction for the next two or three years, until they're complete.
There is the archive building up close, with its local stone roof, the Cartesian grids, the medieval grids imposed in here with the medieval camino here and here and the Cartesian grids over the stone. There is a picture of the building as it exists today with groups of tourists coming.
And what is interesting-- I want to talk briefly about the two towers. These two towers were designed by John Hejduk, one of the five architects and one of my closest and dearest colleagues. And John was an ardent Catholic. And he designed these two towers to be built in Santiago, as well as a book of poems dedicated to Santiago de Compostela.
On his death bed-- and what happened was John, as he was wracked with the cancer that eventually took his life, lost faith in the body of the church. And so he began to design things that were west facades of churches without the body. Hence, these two towers are, as it were, the west facade of a church without a wracked body.
And on his deathbed, I promised John that we would build these towers. And in fact, this was the first thing we did was to complete these to his drawings and specification. And what I think is very potent about this is if you stand just about where this person is here, looking toward the town, the two towers frame the actual towers of the cathedral of Santiago. So there is the play between the bodyless church of the secular city and the church itself, which I think is an important part of the project. And you can see this is at dusk, the archive building, the entry, and the different pavings, and different manifestations of stone.
This is the key to me to the notion of the state of exception. Because if we go back to the talk between Mies and Le Corbusier, Le Corbusier set the notion that there was an idea of the horizontal extension of space, that in the Maison Dom-Ino, there was this idea that modern architecture freed architecture from the bearing wall. Mies, on the other hand, decided that, in fact, there was no horizontal continuum of space. But that space involved, and especially in the IIT project, the 50 x 50 House, the Mannheim Museum, the National Gallery in Berlin, was what I would call an umbrella space. That the roof had a series of columns attached to it or attached to its structure which lands on a plinth so that there is the difference between the roof and the ground as differentiated from Le Corbusier space.
What we'd wanted to do here was to show that in fact neither roof nor ground were data. But in fact, were a series of soffits and poche that revealed a condition of space different from the Maison Dom-Ino or the National Gallery. That is, a condition of two surfaces, as it were, playing with one another. This project and that idea is similar to what we did at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, where there is a ground surface that undulates and a top surface of the pillars which is a topological surface very different from the ground surface and that the pillars only represent the connection between these two different surfaces.
So the key, this reading, we have the soffit in the archive building. And this is the first, as it were, camino that you come to. And we placed a glass floor so that the soffit would be, as it were, mirrored. And so you would have a sandwich of non-datum, that is, because this is certainly not a datum, and this is certainly not one, either. That the whole notion was that there was no datum between the horizontal surfaces of ceiling and floor.
And so this is the first space that you come to which takes that as a key notion to be continued throughout the process of the space. And here is another piece of that glass floor with the inscriptions of the lines of force that, as it were, go. They're not-- all of these lines are not just here in this building, but continue through the four buildings in a row. That is, they continue through laterally as the buildings progress vertically in an East-West direction. These lines run North and South.
And, again, another view of the soffit and these lines which come through and the floor surface of the buildings. And you can see that here there is a wood floor. The soffits here move. That with the handrails, which play with these soffits that bend down, the lighting is always more or less articulating the difference in the soffits. And you move from wood to stone as the section moves through the building.
Our idea was an attempt to bring what is large scale project down to the individual scale. And of course, you see round columns with a certain notation and square columns and another notation. So wherever you have a 24-meter grid, you have square columns where you have a 12-meter grid. You have round columns and then thinner square columns on an 8-meter grid. So all of these grids not only are marked in the floor on the ceiling, but also by the different structure of columns.
So these things all follow within an analytical method that continually uncovers itself. In other words, we take it to one level. And you'll see this in the facade of the building. We produce a wireframed grid in a rhino or Maya model. We hand this to the working drawings architect.
He then takes it to another level of detail to find the details in the wireframe grid. Then that expanded model, because of all of this is done through models and really not drawing, is then handed to the contractor, who develops another model, who hands it to the subcontractor who is responsible either for the structure or the glazing on the facade. And you know, it's incredible when we see the actual facade, which is done through a model modeled by the subcontractor. It looks very little like the initial wireframe model that we sent to the contractor.
So through an evolution of models, the project evolves. And it evolves through the potential of these modeling devices to produce these kinds of conditions. There's one panel of glass-- I can tell you, the last time I was there-- that has a gasket on the glass frame which twists along a 3-foot or 4-foot section, just to finish, to be part of a double-curved surface of glass where all the glass pieces are square, but the gaskets take up the twist that's required for setting the glass into the wall. Another shot in the archive building.
We go next to the library building. Again, its interior is finished. And it's only the tail, like these tails out here which will come, that are being finished right now, as we speak. There is the drawing that we first did of the camino, between the archive building and the library.
And there is that same space in its built condition, the interior of the space. And, again, there is this play between these soffits of the building and the section of the space, the shelves responding to that kind of soffit. And the soffits in this building sometimes approach 10 meters in depth. So there is a play not only between the soffit and the undulating floor surface, let's say, but also the section, between an upper level here down to this level and through here. And the only reference that I can make is through the [INAUDIBLE] sections of [INAUDIBLE], which move from a situation of light through a space to a netherworld down below.
And what you'll notice is that the facade here is a double layer of glass, which is no longer a curtain wall. And then, it's echo is over here in another interior curtain wall so that they're a sequence. You never know what the outside is and where the inside is. Because they're always a sequence of layers from outside to inside.
And that's now looking up, back at this upper level, the bookshelves the soffits, as they step down through the space. We saw an earlier slide of that before the soffits had been finished. And there is, if you're looking from over here where the upper level is, the interior facade as it reveals itself and then opens to another level of the rare books down below.
And, again, the spaces here is the other side, yet another glass surface, and another facade on the interior facade on the other side of the space. So there are a series of layers. Not only are the layers running East and West, but as I said, the lay lines that continue from project to project continue through from the archive building over here through to the library through to the opera house and the research building. So where there is, in one sense, a series of lines, incisions, into solid, and then the other there is the incision of space as it runs East-West along the caminos. And here is the other side of that library space that we were just looking at.
And the interior facade we saw before, the exterior facade, the round columns, the bookshelves, and you can see the density of these layers. And of course, there are the square columns, all marking a different set of coordinates in the space, the structure, a very delicate structure between the steel, the structural steel, and the aluminum frames for the glass.
Interior, again, looking down now into the rare book space. This is coming across from the gallery, which we saw before, the book shelves in here, and then down, into the interior of the rare book room.
Next we go past the opera house, which is the building here. You can see the retaining walls and the tail of the opera house here as we move across. We're going to walk now into the archive building and in the background, the first museum building.
And the double-curved facade of the archive building, which we will see from the outside. And this is the baby of all the buildings. And here is the museum building. And you see the structure of the steel structure as it steps out, as I told you, in the three layers.
It steps from leaning in, across to vertical, to leaning out as it twists around the building and twists down, around, and from in to out. So there are the three vectors of this facade, which are taken up in each of these panels. And there isn't one-- this just talks about how you can iterate pieces.
There's not one piece of glass that is the same in the facade. And it costs no more, or slightly more, than if all the panels, the panes of glass were the same. Because of the way one can model and produce the glass. And here you can see the Galician stone on the roof, the Cartesian grid, and the research building.
There is a close up of the steel. This is the steel to receive the aluminum. And you can see the structural steel behind the facade. And you can see the different angles as the thing moves around the facade and down.
So I look at these drawings. And I look at the object themselves. And I say, we didn't do that. And of course, it's the result of the structure, the analytic structure that's in the wireframe model that leads the subcontractor to something like this.
We didn't design this. We didn't know it was going to look like this. This is the result, I would argue, of a series of iterations of a initial wireframe model, conceptual wireframe model, passing through the working drawings architect, the constructor, the contractor, and then the actual steel, the glazing contractor.
There you can see it on the inside and as all of the mechanical equipment is being put in, too, before the soffits themselves are put on. And here you begin to see the framing of the soffits, the framing of the external wall, and the play between the framing of the soffit, the mechanical equipment in the interior facade and the external facade in its multiple layers. You can see them here. One, then the second one, then the third one out here, even before-- in the steel, as it twists through the object. And of course, this is a view that looks through the depth of the structural steel to the external steel frame that will pick up ultimately the aluminum glazing and the subframe for the soffits, covering up the mechanical equipment.
This is one of the buildings that will be opened in October. And these are slides from several months ago. Now this has all been plastered over. These are the latest slides that I have.
This is a very interesting process and project. This is the exterior of the museum building that we were looking at. And we wanted the roof-- these are all the exhaust and ducts and chases that appear on any roof. We didn't want these to show. Because we wanted the idea that this was a stone project that evolved out of the ground.
And so we built a 3-meter high, 10-foot high subframe of steel to carry the structure of the roof. So that all of these roof tiles are put on with their 3-foot by 3-foot panels, with 4 screws and 4 grommets. And they're placed individually over the steel subframe so that the waterproof barrier is here, and this is open to allow the water to run through and run down into the facade.
The problem we had with this was not so much the installation of the tiles but, in fact, the pouring of the concrete. Because the traditional slump of the concrete wouldn't hold on this surface. And so we had to find a way to get a concrete mix that would be stable and hold itself at a certain depth, which took quite a bit of time to do. We hadn't figured on that as a problem. But clearly, the pouring of concrete on that surface, as a finished roof surface, was a problem.
Here you can see the worker attaching, placing the individual pieces. And what we liked about this stone was not only its rough textured surface, which reflects the light in a different way, but the variation of color. So that you have not a homogeneous surface, but one that's constantly reflecting the imperfections of the stone plus the way that they are screwed down, which leaves joints, as it were, between the stone to produce that surface.
And here you can see what it looks as it comes over the surface. It's now been fully covered. All of this stone is fully covered, the metal paneling here. And so it practically looks like a stone building that is cut out. Here is the foundation, again, for the opera house building. And back over here, the archive-- I mean, the library building.
And there it is from the air, looking over the countryside of Galicia. It's a very strange insertion into that countryside. Here is another view of the project from the air. Can I have the lights, please?
I want to just conclude by saying that what I showed you and what I talked about tonight are two different things. I would like to make them go together. That would be nice to think that they do.
But clearly the ideas that I've had tonight may have been bubbling through what I was thinking about 10 years ago. Although the lecture tonight about the difference between design and architecture was only provoked by having to be at Cornell tonight. And I gave three seminars so far on different subjects. And I certainly didn't want to repeat the seminars here.
So this is alla prima, a lecture that I have thought for tonight. I don't mean to suggest that I know the difference between architecture and design. I know intuitively that there's some difference.
And this was the first step tonight in trying to articulate those differences for you. I know, for me, that architecture has always been an analytic process, that is a process that deconstructs something without an a priori goal. And I also know that design always depends upon an a priori goal and moving toward that. And so, for me, they are two parts of a very different coin.
I hope in the coming months to be able to more clearly articulate these kinds of differences. But I appreciate the fact that you allowed me to think in public in front of you tonight. Thank you very much.
I guess I went too long. Since we're going to miss the basketball cake. I was supposed to go to a ritual of an ice cream cake for the basketball team. And of course, one of the reasons I'm here is because I'm a sports fan and I bleed Big Red. And we're going to a hockey game on Friday and probably going to go to the basketball tournament.
And I was invited to cut a cake, a victory cake with the basketball team tonight. But we're much too late for that. So I apologize to you, Cynthia, for going over my time. Had I known that, I'd have stopped talking and gone out and cut cake.
But since we missed that deadline, I will be willing to take comments, questions, or any kind of provocation. Yeah?
AUDIENCE: I guess you're referring to the term architecture [INAUDIBLE].
PETER EISENMAN: I think I am.
AUDIENCE: In essence, since you are in a pantheon of royalty along with the Pope and the Queen of Spain now, do you feel that you will be [INAUDIBLE] convince the demi-royalty [INAUDIBLE] to gain that name? And secondly, you mentioned that you were spelling with wither, W-I-T-H-E-R as opposed to W-H-I-T-H-E-R.
PETER EISENMAN: You know, what I'm worried about there is that I believe if we change to the idea of design, the discipline of architecture will wither. That was the whole notion. OK? So I'm always worried about architecture losing out to sustainability, to environment, et cetera. For me, green architecture is a way of taking people who can't do architecture and letting them make a living in this capitalist society.
But I've never known a good green building yet. And I know that's a very unpopular thing to say. But since I'm here and it doesn't really matter, because I ain't getting-- I ain't getting a green building to do.
And they gave a lead certificate to Paul Rudolph's A&A building at Yale. And I figure if that's a green building, I can do green buildings. We can call what I'm doing there with those roofs and, you know, stone and insulation and all that stuff, you can say that's green. And of course, people will. I prefer to think not, but anyway. Yeah?
AUDIENCE: What would you say about-- this is one of the [INAUDIBLE] designs that was [INAUDIBLE]?
PETER EISENMAN: Like, what would you want me to say?
AUDIENCE: Well, they could be a discipline of design.
PETER EISENMAN: They probably are. Look, I believe that architecture encompasses the urban. I believe it encompasses the land, that is, landscape. I believe it encompasses the interior. All right?
Whether bureaucratic necessity has caused these things to fracture apart-- but I believe an architect deals with the urban. A building or groups of building are counters in the texture of the urban always. I believe that landscape is not added to architecture and interior is not designed after architecture. But that landscape and interior are an integral part of any design.
As you can see, I wouldn't have an interior designer working on those buildings, I can tell you that. And I always work closely with a landscape architect who knows the flora and fauna of what is necessary in any region to deal-- how to make those forms operate and sustain themselves over time. And so landscape architecture, to me, is a parallel discipline.
But it is dealing with architecture. It requires something like a structural engineer or a mechanical engineer, et cetera, or acoustic engineer, or a lighting consultant. All those people are very important. I don't know how to light a building necessarily.
I know the attitude of light that I want. But I don't know how to specify it. I don't know how to calibrate it. So we have all of these consultants.
But they are consultants to doing architecture, right? They are not disciplinary-- lighting is not a discipline. It is a subset of the discipline of architecture, as is interior design.
Now a lot of people bring interior designers into work on projects. I've never done that. Because to me, architecture involves both sides of the exterior envelope, the inside and the outside. So I reject the idea that there is a separate discipline.
There is a separate process, let's say. But it's not the discipline itself. Yes sir?
AUDIENCE: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how in architecture as a discipline changes.
PETER EISENMAN: It does.
AUDIENCE: How it changes from a different space to a--
PETER EISENMAN: It's on-- the first surface.
AUDIENCE: When that kind of change happens, is it a kind of interior change to the discipline? Is there a kind of [INAUDIBLE]? Or does that change in relationship of architecture to other disciplines, whether it be consultants or clients that change the role of architecture?
PETER EISENMAN: No. No question that what I was suggesting was that the evolutionary disciplinary strategy, that is the norms at any one time, are both a moment in time and a continuum over time. All right? So that that continuum over time is not the exception.
They are fostered through exception, which then become normative. When they lose their gravitas or purchase as exception, they become new norms. And so what I'm suggesting is, if a student says to me today, I want to attack the idea of space as a normative condition of architecture, I could argue and say that's already been done. It's no longer of any value to do that why not attack the notion of surface, which seems to be the new normative since 1968.
AUDIENCE: So how do those norms resonate with exterior conditions to architecture?
PETER EISENMAN: Well, clearly I would argue that capital is one of the dominant exterior conditions. OK? And I would argue that this project of ours would never have gone ahead if it hadn't been the scale of build that it was.
If we look at the Museum of Modern Art, they need to have blockbuster shows. They don't have small shows anymore. They have big shows we do big projects now, not little projects. Because capital demands this.
I have a friend that's doing a city in China of 3 million people. How do you do a city for 3 million people? Holy jeepers! I mean, I can't even conceptualize six buildings together. How could I conceptualize 3 million?
So clearly, capital has dictated the change in scale of our discipline. And so not only are we moving a change from space to surface, but a change from small scale to large scale. Now Jim Sterling once said to me about all of our East Coast architects, they knew how to do the individual house, but they don't know how to do the next scale of building. What they do is take a small scale project and blow it up and pump it up with air to make a larger project.
I won't speak about any of my colleagues. But that has been a syndrome that has plagued American architects, that they don't know how to deal with that intermediate scale. So therefore, the scale of build is also what has changed in the normative conditions of architecture. All right? And therefore, how we deal with that has been made problematic by the explosion of global capital.
If you look at Mies' work, Mies was dealing with small scale projects all the time that he was in Europe. When he came to America, where he had to deal with capital in a very different way post-war, the scale of Mies' projects changed. If you take the 50 x 50 House, it's an intermediate project between some of the earlier projects, intermediate to the Mannheim Theater and the National Gallery in Berlin.
So you see in Mies the effect of having to deal with not only individual clients, but corporate clients, the minute he has to deal with Seagram, he has to deal with public clients of a different sort, the scale of build. And Mies was, I think, lucky in the sense that his attitude toward building transcended capital. He almost never got trapped by capital.
Venturi, on the other hand, for me, was the great accommodator to capital. In other words, if we really want to look at postmodernism, it is an accommodation with the needs of global capital. And that's why, for me, it is a problematic idiom when it comes to a normative discipline and why there has been the problematic condition of what constitutes the postmodern, what constituted its being today. And it originated as an accommodation with capital. So I could have described what I showed you as, all of it, an accommodation to the changing social and political conditions of the world that we live in. Yeah, Werner.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. Wouldn't that be [INAUDIBLE] possible thematic content of architecture [INAUDIBLE]?
PETER EISENMAN: I would say yes.
PETER EISENMAN: And what would it look like? Oh. [LAUGHS] No, no. Don't ask me that. First of all, you could argue that those buildings in Spain problematize capital in the sense they are excessive. This is the poorest region of Spain, right?
To spend $800 million on a cultural center where there is no culture, secular culture, is very extraordinary thing. There's no history of architecture, two museums with no collections, a library for a million books where they don't have 100,000 books. I mean, we started with 100,000 and the minister of culture said, no, we'll have a million books.
So you could argue that it is, in fact, a questioning of the relationship of built form to capital in the project. You could. But I didn't say it was. I have no answer to what that would look like.
PETER EISENMAN: But I'm not an ironic architect. That's the problem. Yeah? Yeah?
AUDIENCE: You seem to posit the state of exception and kind of like dialectics? In that you mean to talk about [INAUDIBLE] and how Mies comes along. And then I wonder whether-- I mean, also when you talk about lateness, you to talk about it as we're also moving in a kind of, like, car without a steering wheel, so there's no reference. So there's canon to be following and no canon to be an exception of. So I wonder, like, how is your work really in a moment of exception to contemporary times?
PETER EISENMAN: Ooh. Now you're asking me to give a second lecture. I think to give you an easy answer would be the wrong thing to do. What I meant by this idea of lateness is very simple, that I don't believe there are any new norms to find states of exception with. So that all of the norms have existed for the past 20 to 30 years. And there are no new paradigms with which to challenge exceptions.
And so we find ourselves in a very strange moment in time, both as a teacher and as a practicing architect. I don't teach modern architecture. My design studios are analytic.
I give the students no program and no site. And say, here is a paradigm from the 16th century. What if that paradigm-- what would be the equivalent of that paradigm as it operated in the 16th century, what would it be like today? So that they have to discover analytic relationships between, or analogies between the 16th century and today. In other words, what I would call a period of lateness, which I think exists around 1560 to 1580 in Italy, just before the Baroque. In other words, where the new paradigm, the counter reformation, which is fueled by the counter reformation produces the Baroque, Borromini, Bernini, Guarini, et cetera.
So I give my students projects which exist in time in a similar moment of lateness and say, what would be the corollary today in a similar moment in time? That's the only thing that I do. That doesn't mean that they produce buildings of the 16th century. It means that they produce what, in some way, corollaries.
Now what do those things look like? And we always ask the students-- I mean, Werner's asking me, what do those look like? I haven't a clue. My students don't either.
So they often don't involve looking like anything. Right? They look like something that might be considered a state of exception, one would think. Yes?
AUDIENCE: Is it right to say your dialogue between the norms and exceptions is a very Popperian construct?
PETER EISENMAN: Oh. Don't do that to me. [LAUGHS] I don't want to get involved in the Popperian argument. I knew there's a chance that, being in Ithaca, that that would happen. Look, as you know, Colin used to think of me, strangely, because he saw me as a zeitgeist figure. I mean I was the incarnate zeitgeist person, as opposed to the genius loci, which he was interested in.
And of course, Popper's critique of the historicism and the poverty of historicism and the zeitgeist always landed directly on my head. So if you're suggesting that if there was the ghost in this room, who is always here, would to return, would he find me too much still as a zeitgeist figure? Probably yes. So therefore, would I be the object of Karl Popper as a problem? Probably yes. Because that intermediate stage that I'm talking about, as you rightly suggest, could be considered that kind of argument.
I was trying not to make that argument. I was trying to suggest that there is in that project as much genius loci as there is zeitgeist. But I don't know if I can sustain that. I would like to think that the creation of the state of exception that I was talking about was somehow that possibility within my work.
I'm not sure that the great adjudicator in the sky would think so. So I think your question is appropriate. And I don't want to duck it. But I probably would have to raise my hands and confess that I'm guilty, in that sense. Yeah?
AUDIENCE: I was thinking to myself, how could you frame--
PETER EISENMAN: I can't-- you have to go--
AUDIENCE: I was thinking to myself when you were speaking how you would distinguish the state of exception from, let's say, the avant garde? I can imagine that you'd want to make the distinction. But--
PETER EISENMAN: Well, it's a big distinction.
AUDIENCE: Right. But my question actually is something else. Which is in thinking about the avant garde, I was thinking that a new kind of-- a new process of normalization is taking place, which is through, I guess, the mediatization of architecture. That one engages architecture now not through the drawing, which is analytics and about perception, perhaps, walking through the building, so experiencing the building and to, I guess, engaging the building, but actually, through images that are proliferated, both as advertising and through publication, et cetera. And so I guess how would one actually-- I guess, how do you deal with that aspect, that process of normalization? How do you carve out a space for architecture as an analytic--
PETER EISENMAN: Well, I think that's a really good analysis of one of the problems today. How do you carve out, away from the media and the normalization of architecture that has resulted? I don't know the answer to that question. Because I'm also involved in media.
I get work because I am a creature of the media as well. I don't get work because I'm a good architect. I get work because I'm able to sustain media, really.
And so I would argue that I'm both a victim and a supplicant to media. And I don't want to create or call out that I'm a victim, because I can't sit here and say I feel victimized, not at all. But of course the kinds of things that I'm talking about and thinking about do fall victim, the ideas that I'm talking about, do fall victim to media.
And of course, my students, all of them, for example, especially those that are gendered, say could you teach us how to do Zaha? We don't want to learn about Palladio or states of exception in the 16th century. Tell us how to do Zaha.
And they're victims of the media. And many of my students, they don't want to learn to draw. They don't want to go to the Bronzino drawings. They don't care about drawing.
They care about can we do Maya and [INAUDIBLE] well enough to get a job with Rem or Zaha, et cetera? And education seems to be almost a sort of halfway house to their future. And so very few of my students are really interested in what I'm talking about as architecture.
And I find that a problem. And I think that the idea of shifting one of the earliest schools of architecture's name from architecture to a college of design, for me, is intolerable. Right? And I find it's not just a nostalgia. It is in response to the global conditions that we find ourselves in that that need to mediate ourselves through design is taking place at this institution.
With that being said, I'm going home. Thank you very much.
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Architecture is analytic yet its norms have shifted over time, while design involves a process of synthesis, asserted architect Peter Eisenman in an opinionated and discursive lecture March 10 in Goldwin Smith Hall.
The lecture was part of Eisenman's visit to campus as a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor.