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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mark Yr Calendars: Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture at 50

To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, MoMA and the University of Pennsylvania are holding a three-day symposium taking place from November 10th to 12th in New York and Philadelphia. Details on the events that are free, open to the public, and don't require advance registration are below. The event also includes a $45 bus tour on the 12th and a conversation with Denise Scott Brown on that evening, which is free but requires an RSVP; details on those can be found on MoMA's website.

From MoMA's website:
To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), The Museum of Modern Art and the University of Pennsylvania have co-organized a three-day symposium bringing together international scholars and architects to discuss the significance and enduring impact of this remarkable book, published by MoMA 50 years ago.

It is generally agreed that Complexity and Contradiction, described by its author as a “gentle manifesto,” has lived up to the prediction made by Vincent Scully in the book’s preface: that it would be the most important architectural text written since Le Corbusier’s 1923 manifesto Vers une architecture.

Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm
MoMA, Mezzanine, Education and Research Center, Theater 3

Architects’ Roundtable:
David De Long, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)
Kersten Geers, Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Brussels
Sam Jacob, Sam Jacob Studio, London
Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow, Tokyo
Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia
Michael Meredith, MOS Architects, New York

Friday, November 11, 10am - 4pm
MoMA, Mezzanine, Education and Research Center, Theater 3

Session 1: Post Modernism:
David Brownlee, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)
Stanislaus von Moos, University of Zurich: “Complexity and Contradiction and Art”
Joan Ockman, University of Pennsylvania: “The Idea of Complexity circa 1966”
Andrew Leach, University of Sydney: “Dilemmas without Solutions”
Emmanuel Petit, Yale University: “Complexity, Figure, Architecture”

Session 2: Creative Contexts
Alice Friedman, Wellesley College (moderator)
Martino Stierli, The Museum of Modern Art: “Robert Venturi and MoMA; Institutionalist and Outsider”
Mary McLeod, Columbia University: “Venturi’s Acknowledgements: The Complexities of Influence”
Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Baukuh, Milan: “Book of Pictures, Book of Books. Gentle Manifesto, Rough Manifesto.”

Saturday, November 12, 10am - 12:30pm
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Van Pelt Auditorium

Session 3: Making the Book:
Kathryn Hiesinger, Philadelphia Museum of Art (moderator)
Lee Ann Custer, University of Pennsylvania: “Teaching Complexity and Contradiction: Robert Venturi’s Lecture Course ‘Theories of Architecture,’ 1961–1965”
Christine Gorby, Pennsylvania State University: “Manuscripts into Manifesto: The Evolution of Robert Venturi’s 1966 Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture”
Deborah Fausch, independent scholar: “Comparative Method in the Visual and Verbal Organization of Complexity and Contradiction”
Enrique Walker, Columbia University: “The ‘Difficult Whole’ [and the ‘Decorated Shed’]”

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