Oct 23rd 2018

PRODUCTORA: On Topography Symposium & Exhibition Opening

Friday, November 9th | Upper Center Core

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm - Roundtable Discussion

7:00 pm - Exhibition Opening

To RSVP to this event, click here.

The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize / IIT College of Architecture would like to invite you to participate in a roundtable discussion and exhibition opening of the MCHAP.emerge 2016 winning practice PRODUCTORA for their project Pavilion on the Zocalo with Jesus Vassallo, a Spanish architect and writer from Houston, Veronique Patteeuw, an architect, critic and writer based in Brussels, Frank Escher, co-founder and principal of Escher GuneWardena Architecture in Los Angeles, and Lluis Ortega, Associate Professor at the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of research and a publication through MCHAP. The Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture is awarded as part of the biennial Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize and recognizes an outstanding built work in the Americas by an emerging practice.

The exhibition and symposium 'On topography' by Mexican firm PRODUCTORA, examines the relation between buildings and the ground they occupy. Using this particular lens, PRODUCTORA reflects on several moments of architectural history and reviews its own work based on the idea of 'architecture as constructed ground'. Topography, built out of 'topos' (place) and 'graphein' (write) means here literally the 'writing of place' and is therefore not only about the registration of surface relief, but about the writing and the construction of the landscape itself.

In preparation of a book that is in the making for MCHAP and IIT, the symposium will bring together the contributors to the book, faculty of IIT and the architects of PRODUCTORA, to discuss the relation between modern architecture and topography based on specific historic and contemporary buildings and texts.

The exhibition at the Mies Crown Hall, shows a series of projects by the Mexican architecture firm that illustrate their interested in natural topography as a primary force to spur their architectural proposals. As PRODUCTORA states: 'our buildings are there to re-write and to give meaning to the landscape that surrounds it'.

Members of the roundtable discussion will include Frank Escher, Véronique Patteeuw, Jesús Vassallo, and members of PRODUCTORA.

Jesús Vassallo is a Spanish architect and writer. Based in Houston and Madrid, his work interrogates the problem of realism in architecture through the production of design projects and scholarship. Vassallo studied architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (MArch II) and Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (PhD). He is the author of Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture (Park Books, 2016). His articles have been published internationally in magazines such as AA Files, 2G, Log, Harvard Design Magazine, Future Anterior, Domus, or Arquitectura Viva. Since 2011 he is also an editor of Circo magazine. In 2012 Vassallo became an Assistant Professor at the Rice School of Architecture.

Véronique Patteeuw is an architect, critic and writer based in Brussels. She is maître de conference at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Lille. She lectured at the FRAC Orléans and is a visiting professor at Harvard GSD, Rotterdam Study Abroad Program. Since 2005, she is one of the editors of OASE, Journal for Architecture, founding member of A16, a platform for young architecture in Belgium and co-curated in 2006 the Belgian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Véronique Patteeuw has finalized a PhD research entitled “Architects without architecture” and co-edited with Lea-Catherine Szacka the volume Mediated Messages, on the role of the architectural media in shaping postmodern architecture (Bloomsburry, 2018). She is currently co-editing an issue of the Duthc Journal OASE on Kenneth Frampton’s critical regionalism.

Frank Escher is the co-founder and principal of Escher GuneWardena Architecture, a firm located in Los Angeles, California. The firm’s interest in contemporary art has led to the design of major exhibitions and galleries as well as collaborations with artists Sharon Lockhart, Olafur Eliasson, Mike Kelley and Stephen Prina. Work related to architectural history - and more specifically related to the relation between Architecture, Landscape and Topography in Los Angeles, includes the restoration of John Lautner’s Chemosphere, the conservation of the Eames House (in collaboration with Getty Conservation Institute), restoration/addition projects on A. Quincy Jones and Neutra houses and the 2007 John Lautner exhibition 'Between Heaven and Earth’ (co-curated by Frank Escher and Nicholas Olsberg). Frank Escher worked for John Lautner for many years and serves as a board member of the Lautner Foundation.