IoA Institute of Architecture

University of Applied Arts Vienna

Greg Lynn & Sanford Kwinter 2015/16WS

Greg Lynn & Sanford Kwinter 2015/16WS

Moderated by Reiner Zettl

Friday, November 20th, 2015, 7 pm

University of Applied Arts, Lichthof B
Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna


Art and Architecture have always been in conversation throughout the history. Buildings used to be adorned by artistically sculpted objects or manipulated by extraordinary paintings, while today artists like Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson produce work of architectural scale and condition. We still talk about art and architecture as distinct sherds, but looking at their artistic/architectural production we see the boundaries between the two being blurred for decades especially by the notion of transgression and multi-disciplinarity and today we are caught between building-sized artworks and artistic buildings.

Greg Lynn was an innovator in redefining the medium of design with digital technology as well as pioneering the fabrication and manufacture of complex functional and ergonomic forms using CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machinery. The buildings, projects, publications, teachings and writings associated with his office have been influential in the acceptance and use of advanced materials and technologies for design and fabrication. As design opportunities today extend across multiple scales and media, his studio Greg Lynn FORM continues to define the cutting edge of design in a variety of fields. His work is in the permanent collections of the most important design and architecture museums in the world including the CCA, SFMoMA, ICA Chicago and MoMA. Because of his early studies in philosophy and architecture he has been involved in combining the realities of design and construction with the speculative, theoretical and experimental potentials of writing and teaching. This unique and innovative approach to design has also established him as an influential figure across many disciplines and led to consultations and collaborations with companies like BMW, Swarovski, Alessi, Vitra, Disney and Imaginary Forces. In 2002, he left his position as the Professor of Spatial Conception and Exploration at the ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) and became an Ordentlicher University Professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He is a Studio Professor at UCLA’s school of Architecture and Urban Design where he is currently spearheading the development of an experimental research robotics lab. Since the turn of the century he has been the Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University.

Sanford Kwinter heads the Architectural Theory section at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. A theorist and writer, he has held positions at Harvard, MIT, Columbia and Rice universities in the U.S. as well as at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt and the Architectural Association in London and is Professor of Science and Design at Pratt Institute in New York. He was cofounder and editor of the journal ZONE and Zone Books for 20 years. He has written widely on philosophical issues of design, architecture and urbanism, science and technology and was an editorial member of the ANY conferences and publications in the 1990s as well as of the journal Assemblage. He is the author of over a hundred and fifty articles in a dozen languages. His books include Architectures of Time: Towards a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture (MIT Press, 2001), Far From Equilibrium: Essays on Technology and Design Culture (Actar, 2008) and Requiem: For the City at the End of the Millennium and the forthcoming Soft Systems on the life sciences and their impact on design and What is Energy and How [Else] Might we Think About it? (with Kiel Moe). He writes frequently on the work of young and emerging practitioners in the nascent and transdisciplinary field of experimental spatial practice. He recently curated a University-wide exhibition at Harvard entitled "The Divine Comedy." He was the recipient of an Arts and Letters award in 2013 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His current work focuses on recent developments in neurobiology and experience, and paleoanthropology and the origins of form-reading.