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November 2004 - Blurring the Boundaries: Recent Trends in the Art of Architecture

Blurring the Boundaries: Recent Trends in the Art of Architecture

Open Discussion led by Manoj Kesavan and Matthew Suarez

Is there any major trend in contemporary architecture? It is hard to say, especially when you are right in the middle of it all!
However, there has been a been a clear shift in the last few years in what can be considered the avant guard of the art. The so-called “cutting edge” is arguably moving away from the loudly original building-as-sculpture approach of Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind, to a more personal and subtler exploration of material, form, space and people’s behavior in/with them. In the process their work blur the traditional boundaries between architecture, installation and sculpture – and sometimes even performance art – to end up with an intriguing and unclassifiable product.

We will look at some works by the Swiss duo Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, and focus quite a bit on the work of the New York-based pair of Elizabeth Diller & Ricardo Scofidio. Starting with a short presentation of some images from representative works, we will move on to discuss the nature and implications of this trend.