New architecture lecture series begins

September 22, 2004

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This year, the Department of Art and Art History’s Architecture and Interior Design Program is sponsoring a lecture series entitled “Agency and Action: Architecture and Art in the Public Realm,” which begins Sept. 22 with a talk by Bryan Bell, co-founder of Design Corps.

Bell’s talk, “Designing for the 98% without Architects,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Bernie Dallas Room, 507 Goodell. Bell’s firm is a non-profit group whose mission is to find ways to offer quality, affordable design service to long-neglected communities.

Other featured speakers in the series include educators, practitioners and artists bent on challenging how and why designers should engage the public, feel inspired by civic responsibility, and be involved in their communities. All of the lectures, with the exception of Sept. 22 and Feb. 16, take place at 4:30 p.m. in 303 Gordon Hall, 418 North Pleasant St.

The schedule is as follows:

Tom Dutton, Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine, Miami University, Ohio, will discuss “Architecture and Social Justice: Design/Build and the Over-the-Rhine People''s Movement” on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Gretchen Schneider of Urban Works Studio in Boston will speak on Monday, Nov. Her lecture is titled “Look before Crossing: Public Art Projects That Engage the Evolving City.”

Artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock will discuss “Public Art and Social Sculpture” on Monday, Nov. 15.

The spring semester portion of the series kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. when
Chuck Schultz of BluePrint Productions talks about the “The Filming of ‘The Rural Studio.’” Schultz, the producer of “The Rural Studio,” will discuss his documentary detailing the architectural, physical and social experiences encountered by students at Auburn University while building community projects for impoverished citizens. The location of the talk will be announced at a later date.

Dan Pitera of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy will speak on “Mutant Geographies: Working in the Urban Transformation of Detroit” on
Monday, Feb. 28.

“Site Alteration: Non-object Art Production Reflecting Society, Politics and Cultures” will be discussed by French artist Bertrand Ivanoff on Monday, March 28.

John Cary of Public Architecture in San Francisco will lecture on Wednesday, April 6. His topic is “Public Architecture: Work in the Public Interest.”

Frances Bronet of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will talk about “Interdisciplinary Projects” on Wednesday, April 27.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History, Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Provost’s Committee on Service Learning, UMass Arts Council and the Five College Faculty Seminar in Architectural History, Theory and Practice.

For more lecture information, contact Joseph Krupczynski (josephk@art.umass.edu).