Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture



Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture
Diana Balmori and Joel Sanders in conversation with Benjamin Aranda, Nicholas de Monchaux,
Anthony Vidler, and Marion Weiss
Friday, October 28, 2011
7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
1.5 CEUs

Join Diana Balmori and Joel Sanders, who will discuss with Benjamin Aranda, Nicholas de Monchaux, Anthony Vidler, and Marion Weiss the idea of dissolving traditional distinctions between building and environment. The program marks the occasion of the publication Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture (Monacelli, 2011) written by Diana Balmori and Joel Sanders. Reception to follow.

As Balmori and Sanders note in their preface, the book “is an appeal to designers to pursue a new approach that overcomes the false dichotomy between architecture and landscape. Our interest in the union of these areas is motivated in part by urgent ecological concerns that we share with many of our colleagues. An integrated practice of landscape and architecture could have dramatic environmental consequences: the disciplines would cease to have separate agendas and would instead allow for buildings and landscapes to perform as linked interactive systems that heal the environment.

“Beyond any ecological agenda, what truly excites us about architecture and landscape joining forces is that it promises to be a catalyst for creativity…As the design professions and their allied fields work together to explore the potential of natural forms and processes to generate a new design vocabulary, landscape architects and architects need to adopt a more inclusive conception of the physical world. Rather than oppose space and matter, and as a consequence architecture and landscape, designers need to see them as an accumulation of independent processes as complex as any machine or, indeed, any creature.”

Diana Balmori founded Balmori Associates, an urban and landscape design studio, in 1990. She holds a joint appointment with the Yale School of Architecture and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. She is the co-author of Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony; Transitory Gardens, Uprooted Lives; and Land and Natural Development (LAND) Code: Guidelines for Sustainable Development. A Landscape Manifesto, published in 2010, presents Balmori’s theory and practice of urban landscape design.

Joel Sanders is principal of Joel Sanders Architect. He is an adjunct professor of architecture at Yale University and was the director of the graduate program in architecture at Parsons The New School for Design and an assistant professor at Princeton. He is the editor of Stud: Architecture of Masculinity and his monograph, Joel Sanders: Writings and Projects, was published in 2005.

Benjamin Aranda is the principal of the architecture studio Aranda/Lasch. Aranda/Lasch’s work investigates how structures and systems can enable new forms that can be transformed into architecture.

Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect, urbanist, writer, and assistant professor of architecture and urban design at UC Berkeley. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, an architectural history of the Apollo 11 Spacesuit.

Anthony Vidler, Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, is a historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture. He recently published The Scenes of the Street and Other Essays.

Marion Weiss is the cofounder of Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism. She is the Graham Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.

Tickets are free for League members; $10 for non-members. Members may reserve a ticket by e-mailing: . Member tickets will be held at the check-in desk; unclaimed tickets will be released fifteen minutes after the start of the program. Non-members may purchase tickets here.

Co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. Additional support is provided by The Monacelli Press.