Michael Graves: Past as Prologue


Past as Prologue
A symposium in honor of Michael Graves on the occasion of his fiftieth year in practice

Speakers include: Glenn Adamson, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Peter Eisenman, Paul Goldberger, Michael Graves, Steven Holl, Ron Johnson, Dean Kamen, David Mohney, Nicholas Olsberg, Monica Ponce de Leon, Mary-Ann Ray, Francisco Sanin, Karen Stein, Joel Towers, Billie Tsien, and Anthony Vidler

On March 12, 2015, Michael Graves passed away.  A public memorial service will be held on April 12, 2015. For more information, click here.

Click here to view video of the full day and click here to view photographs from the symposium.
Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #PastAsPrologue

7.0 AIA and New York State CEUs

This symposium is organized by The Architectural League of New York and hosted by Parsons The New School for Design.

In fifty years of practice, architect Michael Graves has deeply influenced the disciplines of architecture and design.  From intense participation in theoretical debates in architecture and the creation of now-iconic buildings, to designing everyday objects for mass retail, to important contributions to the often-overlooked field of health care design, Graves has produced a remarkable and distinctive body of work. The symposium Past as Prologue honors Graves’ fiftieth anniversary in practice. Opening with an overview of his work and design career by Francisco Sanin, and closing with a discussion among Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman, and Adele Chatfield-Taylor, the symposium will include sessions focusing on three areas profoundly influenced by Graves: architectural pedagogy, drawing, and the design of objects.

After two post-graduate years in Rome, Michael Graves began his career as an educator with his 1962 appointment at the Princeton School of Architecture. Graves’ influence at Princeton and in issues of theory and practice in architectural education—as well as their relationships to current issues in architectural pedagogy—will be examined by panelists Peter Eisenman and Anthony Vidler, colleagues of Graves at Princeton in the 1960s, as well as by a new generation of architecture school deans, David Mohney and Monica Ponce de Leon, in a discussion moderated by Paul Goldberger.

Click for more images | Michael Graves Architecture & Design, Fargo Moorehead | photo courtesy of the firm

How, especially in the 1970s and 80s, did the hand-drawn image convey a way of thinking about history, design, and form?  In a second session, “Drawing as Thinking,” moderated by Nicholas Olsberg, architects Steven Holl and Mary-Ann Ray will explore the importance of drawing in their own analytical processes and creative thinking, the place of drawing incontemporary practice, as well as, in Graves’ definition, the role of drawing to serve as “a record of discovery.”

Beginning with commissions from Alessi, subsequent work for Target, and more recent collaborations bringing the resources of design to medical equipment and home care settings, Michael Graves has “scaled” lessons learned from architectural proportion and form to the design of objects.  Glenn Adamson will provide an overview of this work, contextualized in recent decades of object and interior design. Ron Johnson will describe his work and design partnerships with Graves, and their influence on retail, and Dean Kamen will talk about his shared passion for the design of healthcare products that improve patients’ lives.  This session will be moderated by Karen Stein.

9:30 a.m.
Billie Tsien, President, The Architectural League of New York
Joel Towers, Executive Dean, Parsons The New School for Design

Introductory Overview
9:45 a.m.
Francisco Sanin

Francisco Sanin is the director of the Syracuse Architecture London program. A former chair of the School’s graduate program, Sanin has taught at Princeton’s School of Architecture and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, among others. His research centers on the history and theory of urban form.

Architectural Pedagogy
10:30 a.m.
Peter Eisenman
David Mohney
Monica Ponce de Leon
Anthony Vidler
Moderator: Paul Goldberger

Peter Eisenman, Principal of Eisenman Architects, is the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice at the Yale School of Architecture.

David Mohney is professor of Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Kentucky, where he served as dean from 1994-2007.

Monica Ponce de Leon is dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and principal of MpDL Studio.

Anthony Vidler is professor of architecture at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, where he formerly served as dean. Vidler was a member of the Princeton University School of Architecture faculty from 1965–93, serving as the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair of Architecture.

Paul Goldberger is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. From 1997 through 2011 he served as the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where he wrote the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School.

12:00 p.m.

Drawing as Thinking
1:00 p.m.
Steven Holl
Mary-Ann Ray
Moderator: Nicholas Olsberg

Steven Holl is principal of Steven Holl Architects and Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Mary-Ann Ray is a member of the graduate faculty at SCI-Arc as well as Professor of Practice in Architecture at the University of Michigan. Ray is a principal of the Los Angeles firm Studio Works Architects.

Nicholas Olsberg is the former director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and previously worked as an archivist for the Getty Center. He writes frequently on architecture and design for publications including the Architectural Review.

2:30 p.m.

Design at Scale
3:00 p.m.
Glenn Adamson
Ron Johnson
Dean Kamen
Moderator: Karen Stein

Glenn Adamson is director of the Museum of Arts and Design. Previously he led the research department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, where he also curated modern and contemporary design exhibitions.

Ron Johnson’s past positions include: CEO of J.C. Penney; Senior VP of retail operations for Apple, where he created the concept of Apple retail stores; and VP of merchandising for Target.

Dean Kamen is an inventor, whose many creations include the Segway, iBot Wheelchair, and the drug infusion pump AutoSyringe,

Karen Stein is a writer, editor, and architectural consultant. From 1998 until 2007, she was editorial director of Phaidon Press.

4:30 p.m.
Adele Chatfield-Taylor
Peter Eisenman
Michael Graves

Adele Chatfield Taylor is formerly the Director and CEO of the American Academy in Rome.

5:30 p.m.

In celebration of Michael Graves’ fiftieth year in practice, two exhibitions of his work are on view: Michael Graves: Past as Prologue at Grounds for Sculpture; and Michael Graves Paintings: Landscapes and Still Lives at Studio Vendome.




Time & Place
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tishman Auditorium
The New School
63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100
Tickets are free for League members and students with a current university ID. $25 for non-members. Non-members may become a member here.  Symposium passes are will call and may be picked up 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the check-in desk, The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue. Advance reservations and non-member symposium pass sales are now closed. Additional passes will be available at the door to League members for free and non-members for $25, cash only. Email rsvp@archleague.org with questions.
This program is generously supported by a grant from The A. Alfred Taubman Foundation. Additional support is provided by Studio Vendome Art|chitecture Project and the J. Clawson Mills Fund of The Architectural League. Architectural League programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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