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Lecture series spotlights innovative architecture

STANFORD -- Four well-known architects from around the United States will be featured speakers in a spring quarter lecture series, "Innovative Architecture: Provoking Change," on the Stanford University campus.

The lectures are free and open to the community. All will be held in Room 102 of the Thornton Center for Engineering Management, adjacent to the Terman Engineering Center. The series is sponsored by the Office of the University Architect in conjunction with the Program in Urban Studies.

All the lectures will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.

  • On April 18, Stanley Saitowitz will speak. Originally from South Africa, Saitowitz built innovative projects there with readily available regional materials. In 1977, he moved to the University of California-Berkeley, first as a graduate student and later as a professor. He has a San Francisco-based practice that has received commissions such as the New England Holocaust Memorial, Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana, and the California Museum of Photography in Riverside.

Having worked on a number of residential projects on hilly, demanding sites, he has developed a unique approach to architecture and landscape that was featured in a traveling exhibit called "geological architecture."

  • Eric Owen Moss is the featured speaker May 2. Moss is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Since 1976, he has had his own practice in Culver City, Calif. He also is a professor of design at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

His works feature interesting intersections of geometrical shapes that he calls "incisive collisions." Referring to Moss' use of common materials (such as bent sheet metal for staircases or reinforcing bars for chair frames), noted architect Philip Johnson has called him a "jeweler of junk."

  • Martha Schwartz, an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Harvard who has a Boston-based practice, will speak on May 16. Before moving to Boston, she was with the firm of Peter Walker/Martha Schwartz in San Francisco.

Schwartz studied art before studying landscape architecture and is interested in introducing art into landscapes. Schwartz sees geometric pattern as a viable technique for organizing the landscape; her work provokes controversy among those who support a more romantic view of the landscape. She often infuses popular or synthetic materials into her work, such as plaster frogs and Astroturf hedges. Her "Splice Garden" for the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., has been called an "icon of 'New Wave' American landscape."

  • The series concludes May 30 with a presentation by Antoine Predock, who has a practice in Albuquerque, N.M. He is noted for his regionally distinctive design, which draws from the spirit of the Southwest and fits comfortably into the landscape. Predock is best known for his buildings in the Southwest, such as the Fine Arts Complex at Arizona State University in Tempe, but also has worked on projects throughout the United States and at EuroDisney near Paris.

Historian Charles Jencks called Predock "a minimalist who confines himself to one or two materials from which he constructs his virtual all-over world, his lunar landscape." Predock himself has described architecture as a "surrogate land form."

For more information on the series, call Emily Kovner at 497- 5965.



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