ARC 500: Four Workshops on Architectural Problems (Asst. Prof. Kyle Miller)
“Architecture Itself” is an occasion to draw out and highlight core issues within the discipline of architecture. Conceived of as a series of intensive design workshops, this course will problematize [the] fundamental elements of architecture - not doors, windows, walls, balconies and toilets, but form, space, and order. In scrutinizing architecture’s interrelationships, the output of these design workshops will make explicit links between formal composition (part-to-whole), spatial relationships (typology), aesthetic qualities (affects and effects), tectonics (assembly and detail), and, ultimately, the continuity of architectural discourse across generations (precedent).
Rather than widen the gap between competing identities of architecture - autonomous versus contingent, or self-sufficient versus reliant - these workshops will seek to answer two questions: “What is architecture?” and “What can architecture do?” And rather than searching for justification for architecture by defining its relationship to politics, economics, social good, etc. these events will elucidate how architecture performs within its own critical context, operating on itself to strengthen its disciplinary legibility and define its cultural efficacy. In doing so, this series is comfortable with bracketing out extra-disciplinary territories and identifying architecture itself as the primary problem of architecture.
Erin Besler was born in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from the Southern California Institute of Architecture . She is Faculty at the University of California Los Angeles in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design where she was the 2013-2014 Teaching Fellow. She is the recipient of the AIA Henry Adams Medal and a Thesis Award for her project Low Fidelity. She has worked for Tigerman McCurry Architects and VOA Associates in Chicago and for First Office and Zago Architecture in Los Angeles. Erin’s work has been presented and exhibited in Beijing, Los Angeles, Paris, New York and San Francisco with publications in FutureAnterior, San Rocco, Project Journal and the forthcoming issue of Pidgin. Occasionally she collaborates with Ian Besler, a Media Design Researcher at Art Center College of Design.