Inaugural Harry der Boghosian Fellowship exhibition, “~ISH: Stages Before the Real,” opens March 24

The exhibition represents the culmination of a yearlong design research effort conducted at Syracuse Architecture by Assistant Professor Maya Alam, Harry der Boghosian Fellow, 2016-17, in collaboration with her architecture students.

“~ISH: Stages Before the Real” will be on exhibit from March 24 through April 7 in the Slocum Hall Marble Room. A public reception will take place on Friday, March 24 from 5:15pm to 6:45pm in Slocum Hall’s first-floor atrium. From 5:30pm to 6:00pm, Maya Alam will give a gallery talk.

Alam is the School’s inaugural Boghosian Fellow. Throughout the 2016-17 academic year she has taught an architecture studio and two elective courses in alignment with a research proposal supported by the fellowship. She and her students have explored new possibilities of identity and iconicity in architecture by reconsidering alternative connections between object, observer, and context.

A Boghosian Fellowship symposium led by Alam, “Ishness & Counter-Absolutes,” took place at the School in February. A panel of eight architects discussed a new public and private convergence within contemporary architecture and an increasing multi-layered digital presence—more than ever architects are confronted with a multiplicity of media platforms that challenge perception of their environment and their multivalent presence within it. The symposium provided new conversations on the theme of uncertainty, i.e. “ishness.”

The upcoming exhibition is the final manifestation of work supported by the fellowship. ‘~ISH: Stages Before the Real’ begins with understanding of ~ish as a contemporary architectural concept. “As architecture seeks absolutes,” says Alam, “certainty is increasingly improbable. This exhibition puts forth the premise that the world we live in cannot be understood as an absolute, as a singular entity, and, so, the in-between is the true reality within which we must operate.”

Says Dean Michael Speaks, “It’s been exciting to witness the collaborative efforts of Maya and her students over this past year. We’re very grateful for the unique, exceptional opportunity made possible through Paula der Boghosian’s generosity in memory of her brother, Harry. We look forward to the efforts of future Boghosian Fellows.”  

“I would like to thank Paula der Boghosian for establishing the Harry der Boghosian Fellowship,” says Maya Alam. “It has provided me with the rare opportunity to develop my own design research in collaboration with colleagues and students. This has truly been a remarkable year.”

Student team

Paul J. Lee, Teriya Lee, Sol Yoon, Raymond Guo, Andy Kim, Tsu Yu Lee, Birani Nyanat, Kokeith Perry II, Sabrina Herbosa Reyes, Caroline Jeon, Hye Rim Shin, Katherine E. Truluck, Kamila Aimé Varela, Geraldine Vargas, Dabota Wilcox