Symposium: The Anthropocene Style | Architecture, Urgency, and Climate Change
Saturday, Apr 28, 2018, 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Osher Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street
RSVP Online »

SFAI and swissnex San Francisco, together with Philippe Rahm, are co-hosting a festival of ideas to consider a design era specific to the Anthropocene. Beginning from the belief that architecture, and our comfort within buildings, has accelerated climate change, Rahm has proposed a new decorative style that embraces the urgency of climate change. Across disciplines and from multiple perspectives, this event convenes artists, critics, and theorists to propose alternate futures for materials, the built environment, and human longevity on this planet.


12:00pm             Exhibition walkthrough with Philippe Rahm and Hesse McGraw (el dorado, inc.)
12:30pm             Welcome address by Katie Hood Morgan (SFAI), Nicola Ruffo (swissnex), and Hesse McGraw
12:45pm             Short presentations: David Gissen, Martino Stierli, Maria Paz Guttierez
2:00pm               Short presentations: Philip Ross, Janette Kim, Philippe Rahm
3:00pm               Panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Hesse McGraw
3:45pm               Closing remarks
4:00pm               Reception 


Speakers: Martino Stierli, Philippe Rahm, Janette Kim, Hesse McGraw, Katie Hood Morgan, David Gissen, Philip Ross, Nicola Ruffo, and Maria Paz Gutierrez.

Martino Stierli
is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, a role he assumed in March 2015. Mr. Stierli oversees the wide-ranging program of special exhibitions, installations, and acquisitions of the Department of Architecture and Design. He is currently working on the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, which will open at the Museum of Modern Art in July 2018. His project The Architecture of Hedonism: Three Villas in the Island of Capri was included in the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2014. He has organized and co-curated exhibitions on a variety of topics, including the international traveling exhibition Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (2008–14). Mr. Stierli’s monograph Montage and the Metropolis: Architecture, Modernity and the Representation of Space is about to be published by Yale University Press. His scholarship has been recognized with a number of prizes, among them the ETH Medal of Distinction for Outstanding Research (2008), the Theodor Fischer Prize by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich (2008), and the 2011 Swiss Art Award for Architectural Criticism. Previous to his position at MoMA, Mr. Stierli was the Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the Institute of Art History of the University of Zurich. He has taught at various universities, including Princeton University and ETH Zurich, from where he holds a PhD.

Philippe Rahm is a Swiss architect and the founder and principal of Philippe Rahm architectes, based in Paris, France. His work, which extends the field of architecture from the physiological to the meteorological, has received an international audience in the context of sustainability. In Venice, Rahm represented Switzerland at the 8th Architecture Biennale (2002) and was included in Aaron Betsky's exhibition Out There: Architecture Beyond Building (2008). He has participated in a number of exhibitions worldwide including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Manifesta 7; and more. He has taught and lectured widely, including the AA School in London, Mendrisio Academy of Architecture in Switzerland, School of Architecture of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cooper Union, UCLA, and more. His recent work includes the new 70-hectare Taichung Gateway Park in Taiwan, set to open in August 2018. Monographic books include Physiological Architecture published by Birkhaüser in 2002, Distortions published by HYX in 2005, Environ(ne)ment: Approaches for Tomorrow published by Skira in 2006, Architecture Météorologique published by Archibooks in 2009, and Constructed Atmospheres published by Postmedia in 2014.

Janette Kim’s work focuses on design and ecology in relationship to public representation, interest, and debate. Janette is assistant professor of architecture and co-director of the Urban Works Agency at California College of the Arts, founding principal of the design practice All of the Above, and founding editor of ARPA Journal. Her projects include designs for the Oakland Coliseum neighborhood as part of the Resilient by Design Challenge, the Safari tours on urban ecology, the Pinterest Headquarters on 7th and Brannan, National AIDS Memorial, and the Fall Kill Creek Master Plan. Janette is also author of The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform.

Hesse McGraw is a partner at el dorado, inc, a cross-disciplinary design studio founded in 1996 in Kansas City, Mo., that specializes in architecture, public art, urban planning and infrastructural enhancements. Previously, he served as Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute; Chief Curator at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; Associate Director at Max Protetch; and Founding Director and Curator of Paragraph. His curatorial practice and arts organization leadership are acclaimed for shifting organizations into springboards that strengthen the agency of artists across diverse cultural contexts.

David Gissen is a historian, theorist, curator and critic whose work examines histories and theories of architecture, landscapes, environments and cities, primarily in the 19th and 20th century. His recent work focuses on developing experimental forms of historical practice, writing, and translation to depict the spaces, environments, and landscapes of the past. His curatorial and experimental historical work has been staged at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, The National Building Museum, Yale Architecture Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Toronto Free Gallery, The Museum of the City of New York, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art. He is the author of the books Manhattan Atmospheres: Architecture, The Interior Environment and Urban Crisis (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Subnature: Architecture’s Other Environments (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), editor of the “Territory” issue of AD Journal (2010) and the book Big and Green (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003).

Philip Ross, as an artist, has exhibited work at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology; as a bioengineering scholar at Stanford University, he’s working to develop an internet of biological things. He’s also co-founder and CTO of MycoWorks, a start-up that turns mycelium (the threadlike, vegetative part of mushrooms) into building bricks and leather — where he’s poised to revolutionize the materials industry with bio-design. 

Maria Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley, is an architect and researcher focused on nature and multifunctional material organizations and 21st century environmental and socioeconomic challenges. In 2008, she founded BIOMS an interdisciplinary research initiative intersecting architecture and science pioneering methods to integrate principles of design and biophysics from the nano to the building scale in contexts of risk. Her recent research focuses on exploring the biophysical and cultural implication of functional natural materials and agricultural waste (mainly gels and fibers) through multiscale digital fabrication and material computation. Her research has been recognized as pioneering multiscale design through groundbreaking material innovations in self-regulated and multi-optimization building systems taking her to open new paths for architects in the engineering and scientific communities including at the National Academy of Engineering (US) and been published in leading scientific journals including Science and Scientific Reports (Nature).




Image: Philippe Rahm: The Anthropocene Style (installation view), Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, 2018. Photo: Marco David / SFAI