Thursday 23 October 2008, 18:00
Auditorium SG, EPFL
Architectures of the Office, since 1945
This lecture will consider exemplary office buildings from the past half-century, from Saarinen to Foster, in terms of the particular epistemological conditions under which they were designed and built. The point will be to locate architecture in a broad discursive field in order to understand its role in the production of corporate power, as well as the ways in which architecture affects and is affected by the dynamics of multinational corporate capitalism. We will analyze the (post)modern office building as a key component in an emergent “organizational complex,” and consider ways in which various office architectures signal changes in the cultural, social, economic, and political networks to which they belong. This, in turn, will lend a fresh perspective on the architectures of globalization more generally.
Associate Professor of Architecture and Director,
Buell Center for Study of American Architecture,
Reinhold Martin is Associate Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the PhD program in architecture, and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. He is a founding co-editor of the journal Grey Room, a partner in the research practice Martin/Baxi Architects, and has published widely on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture. He is the author of The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (MIT Press, 2003), and the co-author, with Kadambari Baxi, of Multi-National City: Architectural Itineraries (Actar, 2007). He is currently completing a book that re-theorizes postmodernism.