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March 30, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Robert Adams


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Robert Adams, Assistant Professor of Architecture, U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Incidents of Genetic Mutation, Spatial Anomaly and Accidental Architecture in Urban China

April 12, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

If the 20th century was mobilized through auto-centric economies invented by industrial urban machines such as Detroit, and the early 21st century accelerated through digital communication technologies manufactured in Shenzhen, then how have these mutually constructed, globally distributed apparatuses impacted architecture as a physical marker of cultural formation and ambition? This lecture will not be about the spectacular architectural iconography broadcast during the Beijing Olympic Games, but rather it will move in on the passive labor and background structures of urbanism that situate architecture as a deeply relational cultural construct in the context of China refracted in the world. The talk will draw out parallels between genomics and regulatory sequencing that similarly, as in the complex formation of genetic matter, urban formation is punctuated by spontaneous mutations and genetic deletions within the social body rendered in space. Organized like a graphic catalogue, this lecture will use a series of design research projects to explore the relational mechanics between disability theory, actor networks and how the diversity of material practices in China will continue to alter perceptions of the social-civic body and the institutional models of these bodies implied through architecture.

Robert Adams is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Taubman College, University of Michigan where he teaches courses in design and construction technology. With his colleagues Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, Adams co-founded B.A.S.E. Beijing Architecture Studio Enterprise in 2005, a design studio located in the urban village of Cao Chang Di. His design work has been exhibited internationally including the 2009 Beijing Biennial, Shenzhen University, Tianjin University in China, and University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley in the United States. Most recently his project, the Asclepius Machine, was recognized as a finalist in the international Seoul Design For All competition. Adams’ research couples work in disability theory with emerging work in pervasive computing, sensor technologies and architectural projects that reconsider the linkages between social bodies, public spheres and institutional machines. Adams is a Faculty Associate at the Center for Chinese Studies.

Posted by zzhu at March 30, 2011 04:48 PM