Spring 2021 Season - Days/Times Forthcoming

Nation Building with Antonio Pacheco / A bi-weekly look at the state of public architecture in the United States, including interviews, news items, reading suggestions, and historical/theoretical frameworks for understanding public architecture more broadly.

Grounds with Amanda Ugorji / Inter-generational interviews with artists, designers, and planners that ask what existential questions they have been working through lately and how they make their decisions.

Still Standing with Eytan Levi and Ben Hoyle / Interviews with experts about the renovation of Soviet mass housing.

Conversations on Care with Ana Miljački


Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918
What do you see here?


Eytan Levi


Daniel Marshall (New York, USA) 
Eli Keller (Boston, USA)

About the show

Disparition, the act of disappearing, based on Latin disparere, in an obsolete word in English - itself disappearing. Every week, this show investigates through several interviews what is going away and perhaps never coming back in our architectural educations. Discussions are conducted one after the other, as to never reach a consensus so that listeners can craft their own resolution to the topic and build their own position on whether or not it is disappearing.

EP 06: Imagination

We could start grasping the topic of architectural imagination by returning to Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon's US Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale. Or we could register for an edX class that seems to consider imagination as one of architecture's foundations. But that would make us rely on constructed imaginations, which have become realities through their very existence. I would define imagination as a fully personal enterprise, which therefore needs to be created individually, as removed as possible from precedents.

The idea of a disappearing imagination might be controversial and will certainly vary from one person to another, based on their own attempts at imagining. The ongoing virtualization of previously-physical work also contributes to believing that we have to think and envision more than we used to. However, I am concerned that the increasing time we have in front of a screen is actually time we spend exposed to references, away from ourselves and our imagination(s). 

What definitions of imagination can coexist in architecture? Is there even such a thing as architectural imagination? At which moments of a design process does imagination come into play? If imagination is going away, is it being replaced by anything? 

Is imagination required for architecture to appear? Are physical and intangible precedents necessary to feed our imagination? Given imagination's etymology - from the Latin imāgō, an image or a depiction - what is the importance of representations for imagination to exist? Does architectural design begin with visions, and do these emerge from our imagination?
To frame the topic of architectural imagination and get a sense of its current state, I will have an hour-long discussion with Eli Keller (PhD HTC ’21) and Daniel Marshall (MArch '19 and teaching fellow at MIT Architecture), while imagining that my option studio final is not happening only 24 hours later.


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