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Sam Fox Lecture Series 2018

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Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz will kick off Landscape Architecture lecture series.
Blog
Sam Fox Lecture Series 2018
Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz will kick off Landscape Architecture lecture series.

Anova has been a proud sponsor of the Sam Fox Lecture Series since 2012. This year we are excited to sponsor the lecture from Michael Rakowitz on April 25th at 6:30 PM in the Steinberg Auditorium at Washington University. In this article Rod Barnett, professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the Sam Fox School talks about the selection of this year's speaker.

The Chair and faculty of the WashU MLA have decided to open an area of landscape architecture that is closer to the margins of the discipline (where there is a lot of exciting work being done), to bring in practitioners whose voices are not heard as often in mainstream landscape circles. There are many talented individuals whose work is more hybridic, crossing borders and developing projects that demonstrate a high degree of social engagement. We are interested in this for a number of reasons:

  1. We want to differentiate our program from others - many of the speakers we invite to the Anova Lecture Series routinely speak at many other colleges and universities around the country. With the new series we hope to stand out.
  2. The new models of landscape practice we are exploring in the Anova Series are providing ways of engaging with public space and disadvantaged communities that don’t have to involve large sums of money or multiple organizations to make then happen. They are truly community-embedded and inspire by their do-ability.
  3. Their work exemplifies hybrid practices, that appeal to landscape architects, artists and architects, as well as to other disciplines such as the folk from the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, who will be attending the event. We wish to attract people from elsewhere on campus to the series by broadening its appeal.

Michael Rakowitz’s practice does all these things. As the first speaker in the new series, we are sure he will attract a more diverse audience to his lecture. He is well-known in Chicago and New York art circles for his work that engages urban landscapes. What put Rakowitz on the map is paraSite, an ingenious design project he developed while a student at MIT, which attaches to HVAC exhaust on buildings, filling up a double membrane and heating the interior so that homeless could live in a warm environment in cold climates. The shelters fold up to look like a translucent briefcase.

They are carefully designed objects, and they have great implications for the urban landscape. Since then, much of his work has been about cultural landscapes, monuments, and objects that are lost or that we are in the process of losing because of wars in the middle east.

Rather than taking a formal approach to preservation, he explores that which cannot be recovered, by using drawings and very apropos, poetic materials to tell the story of the process of loss, or enable some new kind of hybrid culture to emerge.

Michael's lecture is generating a lot of excitement at Sam Fox. This lecture is open to the public. Learn more about the event here:

samfoxschool.wustl.edu/events/lectures/12440

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