The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art presents two exhibits in April 2022 that celebrate the work of faculty and alumni, and their contributions to civic space both through through proposed architectural designs and a recently completed work, the Taipei Music Center.
Designing the Plan: Nuance and Intimacy in Building Civic Space, curated by Yael Hameiri Sainsaux AR’10 and exhibited for the first time as part of the Italian pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, opens a dialogue with the legacy of the late architect and longtime teacher of Cooper Union Diane Lewis AR’76. Composed of a series of post-2020 civic architecture projects for different sites, Design the Plan, which runs April 7-29 at the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, asks: How can civic spaces be imbued with nuance? How does such a quality persist in the city? Can we speak of intimacy in architectural terms?
For Diane Lewis, the city was not only the result of a large number of inextricable historical strata of form and memory, it was also a proposal for a moral and ethical life together. She approaches the city as a mental universe in its own right, greater than the sum of its individual architectures. For this exhibition, architects, former students, colleagues and friends generated comprehensive projects for civic space engaging Lewis’ pedagogy, carrying his legacy into contemporary dialogues. They touch on critical issues – literary, ecological, social and metahistorical – providing and provoking spatial civic identities. Thus, they are also inseparable from deeply committed critical approaches to architectural pedagogy.
Lyrical urbanism: The Taipei Music Center, open April 7-29 in the 3rd Floor Gallery and Lobby, celebrates and communicates the vibrant energy and intensity of the recently completed Taipei Music Center, designed by architects and Cooper alumni Jesse Reiser AR’81 and Nanako Umemoto AR’83. The exhibit introduces the complex’s iconic architecture to an American audience through large-scale photography, video, music, models and architectural drawings. Lyrical urbanism illustrates the many ways in which the Music Center is currently inhabited – from informal daytime outdoor markets to evening music festivals – and how it has become an important urban neighborhood where Taiwanese music and culture is cultivated, celebrated and projected to a global audience.
Here is a complete calendar of exhibitions and related programs; please sign up for the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture newsletter for complete registration details. All activities are free and open to the public.
Designing the Plan: Nuance and Intimacy in Building Civic Space
Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery: Thursday, April 7 to Friday, April 29
Exhibition hours: Tuesday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Opening: Thursday April 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Gallery Roundtable—Nuance and Intimacy in Civic Space: Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lyrical urbanism: the Taipei Music Center
Hallway Gallery and Third Floor Lobby: April 7-29, 2022
Friday April 15 and Friday April 22 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday April 23, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday April 17 and Sunday April 24 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Conference, round table and musical performance on lyrical urban planning: Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 p.m., The Cooper Union Great Hall
Panelists include architects Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto, New York Times music critic Joshua Barone, Luaka Bop Records president Yale Evelev, architectural historian and theorist Sylvia Lavin, architectural theorist and critic Jeffrey Kipnis and Taipei Music Center spokesperson Sandra Hsu. The panel will be moderated by Dean Nader Tehrani.
A musical performance arranged by Juliana Shuo-An Chen will feature Taiwanese and Mandarin pop’s all-time favorite songs dating from the Japanese colonial period of the early 20th century to the present day. Reconceptualized into two medley repertoires for string quartet and piano, the show celebrates Taipei Music Center’s overall ambitions: to cultivate Taiwanese music for a global audience. Musicians include Audrey Chen, Gabrielle Chou, Peiwen Liao and Christine Wu.
The exhibition is supported by the Taipei Music Center and the Taipei Cultural Center in New Yorkand was made possible by a generous donation from the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown.