December 18, 2013
Symposium Asks ‘What’s the Matter?’
The 2014 “Matter” Symposium will take place in Watson Auditorium on Monday, January 13 between 12:30 and 6:00 p.m. Rhode Island School of Design professor Peter Yeadon will deliver a keynote speech at 5:00 p.m.
What’s the matter?
Louis I Kahn famously and, perhaps anachronistically, asked a brick what it wanted to be. It, of course, wanted to be an arch. Kahn said an arch was too expensive and offered a lintel instead. The brick stood its ground and became an arch.
Years later, another architect commented that perhaps Kahn was simply talking to a boring brick. Indeed, the recent fascination regarding all things digitialia has shown that we can make bricks shimmy and shake. Arches, it seems, are passe. With the ability to make almost any form, does matter still, matter?
What is the relationship between matter and form? How does matter affect fabrication techniques? Can matter be authentic? Is matter simply energy? Architects rarely, if ever deal with matter directly. More often than not, we simply specify and then arrange products. Does this matter? Matter also implies a subject of concern. What’s the matter?
The 2014 Graduate Symposium will bring together a guest speaker, paper presentations, a PechaKucha session and an image gallery that asks: what’s the matter.
- Dennis Nealon