A symposium exploring the ‘ocular’ architecture of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

12:30 – 5:00 pm | Saturday, April 20, 2013
Syracuse Architecture NYC Program
171 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016


Presented by
the Syracuse University School of Architecture

Sponsored by
the Central New York Humanities Corridor, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the SU Humanities Center (in the College of Arts and Sciences),
and the Syracuse Architecture NYC Program

This symposium explores a disputed paradigm shift in the contemporary humanities. As the dominance of linguistic analogies appears to wane, and the importance of visual and technological (‘ocular’) performance seems to be on the rise across a range of creative disciplines, it is an opportune time to focus on the ocular-centric architecture practice of DS+R. A leading interdisciplinary design studio that specialized in small-scale art installations and multimedia productions throughout the 1980s, their practice has grown over the past decade to include numerous large-scale architecture commissions such as the Blur Building for the Swiss Expo, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The High Line, Alice Tully Hall and the Julliard School in New York, and the Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles. Importantly, DS+R’s move away from the creation of installation art and toward the design of institutional buildings reflects the contested paradigm shift from critical to projective operations in contemporary design practice. Perhaps no architecture firm is more thoroughly implicated in this cross-disciplinary shift. As established scholars whose work interrogates this post-linguistic turn, Giuliana Bruno and Edward Dimendberg are perfectly positioned to debate the cultural, social, and political implications of the work of DS+R across a range of disciplines. Charles Renfro will present DS+R's work, and Bruno and Dimendberg will present brief talks and engage him in roundtable discussion. An exhibition of student work based on DS+R projects will be installed as part of the event, and the proceedings will be published in Jon Yoder’s book, Op Arc: Vision and Visuality in Architecture, which analyzes the increasingly prominent roles of constructed vision in contemporary ocular-centric design practice.


12:30 – Syracuse Architecture Students, “Op Arc: Vision and Visuality in Architecture”
1:30 – Coffee break
1:45 – Jon Yoder, “Introduction: Vision and Visuality at Twenty-Five”
2:00 – Giuliana Bruno, “The Surface Tension of Media”
2:30 – Edward Dimendberg, “Architecture After Images”
3:00 – Charles Renfro, “Looking at Looking”
3:45 – Roundtable discussion
4:30 – Reception and book signing by Edward Dimendberg, Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Architecture After Images