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Gisue Hariri & Diana Agrest (March 27, 1991)01:58:04

Michael Rotondi introduces Pilar Viladas, who, in turn, introduces Gisue Hariri, noting that Hariri was born in Iran, studied at Cornell University, and taught at Columbia University. The scope of her work is also documented, with pursuits involving architecture, furniture and lighting design.

Gisue Hariri presents a series of works, including walls composed according to mathematical and geometrical functions, a lighthouse for the visually impaired, and a bridge between North and South Korea as part of a project sponsored by the Storefront for Art and Architecture. She characterizes drawings for an exhibit at the Grand Palais as an attempt to strip architecture of all routine.

Hariri presents a series of commissions. She discusses a gallery for a collection of non-Western art arranged around three walls representing past, present, and future. She describes the process for the renovation of a SoHo loft involving the re-organization of space and replacement of a spiral stair. Hariri presents an addition to a carriage house in rural Connecticut, demonstrating the connection between existing house and new addition. She concludes with a discussion of a villa in St. John’s Island constructed with concrete and organized around two intersecting walls.

Pilar Viladas introduces Diana Agrest, noting Agrest’s education, writing, built work and highlighting her teaching at Princeton and Yale. Current projects include a book, Architecture From Without, published by MIT Press and the development of a master plan of Des Moines, Iowa.

Agrest discusses her theoretical work in urban planning. She argues for the consideration of urban phenomena in the making of architecture. She offers an analysis of European and American cities contrasting buildings that respond to the urban fabric with those that employ the tabula rasa approach. She demonstrates the fabric approach with a project for Chicago analyzing existing grid structures. She presents a proposal for a city without skyscrapers for an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Agrest presents a series of interior design projects. She explains her interest in creating a sense of a sequence and a flow of space while still defining discreet spaces. Agrest presents a design for a parchment and wood screen and explains her interest in pursuing the screen’s fetishistic potentials. She concludes with a summer house organized as a cluster of towers.