Los Angeles, May 17, 2016

Tom Wiscombe debates with Patrik Schumacher on the ideas of conduits vs terminals- parts vs flows- and a flat ontology vs parametricism. The Duel + Duet series is to take place at SCI—Arc in the Kappe Library at 7:00 pm.

Patrik Schumacher discusses current developments of generative design- illustrating points with recent Zaha Hadid Architects projects including the Galaxy Soho in Beijing- the Central Bank of Iraq- and the Petroleum Studies and Research Center. He stresses how parametric design not only produces highly efficient buildings in terms of structure- materials and functionality- but also generates vital but coherent urban spaces.

Tom Wiscombe argues- in contrast- that the task of architecture is to create something so alien that it cannot be consumed- illustrating his points with recent projects including the Guggenheim Helsinki- the Griffith Park House- Diamond City in Adelaide- the Kinmen Passenger Service Center- and the Main Museum of Los Angeles Art. He argues for a flat ontology- against hierarchical or sequential organization- and proposes deeper engagement with the architectural detail. In conversation- Schumacher challenges Wiscombe to defend his work as something more than personal creations- and Wiscombe challenges Schumacher’s promotion of a single formal vocabulary. The two speakers respond to audience comments regarding collage- deriving general rules from specific designs- expressing or not expressing structure- formalism and parametric engagement with the social.