Friday, April 28, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 15

Vito Acconci inside one of his modules for “Project for Klapper Hall,” from 1993-95.Credit Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times

Sad to hear of Vito Acconci's passing. Much of his work resonates with me, including his unexpected turn to public art that plays with our expectations for architecture. Two quotes from the New York Times review about his life:

1) In reference to his "Following Piece" from 1969:
“It was sort of a way to get myself off the writer’s desk and into the city,” he once told the musician Thurston Moore. “It was like I was praying for people to take me somewhere I didn’t know how to go myself.”
How I feel about my class at HFBK. It structures my research and forces me out of the studio to meet locals and see the city.

2) His career turn:
That ambition took hold fully in the mid-1970s, when, in a radical career turn, he abandoned the gallery world and remade himself as a highly unorthodox architect and designer, creating works like public parks, airport rest areas and even an artificial island on a river in Austria. 
The move confused his peers and caused his profile in the art world to recede, to the point where many younger artists who were indirectly influenced by his work had little idea who had created it. In his later years, Mr. Acconci sometimes agonized over this situation, but he said he had no choice but to follow his interests where they took him — which was no less than an ambition to change the way people lived.
3) His approach to architecture:
“I wish we could make buildings that could constantly explode and come back in different ways,” he said in one interview. “The idea of a changing environment suggests that if your environment changes all the time, then maybe your ideas will change all the time. I think architecture should have loose ends. This might be another problem with Modernism — it’s too complete within itself.”
Why I'm studying the Chilehaus, but more about that in another post.

“Murinsel,” a floating platform in Austria designed by Mr. Acconci. DeAgostini/Getty Images
CrediDeAgostini/Getty Images

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 14

Off to the University of Hamburg main library to get an overview of their collection.

The main entrance is at Von-Melle-Park 3 (the blue marker on this map).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 12

Jesko Fezer, 

Reading about Jesko Fezer—head of HFBK Design focus, a popular professor here, pictured above in purple. Like many, he commutes from Berlin where he lives. Degrees at HFBK are interdisciplinary, but students chose a focus (listed here), and in the German tradition, study under one professor. All of the classes here are pass / fail. The students only have to pass a few classes, but many collect more credits than they need and are self-directed. Based on the quality of work at the graduation exhibition last summer 2016, this laid-back systems seems to be working surprisingly well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 11

The Sustainability Pavilion, Osakaallee 9, 20457 Hamburg, Meeting place for our tour with Urban Planner Thorsten Gödtel
Inside Osakaallee 9, reviewing Hafen City plan
Underground to other side of Hafen City 
Playground design influenced by kids in a day-long workshop
Testing trampoline!

Monday, April 24, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 10

Hafen City Tours, Grüner Landgang / “Green” shore tour,  

Tomorrow my HFBK class will go on the following tours about Hafen City and FRISE.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 9

New gallery in Hamburg, Germany, 4'O Clock Light, More at 
Last Monday, I met Diana Perry Schnelle and Wolfram Schnelle, who just started a gallery in their living room here in Hamburg. The name: 4 O’Clock Light was inspired by a Frank O’Hara poem. The show: David X Levine, an artist known for making bright drawings with hundreds of layers of colored pencil. More at

Saturday, April 22, 2017

100 Days on a Fulbright: Day 8

Post-Internet Cities Conference, MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology | Lisbon, 26 May 2017

Just booked a flight to Portugal the week before this conference, but I need to teach a class in Hamburg on the day this is happening.

Sharing the link in case somebody else out there wants to go. Looks great.