Public Lecture

Michael Rock

Empire of Screens

Public Lecture
22  January 2014, Wednesday


In the 19th century the figure of the flaneur  - the one who walks the city in order to experience it [by moving physically through space in time] - has become placeless: (...) s/he sits wherever and the world is served into his lap(top). (...) The transition from and ultimately the conflation of the two has broad implications for designers charged with modulating the interface between humans and things.

Michael Rock

This public lecture is the tenth lecture in the Fall Public lecture series 2013-2014 "Staging the Message. The Architecture of Communication", and will be addressed by Michael Rock. Rock is the founding partner and creative director of the graphic design office 2x4, and as professor Michael Rock directs the Graphic Architecture Project at Columbia University Graduate School of Archtecture, Planning and Preservation, New York City, USA.

The public lecture of Michael Rock is part of special PhD course Stating the Message that is organized in close collaboration with the  ResArc architecture research school that is funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas. For more information on the third module of the course by Michael Rock, Andreas and Roemer van Toorn see also: and .

The livestream of the lecture by Michael Rock:

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Michael Rock

At 2x4, Michael Rock leads a wide range of projects for Prada, Nike, Kanye West, Barneys New York, Harvard and CCTV. Before starting 2x4, he was co-founder of Information incorporated in Boston. From 1984-91 he was Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design and since 1991 he has been a member of the design faculty at the Yale School of Art where he holds the rank of Adjunct Professor. In addition, he was a fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and a contributing editor and graphic design journalist at I.D. Magazine in New York. His writing on design has appeared in publications worldwide. He holds an A.B. in Humanities from Union College and a M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is the recipient of the 1999/2000 Rome Prize in Design from the American Academy in Rome and currently serves on the board of the Academy.

 More information on 2x4 and Michael Rock:


Top image: Seven Screen movie theatre.
In Winter 2012 Kanye West asked 2x4 to join his design consortium Donda to imagine a seven screen movie theater that would immerse an audience in images and sound. After completing a comprehensive research/feasibility study and schematic design, 2x4 worked alongside Donda to define the relationship of the screens, determine optimal audience configurations, link the spatial layout with camera set ups, locate potential site and finally prototype the 7-screen experience. 2x4 then worked with Donda and OMA New York to translate that experience design into a fully-realized architectural project: