The Strange (and possibly happy)
Life of Objects

Lars Lerup

The Strange (and possibly happy) Life of Objects

Public Lecture
Thursday, 31  October 2013

A stair that has not been deeply hollowed 
by footsteps is,  from its own point of view,  merely something that  has been bleakly put  together with wood.

Franz Kafka

This succinct aphorism by Kafka,
says lecturer Lars Lerup, is the most synthetic description of the life of objects in their relation to us humans. Maybe somewhat uncharacteristically for the author it says nothing of the death of objects, but this too hides in the unspoken. I will return this aphorism over and over in the course of this talk.

This lecture is the Fifth lecture in the Autumn Public lecture series 2013-2014 "Staging the Message. The Architecture of Communication", and will be addressed by Houston based designer, writer, and former dean at Rice School of Architecture and William Ward Watkin Professor Lars Lerup. In this talk Lars Lerup will share his thought with us on his upcoming publication. 

The livestream of the lecture by Lars Lerup:

Watching on a mobile device? Click here to see the video »


On Lars Lerup

Much work of Lars Lerup's focuses on the intersection of nature and culture in the contemporary American metropolis, and on Houston in particular. He recently finished the book, entitled One Million Acres & No Zoning ( AA Publications), which examines the consequences the city's relentless growth and expansion has had on various natural systems, and further, how those consequences will effect the future of the city.

Other books of note include After the City (2000, MIT Press), Room (1999, Menil Collection), Planned Assaults (1987, MIT Press), and Building the Unfinished (1977, SAGE). In 1995 he published the article "Stim and Dross: Rethinking the Metropolis" in Assemblage magazine, which delivered a radical way of thinking about the new American city.

He lectures and participates in numerous conferences and symposia, most recently as the keynote lecturer at the "Megacities 2005 Conference in Amsterdam," as a panelist at the "ArchiLab 2004" conference, as a participant in the "New Urbanism and Beyond" conference in Stockholm, and as the guest speaker at the Inaugural Conference of the Delft School of Design. Also, he participated in one of the three sessions of the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture's "Debates on Urbanism," in a session with Peter Calthorpe entitled "New Urbanism," which has recently been published as part of a three volume set.

Lerup was named the Swedish-American Citizen of the Year in 2004 for his lifelong contributions to architectural education and practice.

Read the conversation between Lars Lerup and Roemer van Toorn, published in the book Everything Must Move. 15 years at Rice School of Architecture 1994 - 2009 here >>>


Image above: "Strange objects" by Lars Lerup