The Strange (and possibly happy) Life of Objects
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
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
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
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
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