Daniels 2011-2012 Public Lecture
Tuesday, March 6 | 6:30 PM | 230 College Street, Room 103
David Gissen is an associate professor of architecture and visual studies at the California College of the Arts, and the author of the book Subnature: Architecture’s Other Environment — the first book to offer a theory of pollution within architecture that falls outside of scientific or solely environmentalist concerns.
Gissen’s recent work focuses on architecture’s “less-than-perfect” encounters with the natural environment, specifically the nature that results from the trauma of urbanization, such as dust, dankness, and debris. He advocates that we let go of the fantasy of a pure and harmonious relationship with nature and the belief that some supernatural savior will fix our current environmental crises and disasters. “Pollution,” he argues, “is as central to modernity in architecture as concepts of space, structure, and programme.”
Gissen studied architecture at the University of Virginia, Columbia University, and Yale University, and received his PhD from University College London under the direction of Matthew Gandy and Adrian Forty.
His essays and research have been published in journals such as AA Files, AD Energies, Grey Room, Kerb, and Log; and magazines and newspapers such as Architectural Record, Domus, The Village Voice, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, among many others. In addition to editing the book Big and Green and the “Territory” issue of AD Magazine, Gissen has also recently been published in the books Writing Urbanism (Routledge, 2008), The Ethics of Dust (TBA/Venice Biennale, 2009), The Religious Imagination in Modern Architecture: A Reader (Routledge, 2011), Air (MIT Press, 2011), Coupling (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011), and Landform Building (Lars Mueller, 2011).
Gissen’s curatorial, experimental, historical, and design work has been staged at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, National Building Museum, Yale Architecture Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, the Toronto Free Gallery, The Museum of the City of New York, and the exhibition “Landscape Futures” at the Nevada Museum of Art. He has lectured on his work internationally, including recent invited talks at Yale University, Princeton University, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, The Royal Danish Academy of Art, The Bartlett School of Architecture, The Humanities Center of the University of California Santa Barbara and “Postopolis!” LA, sponsored by The Storefront for Art and Architecture.