Prudential Center Walking Tour [10:30 AM-12 PM – meet at Gund Hall lobby at 10 AM for group departure]

Architectural historian Elihu Rubin will lead fellow conference attendees and students on a tour of the Prudential Center and downtown Boston, discussing the role of the corporation in revitalizing the city in the 1950s and 1960s, as explored in his recent, award-winning book Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape (Yale University Press, 2012).

Structuring Space: PhD Candidate Colloquium [2:30-5:30 PM – Stubbins, Gund Hall]

This colloquium will showcase the work of PhD students at the Graduate School of Design whose research intersects with the conference theme. The session will be organized around four graduate student presentations of ongoing research, followed by a moderated discussion. Our hope is to spotlight the deeply interdisciplinary nature of spatial research at Harvard, and give senior PhD students a chance to present their work in a formal context.

Featuring the following presentations:

Nick Smith, “Negotiating the Power to Plan: Spatial Planning and Property Rights in Peri-urban China”

John Davis, “Notes on Design and Authority in the Antebellum U.S. Army”

Fallon Samuels Aidoo, “Park-n-Ride Spaces: Critical Infrastructure for Rendering Home Rule in ‘The City of Homes’ 1950-1980”

Amin Alsaden, TBD

Moderators: Michael Hays, Diane Davis

Keynote Lecture [6:30-8 PM – Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall]

Building on research from his book The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media and Corporate Space, Professor Reinhold Martin will deliver the keynote lecture for this year’s Cambridge Talks Conference, addressing the ways in which institutional power is manifested in the built environment.

Reinhold Martin is Associate Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the PhD program in architecture and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. He is a member of Columbia’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society as well as the Committee on Global Thought.

FRIDAY, APRIL 3 – Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall

Conference Introductions [9:30 AM]

Part 1: The Disciplinary Expectations of Scale [10 AM-12:30 PM]

This panel offers a theoretical framing for the empirical discussions of the day. Echoing the interdisciplinary nature of the Graduate School of Design’s PhD program, this panel explores the ways in which the scale of intervention changes as we move from the realms of architecture to urban planning to landscape and territory. Our aim is to challenge the usefulness of traditional scales of analysis and intervention, leading us to question whether or not we are entering a post-disciplinary moment in the design field.

Featuring the following presentations:

Eve Blau, “The Operative Scales of Urban Design and Research”

Mark Jarzombek, “Global Architecture in a not-so Global World”

Preston Scott Cohen, TBD

Vittoria di Palma, “Contested Ground”

Moderator: Mohsen Mostafavi

Part 2: The Space of Institutions [1:30 PM-3:45 PM]

How is institutional power manifested in the built environment? Through a series of case studies, this panel explores the relationship between institutional and physical structures, interrogating the ways in which fixed spaces can also fix behaviors. Clearly, the production of space bears the mark of bureaucratic arrangements, but what is the nature of that mark? Does space exist autonomously from the institutions that produce it, or is that “institutional field” a deterministic structuring factor?

Featuring the following presentations:

Elihu Rubin, “Extra Dividends:  Corporate Strategy and Urban Policy at the Prudential Center”

David Theodore, “Emergency! The Institutionalization of Crisis in Modern Hospital Architecture”

Jesús Escobar, “Spaces of Justice at the Spanish Habsburg Court”

Brian Goldstein, “Urban Homesteading and the Promise and Perils of Institutional Crisis”

Moderator: Jana Cephas

Closing Discussion [4-5 PM]

Featuring Reinhold Martin & Erika Naginski.

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