Calendar of Events

Tue 07.01.2014

Oculus Book Talk: Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering


When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM TUESDAY, JULY 1

Where: At The Center   

Michael BellDr. William Carroll, Jr.Billie Faircloth, and George Middleton will present Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Almost every industry in the world has benefited from the invention of plastics, but it is only in the recent past that they have begun to be appreciated as architectural materials in their own right. Plastics are quickly becoming one of the most ubiquitous materials in construction and have the potential to reshape the roles of architects and engineers, as well as the construction industry at large. As a building material, plastic allows for easily molded and formed shapes, leading to increasingly malleable design processes. Despite being the most deeply engineered building materials today, plastics are still in the nascent stages of understanding in terms of their potential applications and uses. In Permanent Change an interdisciplinary group of architects, historians, theorists, and engineers collectively explore the past, present, and future possibilities of this innovative building material.

Michael Bell is Professor of Architecture at Columbia University. Bell chairs the Columbia Conference on Architecture, Engineering and Materials and is also Director of the Master of Architecture Program Core Design Studios. Bell’s design work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Venice Biennale; The Yale School of Architecture; The University Art Museum, Berkeley; and at Arci-Lab, France. Bell has received four Progressive Architecture Awards, and his is also included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Books by Michael Bell include Engineered Transparency: The Technical, Visual, and Spatial Effects of Glass; 16 Houses: Designing the Public’s Private House; Michael Bell: Space Replaces Us: Essays and Projects on the City; and Slow Space. Bell has taught at Berkeley, Rice University, MIT and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has also been a visiting professor at University of Michigan as the Saarinen Professor of Architecture. His recently completed Binocular House is featured in Metropolis, Casabella, and in Kenneth Frampton’s American Masterwork Houses.

Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr. holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. He received an M.S. from Tulane University in New Orleans, and a B.A. in chemistry and physics from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. He is currently Vice President, Industry Issues for Occidental Chemical Corporation and also Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Indiana. Carroll is Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society, and also a Past President (2005). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a member of the advisory board for the Tulane School of Science and Engineering. In 2009 he was chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. On behalf of OxyChem, he has chaired numerous committees for industry associations, and has served on expert groups commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme, the US Environmental Protection Agency and three states - most recently the California Green Ribbon Science Panel.

Billie Faircloth is the Research Director at KieranTimberlake, a prominent architecture firm established in 1984 and a leader in practice-based architectural research and innovative buildings. She leads a transdisciplinary group of professionals leveraging research, design, and problem solving processes from fields as diverse as environmental management, chemical physics, materials science, and architecture. As director, Faircloth fosters collaboration between disciplines, trades, academies and industries in order to define a relevant problem solving boundary for the built environment. In her professional and academic research Billie pursues an answer to the question: “Why do we build the way that we do?” In addition to her practice, she teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and lectures on design research worldwide. Her forthcoming book, Architecture and Plastics, will be published by Routledge in 2015. Billie received a Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University.

George Middleton, AIA, CSI, is President of George Middleton & Associates, Inc., construction industry consulting firm based in Chicago. His work is focused primarily on the technical, marketing and training needs of the firm’s building product manufacturer, industry trade association and publisher clients. His firm has Fortune 500 product and materials experience. He serves as the chair of CSI's GreenFormat™ Task Team. Before founding his firm, he was responsible for publishing electronic content for the AEC markets for Autodesk. Prior to that he was Director of Technical Marketing at USG Corporation and has been involved in development, testing and marketing of construction products and systems for projects in North America, Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a Research Architect with the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. George is a licensed architect, a member of AIA and CSI. He is a USGBC LEED® Accredited Professional and a Green Globes® Assessor through The Green Building Initiative.

Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID - RSVP using the form to the right 
$10 for non-members - PURCHASE A TICKET

Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee

About Oculus Book Talks

Each month, the AIANY Oculus Committee presents a Book Talk at the Center for Architecture. Each Oculus Book Talk highlights a recent publication on architecture, design, or the built environment — presented by the author. The Book Talks are a forum for dialogue and discussion, and copies of the publications are available for sale and signing.

2014 Book Talk Series

Monday, January 13, 2014: Alexandros Washburn, The Nature of Urban Design
Wednesday, February 5, 2014: Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre, How to Study Public Life
Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Jean-Louis Cohen, Architecture in Uniform
Monday, April 7, 2014: Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Monday, May 12, 2014: Francoise Bollack and Kenneth Frampton, Old Buildings, New Forms
Monday, June 9, 2014: Hillary Brown, Next Generation Infrastructure
Tuesday, July 1, 2014: Mark Wigley and Michael Bell, Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering
Monday, August 11, 2014: John Massengale, Street Design
Wednesday, September 3, 2014: Susan Szenasy, Szenasy, Design Advocate


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