David Salomon and Paul Andersen: The Architecture of Patterns

Department of Architecture Fall 2010 Lunch Lecture Series

From the structure of the universe to the print on your grandmother’s couch, patterns are found in a wide range of concrete and conceptual phenomena. For architecture, something that so easily traffics between science and taste demands attention — which partially explains patterns’ recent revival across diverse stylistic and intellectual camps. Yet, despite their ubiquity, their resurgence remains under-theorized and their capabilities underutilized. Most contemporary accounts of their resurgence stress their ability to absorb difference and produce formal variation. In contrast, this lecture will look at the capacity for patterns to produce and promote a variety of effects and performances.

Drawing on definitions and applications of patterns from a number of scientific and artistic areas, the talk will emphasize a logic of patterns that is at once precise and expansive — one that allows their sensory, ephemeral, and iterative traits to be taken as seriously as their functional, everlasting, and essential ones.

David Salomon teaches architectural theory and history at Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. Paul Andersen is the founder of !ndie architecture in Denver, Colorado. He has taught architectural design at Cornell and Harvard University.
The talk will be followed by a book signing with the authors. Books will be available for purchase on site.