An abstract image over a topography map

WHERE WE BE? image / provided


The role of architecture in art gallery design has been a topic of debate since art entered the public realm from private collections. The rectangular "white box" with controlled natural and artificial light, suspended in space and time for the undisturbed contemplation of the art displayed, is the preferred ideal for a gallery with frequently changing exhibitions.

WHERE WE BE? exploits Hartell Gallery's unique orientation and pivotal location within AAP, the Cornell campus, and its broader context to propose an expanded awareness of the relationship between the architecture of the gallery, the things exhibited within it, and the world outside.

The "exhibition" juxtaposes two recent projects by LUCITO (Andrew Lucia and Iroha Ito) and several projects exhibited over some 45 years in Hartell by Studio_Z (John Zissovici). It also gathers around the gallery's pivoting wall, a new collaborative "site-specific" construction that highlights the shared interests of the two practices. The pivoting wall, a "temporary installation" designed and built by Zissovici and his team, was not included in the construction documents for Studio_Z's 2000 renovation of Hartell Gallery. It has remained there for almost a quarter century as an integral part of the gallery, providing flexibility and much-needed additional surface for exhibitions. Yet it is always also still an INSTALLATION, an invisible super object.

With this in mind, WHERE WE BE? is still the perpetual question.


John Zissovici teaches architectural design and courses that deal with the impact of digital media on architectural thinking. His current research is on imagescape urbanism. His architectural work includes built projects, installations, competitions, and speculative work. He has been published in Japan, Austria, Germany, Ireland, and the U.S. His large-scale installations involving digital media, robotics, and videos have been exhibited at the Phoenix Museum of Art, the Burchfeld-Penney Art Center, Tsing Ha University in Beijing, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca. Zissovici received his bachelor's and master's of architecture from Cornell.

LUCITO (Andrew Lucia + Iroha Ito) is a multidisciplinary creative collaborative founded by Andrew Lucia (Visiting Critic, Architecture) and Iroha Ito (M.Arch. '15) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They approach each work as an open-ended process without preconceived notions of material, form, and concept, wherein each intervention evolves out of an act of discovery and limitation. Formally trained in architecture, Lucia and Ito see their practice as one informed by this disciplinary approach to cultural production fusing history, perception, and experience through material-spatial practice. Their creative process is one of finding the project through context, dialogue, historic reference, and material constraint.

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