James Wines: Archi-Protest, the Role of Buildings in Social Change
James Wines is the founder and president of Site, an environmental art and architecture studio chartered in New York City in 1970. He is a graduate of Syracuse University School of Art (1957), where he majored in sculpture and art history. He is the former director of environmental design at Parsons School of Design, and professor emeritus of architecture at Penn State University. His buildings, landscapes, and public spaces are based on a site-specific response to their surroundings. Wines’ educational philosophy advocates integrative thinking as a means of including multidisciplinary and contextual ideas from outside the design professions. He has written seven books on art and design, including On Site-On Energy, (Scribners and Sons, 1974), De-Architecture, (Rizzoli International, 1987), and Green Architecture, (Taschen Verlag, 2000). Wines has designed more than 150 buildings, public spaces, landscapes, and environmental art works for private and municipal clients in 11 countries.
Wines is the recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s 2013 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, the ANCE Annual Award for an International Architect (Italy, 2011), and the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation (1995). In 2019, Wines was honored by the Hirshhorn Museum’s annual Artist X Artist Award. He is also the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kress Foundation, American Academy in Rome, Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Graham Foundation, and Ford Foundation. In 2020 there will be a retrospective of his drawings for Site at the Tchoban Architecture Museum in Berlin. Wines continues to work on international art and design projects, write, lecture, and engage in educational programs based on environmental initiatives.
This presentation explores the capacity of architecture and public space to become sources of critical commentary on social, political, and environmental issues. The main content focuses on the degree of commitment by the design professions to an expanded form of urban communication, in response to today’s economically challenged, increasingly overcrowded, ecologically imperiled, and diversity driven urban populations.
Introduction by Aleksandr Mergold