The Berlage

Public Lecture Orange Room

What Just Happened?

Mark Wigley

Thirty years after "Deconstructivist Architecture” was on display at the Museum of Modern Art, Mark Wigley will reexamine this seminal exhibition’s original intentions and lasting impact over the past three decades. Wigley, together with co-curator Philip Johnson, took an opposite approach to the latter’s 1932 “International Exhibition of Modern Architecture,” which intended to define an “international style.” Rather than presenting architecture derived from a rigidly uniform set of design principles, Johnson and Wigley recognized in the work of the seven selected participants—Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, and Coop Himmelblau—an imperfectibility of the modern world and a similar approach with very similar formal outcomes. What can we learn from the "Deconstructivist Architecture" exhibition thirty years after? And does today's architecture culture invite another genre-defining moment?

Mark Wigley is an architectural theorist, critic, and historian. He is Professor and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. His books include White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture, Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire, Buckminster Fuller Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio, and, most recently, Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation. He has curated numerous exhibitions and is co-founder of Volume magazine.

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