Lecture Series: Peter Eisenman & Mario Carpo | Architecture or Computation

Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020 , All Day

Peter Eisenman (Yale) and Mario Carpo (UCL Bartlett) examine the history, state, and prospects of an architectural project through computation. The two lectures followed by an open discussion moderated by Daniel Koehler (UT Austin). 

Both protagonists claim the infirmity of today's digital architecture. Peter Eisenman misses a cultural project in digital practice that critically resists regimes of power. Mario Carpo notes the prospects of a second digital, although one that transcends architecture when buildings can be computed without any need for structure or form. 

Although, it was the early works of both that first turned the digital into architecture first. Eisenman’s houses resisted calculations through the irreducible complexity of their architectural form. Mario's writings continued history from an architecture of the age of printing to the age of computing. What can we learn from them? What exactly were the moments that opened the discourse and cultural project of digital architecture? What grains of architecture remain beyond a certain threshold of computing power? 

Mario Carpo Lecture Title: Notations, technology, and (some) meanings of architectural form

Open Discussion: Participation in the following virtual seminar table is open. Please apply by raising a question related to "Architecture or Computation" to daniel.koehler@utexas.edu (until Mon Sep 7, max 150 words).


Peter Eisenman is an internationally recognized architect and educator whose award-winning large-scale housing and urban design projects, innovative facilities for educational institutions, and series of inventive private houses attest to a career of excellence in design. Prior to establishing a full-time architectural practice in 1980, Mr. Eisenman worked as an independent architect, educator, and theorist. Most notably as the first executive director of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. Currently the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice at the Yale School of Architecture, Mr. Eisenman’s academic career also includes teaching at Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, and Ohio State universities. Mr. Eisenman is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among other awards, in 2001 he received the Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Smithsonian Institution’s 2001 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. He was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is also an author, whose most recent books include: Written Into the Void: Selected Writings, 1990-2004 (Yale University Press, 2007) and Ten Canonical Buildings, 1950-2000 (Rizzoli, 2008), which examines in depth buildings by ten different architects.


Mario Carpo is Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory, the Bartlett, University College London. Mario Carpo's research and publications focus on the relationship between architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology. He is the author of The Second Digital Turn, The Digital Turn in Architecture, The Alphabet and the Algorithm, Architecture in the Age of Printing and other books. His recent essays and articles are published in the Log, Grey Room, L'Architecture d'aujourd'hui, AD/Architectural Design, Perspecta, Harvard Design Magazine, Abitare, Lotus International, Domus, Artforum, and Arch+. As distinguished academic Dr Carpo taught as a visiting professor in several universities in Europe and in the United States, including the University of Geneva, the University of Florence, the University of Copenhagen, Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Williams College. He was a scholar in residence at the Getty Research Institute in 2000-2001, a resident at the American Academy in Rome in 2004, and a scholar in residence at tne National Gallery of Art (Washington) in 2014. He was the head of the Study Centre at the Centre Canadien d'Architecture in Montréal between 2002 and 2006.


The UTSOA Fall 2020 Lecture Series will be presented digitally through Zoom and will be live-streamed on the Texas Architecture YouTube channel. This lecture will take place at noon.