PechaKucha Presentation

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Ang Li

Peter Reyner Banham Fellow, Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo in Buffalo

"A wall and a column...what they have in common is an interest in looking at the cultural agency of traditional building materials and their ability to speak."

In A Wall and A Column: 2 Projects from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 16, architect and University at Buffalo Peter Reyner Banham Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor Ang Li presents a pair of site specific installations that explore the cultural agency of vernacular building materials. Horror Vacui is an installation in Lisbon, Portugal that examines the ability of building facades to “speak” through the medium of the Portuguese “azulejo” - hand-painted ceramic tiles often depicting scenes from historic or civic events. The piece explores the narrative potential of bricks and mortar within contemporary image sharing and crowdsourcing platforms. No Frills is an installation in Buffalo, New York that stems out of an interest in the industrialized production of terracotta in the 19th century as a new kind of ornamental language. In a semi-abandoned Chevrolet Factory by the architect Albert Kahn, a 13-foot column interrupts the existing grid of the assembly floor,  acting as a bridge between the vast scale of obsolete industry and the human scale of the architectural ornament.

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The Beginning of Memory

BY MIGUEL GUITART, PH.D.
@ VOL 14 ON NOV 17, 2015

"The story of Buffalo is inextricably linked to the notion of memory. That memory is now in Danger."

In The Beginning of Memory from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 14, Spanish architect and academic Miguel Guitart remembers the importance of Buffalo's signature past and visual legacy that has made the city unique, and compels the audience to slow down enough to observe it for themselves, together on a quest to find it's soul once more. In this beautiful poetic performance, he shares a series of ephemeral photos of the city, titled "Americana" with music by Philippe Rombi and excerpts of Laurie Anderson's "The Beginning of Memory", illustrating that despite PechaKucha's fixed format, presentations can take all forms.  

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015. 

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Recreating the Past: Digital Craft

BY ANDREW PRIES
@ VOL 15 ON FEB 04, 2016

"I brought digital technology to a craftsman's workshop."

In Recreating the Past: Digital Craft from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 15, Andrew Pries, Digital Fabrication Manager at Boston Valley Terra Cotta, explores the emerging technologies his practice is harnessing to restore dilapidated terra cotta facades from the pre-war era. His team's new digital workflow seeks to amalgamate traditional craftsmen skills with modern computation and fabrication techniques. Boston Valley’s recent project, the restoration of the Child’s Restaurant building on Coney Island, is the culmination of their current research endeavors.   

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Foraging and Picking

BY BRIAN CARTER
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"Architects are hunters and gatherers." 

In "Foraging and Picking" from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 17, professor of architecture Brian Carter provides a retrospective of twenty postcards from his many travels, highlighting what each image signifies in the mind of an architect. Carter reminds us that architecture can be an international language. It prompts travel, causing us walk into buildings, to meet people, and to listen, sense and smell the places that we go. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Monday, November 21st, 2016. 

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Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975

BY CHARLES L. DAVIS, II, PH.D.
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"We started with several books that looked at the brownstone as a site of intervention."

In Building Black Utopias: Modeling the Architectural Principles of African American Literature, 1960-1975 from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Charles L. Davis, II, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, shows works from his recent exhibition project, Building Black Utopias, and discusses the literature that served as inspiration. 

The Building Black Utopias project combines the tools of the architect, the historian and the literary critic to recover the historical contributions of African American writers to architectural utopian thought. It specifically examines the role of literary depictions of place in June Jordan, Amiri Baraka, Paule Marshall and Angela Davis’ writings. Davis argues that each authors’ rhetorical manipulations of the built environment operates on the same level as architectural utopian thought insofar as both mediums created rich, alternative depictions of modernist space to liberate the architect’s imagination. The final exhibit translates the spatial ideas of literature into drawings, models and other ephemera.

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A Brief Memoir of Architectural Space

BY JOANNA GILLESPIE
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"This is my 6-minute memoir. A mediation on impermanence."

In A Brief Memoir of Architecural Space from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, independent arts consultant and co-organizer of PechaKucha Buffalo, Joanna Gillespie, delivers a meditation on twenty of the fifty places she has lived since birth. From Victorian-era structures in Buffalo, NY and San Francisco, CA, to the wilds of the 1970's California coast, to modern and efficient rural Japan, to a Postmodern art utopia in Maine, and beyond, Gillespie recounts a particular memory from each space. Through all of the temporal landscapes we find ourselves in, Gillespie concludes, "We forge on, either clumsily or assuredly. We keep on keeping on." Even if we move fifty times.

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016. 

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Return of the Master Builder

BY MATTHEW HUME
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"I tell people I wear two hats—one of the designer and one of the builder, but as I evolve I wish to wear one hat, that of the Master Builder."

In the Return of the Master Builder from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17Adjunct Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and Owner/Principle of HUME PROJECTS, LLC, Matthew Hume discusses his work creating residential and commercial projects, from the design phase through the construction phase. The traditional Master Builder once integrated both design and construction processes by direct involvement. The profession of architecture and processes of building are shifting back toward a more integrated approach forcing architects to re-evolve into earlier versions of themselves. Hume's recent work in design and construction projects serves as an example of this paradigm shift.

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Ceramic Assemblies

BY LIMINAL PROJECTS (OMAR KAHN AND LAURA GARÓFALO)
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"Ask a ceramicist and they will insist that the material lives."

In Ceramic Assemblies from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Laura Garófalo and Omar Kahn of Liminal Projects discuss their prototypes for ceramic building systems that were developed at the European Ceramics Workcentre (ekwc), in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands. They are designs that explore ways that architecture can mediate heat, water and nature. Ceramics, which are fired clay, are one of the oldest building materials. But they defy easy categorization because their behavior and properties are so diverse. Ceramics were used to build the Roman aqueducts and also used for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. Ask a ceramicist and they will insist that the material lives. It is this quality that Garófalo and Kahn want to capture and perpetuate in their work.

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Collage City

BY JEAN-MICHEL REED
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"An architect, it seems, has to be an optimist and idealist. That by building we're somehow making the world a better place. But before you need buildings, you need people."

In Collage City from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 17, artist, designer, realtor and retired paramedic, Jean-Michel Reed, shares stories and perceptions of Buffalo, New York as an intimate outsider. Reed moved to Buffalo in 1992, working first as a paramedic, and later transitioning to both a designer and a realtor as the city attempted an about face. Cites are made first of people, and then within those individual people, of experiences. It is this combination of convergent and divergent experiences that construct the sociological makeup of place and city, which, in turn manufactures the physical landscape. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016.

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Industrial Sculpture

BY JOE HENSEL
IN PITTSBURGH, PA

Joe Hensel, horder of industrial artifacts, talks about his recent projects and industrial sculpture.