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Lo-Fi Architecture: A Modest Proposal

October 28, 2010

Presented at Pecha Kucha Night Cleveland, Volume 3. May 8th, 2009.

JS: I feel like Architecture has a caste system that we need to get rid of before it can become as diverse as it should.

TF: I think I agree, but maybe it’s that the discipline is highly autonomous and needs to open itself to broader influences and to make work more collaborative.

JS: Where can we find good examples of that?

MA: I was thinking the other day about independent music and cinema, wondering what makes a group of artists a collective. It seems like it’s sometimes just a place, like Wham City in Baltimore or The Smell in LA, and sometimes it’s a change in medium like with digital video, which launched Dogme 95 in Denmark and more recently mumblecore in the US.

TF: What’s interesting about those groups is that there’s no aesthetic coherence, just a similar state of mind.

MA: Absolutely. There’s no need to do similar work, just have a similar attitude. I heard a quote last week about the Republican Party’s decline, saying unity should require neither uniformity nor unanimity. I think that’s a pretty poignant assessment.

JS: Even something like the New York Five in architecture, their work has never been the same necessarily, but they always support each other no questions asked

TF: So what we need are a change in medium and a group of motivated, ambitious people? It starts to sound like this can happen here and now.

JS: Definitely…            What about a lo-fi architecture?

MA: That could work really well. If you think about lo-fi music, it’s definitely not a matter of quality, because Pro Tools can outdo Phil Spector and day of the week. Lo-fi just has an attitude about its production rather than letting the technology determine its final form. It’s also not about aesthetics, because digital tools don’t prevent traditional composition, it’s just easier to make anything.

JS: I think you’re right. Imagine if Renaissance architects had copy and paste. Would the Baroque have even happened? Digital tools can breed laziness.

TF: But we can’t be afraid of using those tools. Lo-fi music isn’t afraid to use all the means at its disposal. That’s how you can end up with things as distinct as electronic experimentation and singer-songwriter recordings under the same umbrella. They just have a similar DIY approach

MA: Do-it-yourself seems a bit, well, a bit HGTV though, doesn’t it?

TF: DIY means something different in music though, I think in architecture it’s oddly similar to parametricism, as outlined by Patrik Schumacher, which is really about demonstrating a means of production rather than demonstrating architecture.

MA: I guess you’re right, it’s not just about doing it yourself, you have to understand the expertise of others and leave room for them to do their part, a little like recording with session players. You have to know what you want, but you know other people can do it better.

JS: Absolutely. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with every project. In architecture you have to keep in mind that all parties have a different knowledge base and everybody is useful to the process, even the client.

TF: Doesn’t architecture work somewhere between composition and performance, like music does? The architect does the drawings and the building is constructed without their direct control.

JS: Maybe. But with architecture, composition and production never matter equally. Sometimes the performance is the most important thing, sometimes it’s the other way around.

MA: Yeah, the process needs to be malleable. It can’t be about prescribing a means or method of design, but something a little more provisional and permeable. We need to stop navel gazing.

TF: I think it’s about allowing outside cultural influences into architecture, instead of expecting architecture to be self-generating. The great thing is that someone in LA and Cleveland can be doing work that appears vastly different because of local influences, but still have the same attitude. This is pretty powerful in that way.

JS: You’re right. Still, there always seem to be places that exist on the margins to try new ideas in most art forms. Why isn’t this the same for trying out new architectural ideas?

TF: I don’t know, it seems places like Cleveland should be incubators for new ideas given that you can buy a house for the price of a used VCR, and there isn’t the constant attention that you have on the coasts.

MA: I think a new attitude could easily develop here given that real estate and the cost living are so low. You don’t need a lot of money to build.

JS: We just need somebody to get it started, but not in that cheesy ra-ra kind of way where we’re all just patting each other on the ass.

MA: What the hell does that mean?

JS: Yeah I don’t really know what any of that meant.

TF: It doesn’t matter anyway. Nobody’s listening. We’re in Cleveland, remember?

Lo-Fi Architecture: A Pictorial Manifesto

October 28, 2010

Live Debate Regarding The Ever Controversial Legacy Of The Architectural Style Known As Brutalism

June 15, 2010

When: Thursday, June 17, 2010

Time: 8:00PM – 10:00PM

Where: Bela Dubby

Address: 13321 Madison Ave Lakewood, OH View Map

Due to rapidly diminishing attendance, 1/3 Movie Night has been indefinitely suspended. In it’s place, POST will produce a monthly piece of filmed entertainment for inclusion on the POST blog. This will take place on the third Thursday of every month. For the first installment, we will be presenting a live debate in the style of ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” For those unfamiliar with this program, its format involves a moderator presenting questions to four participants, each of whom are assigned (and unassigned) points for their responses purely at the discretion of the moderator, who may also “mute” respondants in order to move on with the discussion. Our show will concern architecture rather than sports.

In what is sure to be a lively and heated debate this Thursday, a group of local design geeks will discuss the legacy of the much-maligned architectural style known as Brutalism. Brutalism, as defined by the participants, is a style that dominated architectural practice in Europe and the Americas from the late ’50s until the early ’70s. Major local examples include an addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Ameritrust Tower designed by Hungarian-born Marcel Breuer, the metropolitan campuses of Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University, along with numerous schools built for the Cleveland Municipal School District during the period in question.

If you can’t make it to Bela Dubby this Thursday around 8PM, be sure to check out the results on the POST website ( postarchitecturejournal.wordpress.com ) sometime in the near future.

If you’ve never heard of “Around The Horn”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Around_the_Horn

Moderated By: Jeremy Smith

Featuring: Michael Abrahamson, Theodore Ferringer, Austin Kotting, And
Jacob Chandler.

FINAL PANEL DISCUSSION VIDEO

November 17, 2009

The fifth and final video from the All You Can Eat: A Buffet Of Architectural Ideas For Cleveland panel discussion is now online and available for viewing.

Check it.

Project Gallery And Panel Discussion

November 11, 2009

A gallery of all submitted AYCE projects is now available for your viewing pleasure. We are also in the process of uploading the panel discussion. The first thirty minutes of the roughly hour long discussion is posted, with the final two portions forthcoming.

Project gallery

Panel discussion

note: Apparently there were some technical difficulties with the project gallery. It should be cleared up now. If not, let us know, but also try emptying your web browser cache.

Thanks

POST

All You Can Eat: Event Opening and Panel Discussion

October 23, 2009
What is Cleveland’s recommended daily intake of architecture? Let’s exceed it…
All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural Ideas for Cleveland
For immediate release – Cleveland Ohio
The organizers of an upcoming exhibition at the Sculpture Center, titled All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural
Ideas, are pleased to announce the show’s opening event, to be held Friday, October 30th from 5-10PM and
Saturday, October 31st from Noon-5PM. All You Can Eat is a collective exhibition of architectural ideas for
vacant sites in Cleveland, Ohio. If Cleveland has a surplus of anything it’s vacant land, and the organizers have
faith that others, like them, have favorite sites around the city upon which they’d love to unleash their new (or
old) tricks. This exhibition hopes to provide the impetus and opportunity for many to unleash said tricks in a
publicly visible way. Friday’s event will feature a buffet of tasty treats for both your stomach and your intellect. As
well, DJ Jose Alberto Luna will be providing audio treats for your ears of his own creation throughout the
evening.
All You Can Eat is not intended to generate “shovel-ready” proposals but to instigate dialogue; it is a forum to
encourage the development of new concepts both aesthetic and programmatic. The organizers charge
participants with being as outlandish and uncompromising as they can be.
The organizers would also like to announce the lineup for a panel discussion to be held Saturday at 3PM,
moderated by Michael Abrahamson of POST, including
Julia Christensen is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Big Box Reuse (MIT Press), which is about the
reuse of abandoned big box buildings in the United States. She is the Henry Luce Visiting Professor of the
Emerging Arts at Oberlin College. Ms. Christensen lectures widely about urban design, the future of the built
environment, and the impact of vacated commercial real estate. She is invited to speak by universities, real
estate corporations, city councils, community groups, and more; she is also asked to consult on reuse projects
across the country. Ms. Christensen is the founder and leader of The Big Box Reuse Group, LLC, a consulting
firm that draws on her experience documenting and analyzing dozens of reclaimed commercial real estate sites
nationwide. Her photography, video, architectural installation, and new media art work has shown internationally,
at venues such as the Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Fine Arts, and the Lincoln Center.
Piet Van Dijk, FAIA is an immigrant from the Netherlands. He served two years in the US Army and has a
Masters Degree from MIT. He also was a Fulbright scholar to Italy. Van Dijk worked for four years with Eero
Saarinen and Associates in Michigan. He came to Cleveland in 1961 to design the Celebreeze Federal Building
and became a partner in the Cleveland firm that is now Westlake Reed Leskosky.
Van Dijk has been responsible for the design of dozens of buildings including hospitals, offices, and universities.
He has especially enjoyed designing projects for the performing arts such as Blossom Music Center, The Denver
Arts Center, and the CSU Music building. He also designed CSU’s physical education building featuring an
Olympic sized pool. A world champion Masters Swimmer, Piet has also received the AIA Ohio Gold Medal and
the Cleveland Arts Prize.
Marc Ciccarelli, AIA serves as a principal partner for studioTECHNE|architects, responsible for project and firm
management, planning, design, project research and client development. He works directly with clients during
Programming and Design, providing innovative solutions in a collaborative approach to preserve the unique
goals and characteristics of each client. He believes the best design solutions arrive from an interactive dialog of
ideas and information, which allows for rational design solutions and effective decisions relating to budget and
schedule. The firm’s dedication to exceptionally designed environments is rooted in the belief that the buildings
constructed for our clients exist in a context and must positively effect the environment in which they exist.
Additionally, the built environment has an enormous impact on the social and physical places we inhabit. Owing
to this, Marc leads the office research efforts on sustainability, education and the built environment, and lectures
to groups and boards across the country on human interaction in built and perceptual space.
Sally L. Levine, AIA, principal of Levine Architecture & Design, Ltd., is an architect, educator and artist. When
she moved back to Cleveland in 2001, Sally brought her practice to Cleveland as Levine Architecture & Design,
Ltd., a multi-disciplinary architecture studio that approaches its work from a human-centered perspective.
Currently, Sally is a lecturer teaching a two-semester architectural studio sequence at Case Western Reserve
University, and she is a visiting faculty associate in the University’s Center for Health and Aging. In addition, she
is a lecturer at CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin School of Planning Master’s Program teaching the urban design
seminar. With colleague David Ellison, AIA, Sally has organized three architecture exhibits for Cleveland’s
Ingenuity Festivals, and she has created a nationally traveling exhibit called Palladio’s Sister. Sally’s own
artwork has been exhibited in solo and group exhibits from San Francisco to Milan, Italy. She has lectured
throughout the US and in France and Spain.
Marc Manack is an Architect born and raised in Canton, Ohio. Since 2001, Manack has been an Architect with
Robert Maschke Architects in Cleveland, Ohio where he has been responsible for the design and realization of
numerous award winning projects. In 2006, Manack co-founded SILO AR+D (pronounced R+D) to explore
architectural projects with an approach that is experimental without being ostentatious. Manack has taught
design studios at Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design and currently teaches
at Ohio State University’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.
Matthew Setzekorn, PE, CBCP, LEED® AP, is Director of Sustainable Engineering at Integrated Engineering
Consultants, Inc. He is a member of the Northeast Ohio USGBC High Performance Building Committee and an
active participant in multiple LEED projects as the Engineer of Record and also the Commissioning Authority.
Matthew is also a lecturer in Environmental Technology at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design
of Kent State University.
Panel moderator Michael Abrahamson is a designer and critic currently based in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the
very first graduate in architectural criticism from the Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, and
received a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from Kent State University. He has published criticism
in trace and Log in addition to maintaining a polytropic web log, Critic Under the Influence. His collaborative
design work has been exhibited at 1point618 gallery in Cleveland, and, with Theodore Ferringer and Jeremy
Smith, has organized the All You Can Eat exhibition.
***
Thank you for your interest and participation. We are excited by the enthusiasm generated in response to the
call for entries and hope to see all of you at the opening of All You Can Eat, A Buffet of Architectural Ideas
for Cleveland, Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st at The Sculpture Center’s Euclid Avenue Gallery.
Post would like to offer our sincere thanks to the event’s sponsors, Colliers Ostendorf-Morris, Studio|Techne
Architects, Pabst Brewery, and The Sculpture Center for their help in making this event possible.
Sincerely,
POST

What is Cleveland’s recommended daily intake of architecture? Let’s exceed it…

All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural Ideas for Cleveland

For immediate release – Cleveland Ohio

Friday, October 30, 5-10 PM
Saturday, October 31, noon – 5 PM
Roundtable Conversation on Saturday at 3 PM

ONE WEEKEND EUCLID AVENUE GALLERY ONLY

The organizers of an upcoming exhibition at the Sculpture Center, titled All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural Ideas, are pleased to announce the show’s opening event, to be held Friday, October 30th from 5-10PM and Saturday, October 31st from Noon-5PM. All You Can Eat is a collective exhibition of architectural ideas for vacant sites in Cleveland, Ohio. If Cleveland has a surplus of anything it’s vacant land, and the organizers have faith that others, like them, have favorite sites around the city upon which they’d love to unleash their new (or old) tricks. This exhibition hopes to provide the impetus and opportunity for many to unleash said tricks in a publicly visible way. Friday’s event will feature a buffet of tasty treats for both your stomach and your intellect. As well, DJ Jose Alberto Luna will be providing audio treats for your ears of his own creation throughout Friday evening.

All You Can Eat is not intended to generate “shovel-ready” proposals but to instigate dialogue; it is a forum to encourage the development of new concepts both aesthetic and programmatic. The organizers charge participants with being as outlandish and uncompromising as they can be.

The organizers would also like to announce the lineup for a panel discussion to be held Saturday at 3PM, moderated by Michael Abrahamson of POST, including:

Julia Christensen is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Big Box Reuse (MIT Press), which is about the reuse of abandoned big box buildings in the United States. She is the Henry Luce Visiting Professor of the Emerging Arts at Oberlin College. Ms. Christensen lectures widely about urban design, the future of the built environment, and the impact of vacated commercial real estate. She is invited to speak by universities, real estate corporations, city councils, community groups, and more; she is also asked to consult on reuse projects across the country. Ms. Christensen is the founder and leader of The Big Box Reuse Group, LLC, a consulting firm that draws on her experience documenting and analyzing dozens of reclaimed commercial real estate sites nationwide. Her photography, video, architectural installation, and new media art work has shown internationally, at venues such as the Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Fine Arts, and the Lincoln Center.

Piet Van Dijk, FAIA, is an immigrant from the Netherlands. He served two years in the US Army and has a Masters Degree from MIT. He also was a Fulbright scholar to Italy. Van Dijk worked for four years with Eero Saarinen and Associates in Michigan. He came to Cleveland in 1961 to design the Celebreeze Federal Building and became a partner in the Cleveland firm that is now Westlake Reed Leskosky. Van Dijk has been responsible for the design of dozens of buildings including hospitals, offices, and universities. He has especially enjoyed designing projects for the performing arts such as Blossom Music Center, The Denver Arts Center, and the CSU Music building. He also designed CSU’s physical education building featuring an Olympic sized pool. A world champion Masters Swimmer, Piet has also received the AIA Ohio Gold Medal and the Cleveland Arts Prize.

Marc Ciccarelli, AIA serves as a principal partner for studioTECHNE|architects, responsible for project and firm management, planning, design, project research and client development. He works directly with clients during Programming and Design, providing innovative solutions in a collaborative approach to preserve the unique goals and characteristics of each client. He believes the best design solutions arrive from an interactive dialog of ideas and information, which allows for rational design solutions and effective decisions relating to budget and schedule. The firm’s dedication to exceptionally designed environments is rooted in the belief that the buildings constructed for our clients exist in a context and must positively effect the environment in which they exist. Additionally, the built environment has an enormous impact on the social and physical places we inhabit. Owing to this, Marc leads the office research efforts on sustainability, education and the built environment, and lectures to groups and boards across the country on human interaction in built and perceptual space.

Sally L. Levine, AIA, principal of Levine Architecture & Design, Ltd., is an architect, educator and artist. When she moved back to Cleveland in 2001, Sally brought her practice to Cleveland as Levine Architecture & Design, Ltd., a multi-disciplinary architecture studio that approaches its work from a human-centered perspective. Currently, Sally is a lecturer teaching a two-semester architectural studio sequence at Case Western Reserve University, and she is a visiting faculty associate in the University’s Center for Health and Aging.  In addition, she is a lecturer at CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin School of Planning Master’s Program teaching the urban design seminar.   With colleague David Ellison, AIA, Sally has organized three architecture exhibits for Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festivals, and she has created a nationally traveling exhibit called Palladio’s Sister.  Sally’s own artwork has been exhibited in solo and group exhibits from San Francisco to Milan, Italy.  She has lectured throughout the US and in France and Spain.

Marc Manack is an Architect born and raised in Canton, Ohio. Since 2001, Manack has been an Architect with Robert Maschke Architects in Cleveland, Ohio where he has been responsible for the design and realization of numerous award winning projects. In 2006, Manack co-founded SILO AR+D (pronounced R+D) to explore architectural projects with an approach that is experimental without being ostentatious. Manack has taught design studios at Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design and currently teaches at Ohio State University’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.

Matthew Setzekorn, PE, CBCP, LEED® AP, is Director of Sustainable Engineering at Integrated Engineering Consultants, Inc. He is a member of the Northeast Ohio USGBC High Performance Building Committee and an active participant in multiple LEED projects as the Engineer of Record and also the Commissioning Authority. Matthew is also a lecturer in Environmental Technology at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design of Kent State University.

Panel moderator Michael Abrahamson is a designer and critic currently based in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the very first graduate in architectural criticism from the Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, and received a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from Kent State University. He has published criticism in trace and Log in addition to maintaining a polytropic web log, Critic Under the Influence. His collaborative design work has been exhibited at 1point618 gallery in Cleveland, and, with Theodore Ferringer and Jeremy Smith, has organized the All You Can Eat exhibition.

Submission Deadline Approaching

October 20, 2009

The submission deadline is fast approaching and we are excited to receive your work!

As a reminder, projects should be portrait formatted on a 36″x24″ sheet (we have decided to require portrait formatting for consistency) and mounted on foamcore. This hard copy should be delivered to the Sculpture Center by 5PM this Friday, October 23rd.

Also, On Saturday, October 31st at 3 PM we will be holding a roundtable discussion on the work featured at the event moderated by Post’s Michael Abrahamson.

Again, thank you for your interest and participation. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm generated by the call for entries and hope to see a similar level of excitement at the opening Friday, October 30th at The Sculpture Center’s Euclid Avenue Gallery.

Please Address Entries:

All You Can Eat

The Sculpture Center

1834 E. 123rd Street

Cleveland, OH 44106

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