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Assembly Series

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McKelvey School of Engineering

Lecture: 'The Architecture of James Stirling'

Monday, November 16, 2020 | 6:00 PM

Virtual Event

Architect Robert Kahn will deliver an online lecture titled "The Architecture of James Stirling," presenting the work of the individual considered by many to be the greatest architect of the second half of the 20th century.

Freed of the dogma of rejecting what came before, all of history—from the high to the vernacular—was his to use. Stirling's gift was not simply to quote those sources but to manipulate them, void them of their original meaning, and intentionally misuse them in an effort to extend the modernist project. It is a view of Modernism that isn’t defined by "style" or ideology but rather by ideas and principles that extend from the ancient to the present day. His architecture is simultaneously serious and playful, classicist and modern. It is a collage of the old and the new, the ordinary and the canonical, in the pursuit of a practice that considers architecture as a form of art and ideas. Stirling was a modern mannerist and, as John Summerson called him, "Vitruvius Ludens," the architect at play.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts


Arts & Culture, Humanities & Society



Event Contact

Melissa Meinzer | mmeinzer@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Robert Kahn is a practicing architect based in New York City. He has taught design at Columbia University, Ohio State University, and Yale University, where he held the Davenport Chair Professorship. He recently taught a Theory of Architecture seminar at Washington University entitled “Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Read a Building.” In addition to his own work, Kahn collaborated on numerous projects with the artist Frank Stella.

Read the rest of Kahn's bio.

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