Recently, Inform Magazine had the opportunity to interview speakers from the Virginia Design Forum X about their work and their philosophies. The bi-annual event organized by the Virginia Committee on Design will take place on March 16-17, 2012, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
It is often said that beauty is only skin deep, and yet striking — sometimes astonishing — façades are quickly becoming a device to charm developers, funders, and the public alike. Clients are beginning to understand what architects have long known: innovative building skins can be used to woo investors and buyers for commercial projects as well as funders for museums and universities. Because apparently impossible structures jar us out of our everyday pursuits and force us to contemplate the built-environment, unusual façades generate a tremendous amount public interest in contemporary architecture as well. But more than just a potential selling point, building skins are evolving as new computer technologies, new materials and new societal behaviors are changing the perception of architecture. As architecture is functioning more as a synthetic organism working within its surrounding ecosystem, more literal comparisons are being made between biological skins and built skins, and thus the topic for the tenth bi-annual Virginia Design Forum was born.
The Virginia Society AIA has assembled some of the world’s most acknowledged experts on building skins to speak at the upcoming tenth Virginia Design Forum: SKINS in Charlottesville on March 16 and 17, 2012. Registration is open.
About the speakers:
Kim Herforth Nielsen, MAA, RIBA of 3XN, Copenhagen
Kim Herforth Nielsen is founder and principal of 3XN. He graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture in 1981 and was one of three founders of 3XN in 1986 (all with the surname Nielsen). He has been involved in all the practice’s major projects, including The Blue Planet, Kubus in Berlin, Museum of Liverpool, Ørestad College, Muziekgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam, the Danish Embassy in Berlin, and the Architects’ House in Copenhagen. Often called upon as a jury member in international architectural competitions, and as lecturer at art academies and universities around the world, Nielsen is also a Knight of Dannebrog and has received Denmark’s highest architectural honor, the C.F. Hansen Medaille.
Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA, of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Los Angeles
Since LOHA’s inception in 1990, founder and principal Lorcan O’Herlihy has sought opportunities to engage the operative layers of the urban landscape with respect to spatial, sensory, and experiential information. In 2004, the Architectural League of New York selected O’Herlihy as one of eight Emerging Voices. His firm has garnered 42 national and international awards including 17 AIA Design Awards. He has taught and lectured extensively over the last decade, including the Architectural Association in London, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, Columbia University, New York, and the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., among others. Previously, Lorcan worked at Kevin Roche/John Dinkeloo & Assoc. on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at I.M. Pei and Partners on the celebrated Grande Louvre Museum in Paris, and as an associate at Steven Holl Architects, where he was responsible for several project, including the award-winning Hybrid Building in Seaside, Fla., which received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Marc Simmons, Front Inc., New York City
Marc Simmons, a founder of the New York-based façade-engineering and-design consultancy firm Front Inc., is a faculty member at the Princeton University School of Architecture and holds both a bachelor of environmental studies and professional BArch degrees from the University of Waterloo, Canada. His specialist façade knowledge and experience in custom curtainwall and hybrid cladding system design is built upon previous work at Foster and Partners, Meinhardt Façade Technology, and the structural glass and façade consulting group at Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners in New York.
Lisa Iwamoto of IwamotoScott Architecture, San Francisco
Lisa Iwamoto received her MArch from Harvard University, and a BS in Structural Engineering from the University of Colorado. She has worked as a Structural Engineer at Bechtel Corporation, and Architectural Designer at Schwartz Silver Architects, Thompson and Rose, and Architectural Intern at Morphosis. She previously taught at the University of Michigan where she was a Muschenheim Fellow, and Harvard University. Currently she is an Assistant Professor at University of California Berkeley where her design research concentrates on the perceptual performance of material and digital fabrication techniques.