Peel the plastic off your 2012 Moleskine, shuffle around your dinner dates, and make some room for free lectures from architecture and design’s key players, including Michel Rojkind and Jeanne Gang.
1 Peter Walker at University of California, Berkeley, on January 23
The founder of PWP Landscape Architecture, Walker has been building sustainable environments for 50 years. He most recently served as the co-designer of the National September 11th Memorial, working with architect Michael Arad to create the monument that was unveiled last September. UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, 30 Wurster Hall.
2 Michel Rojkind at SCI-Arc, Los Angeles, on January 25
Having recently completed Tori Tori, a three-storey Japanese restaurant in Mexico that features a double layer of CNC-cut steel, Rojkind touches down in L.A. to discuss interventions of architecture on a global scale. SCI-Arc, 960 East 3rd St.
3 Charles Waldheim at Yale University, New Haven, CT on January 26
Credited with coining “landscape urbanism” to describe new approaches to North American urban planning, Waldheim’s extensive (obsessive, almost) research into the urban fabric of Detroit and Chicago certainly makes him an expert on the topic. The last book he edited, The Landscape Urbanism Reader, is a compendium of essays discussing the organization of space in urban centres by such luminaries as James Corner and Julia Czerniak. Yale School of Architecture, 180 York St.
4 Fernando Romero at University of Toronto, on January 31
A former architect at Rem Koolhaas’ OMA, Romero unveiled the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City in 2011; the sparkling anvil-shaped museum was faced with reflective aluminum hexagons. The building houses a 70,000-piece art collection belonging to Romero’s father-in-law, Carlos Slim Helú – the world’s richest man. John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, 230 College St.
1 Jeanne Gang at University of Toronto, on February 7
Principal of the Chicago firm Studio Gang and a recently named MacArthur Fellow, Gang speaks at the University of Toronto as part of Bulthaup’s lecture series. Focusing on her award-winning Aqua Tower and Nature Boardwalk, she’ll discuss her research in materials and technology, as well as the natural and social sciences. John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, 230 College St.
2 Thom Mayne at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, on February 7
The Pritzker Prize–winner and founder of Santa Monica’s Morphosis sits down with Charles Waldheim to discuss Combinatory Urbanism, the title topic of Mayne’s newest publication. The book explores the firm’s projects (built and unrealized) that engage both architecture and urban planning. Among the unbuilt: a 21,000-hectare redevelopment proposal for post-Katrina New Orleans. Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA.
3 William Baker at Yale University, New Haven, CT, on February 16
In Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise scales the glass skin of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in an awe-inspiring action sequence. Who better to explain the structural wonder than Baker, the engineer who developed the skyscraper’s buttressed core for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Baker also worked on Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the sprawling roof for the Korean Air Lines Operations Hangar. Yale School of Architecture, 180 York St.
4 Billie Tsien at Tulane University, New Orleans, on February 27
One half of New York’s Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Tsien’s modus operandi maintains a bridge between art and architecture. This delicate approach is seen with the firm’s current revitalization of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, which combines the conservation of the historic site with a thoughtful new design. Tulane School of Architecture, 6823 Saint Charles Ave.