Massie presents second Harrison Lecture on ‘Surface’

September 18th, 2012 Comments Off on Massie presents second Harrison Lecture on ‘Surface’

William “Bill” Massie, architect in residence and head of the Department of Architecture at Cranbook Academy of Art, presented the second lecture in the Harrison Lecture Series on September 14.

Massie, who is visiting the School for the second time, discussed the idea of surface and presented a sampling of his work that focused on this idea.

The architect began his discussion of ‘surface’ by describing his ipad as a “minimalist box.”

“What’s really interesting,” he said, “is that’s it’s only a surface from an architecture standpoint. It’s all interior in a strange way, but all you can see is exterior.”

Massie then also showed a picture of the grass tennis court that is beside his house.

“I’m obsessed with the surface,” he said, going on to explain how he mows the grass every day to keep it at just over ¼-inch.

“The better the surface is,” Massie explained, “the more the surface goes away.” He later described how this idea works with reflections by showing images from one of his projects dealing with projection of light.

Massie said his first built thing was a concrete wall that was 70% stronger because he designed it with a curve.  He further demonstrated the idea to the audience by curving a sheet of paper.

Next, Massie discussed the idea of “visual rhyming.”

He explained how he tried to make a building in Montana look like the landscape but not be camouflaged – make the building “visually rhyme,” he said.

Massie went on to discuss projects where he experimented more with curvature and light.  He also described his designs that dealt with surface for a shower, kitchen, sink, and even his office in New York.

Massie finished the lecture by discussing the exhibit he created for his 2011 Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Massie described the exhibit, which played with surface, projection and lighting as, “My attempt at trying to construct surface and image into a new kind of way of making space.”

Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, presented Massie with a copy of BARNworks before everyone headed to a reception organized by Tau Sigma Delta.
The next lecture will be in collaboration with the Department of Art, Department of Communication and the Society for Photographic Education Conference.  Photographer Todd Hido will present a lecture in the McComas Theatre in McComas Hall at 4:30 p.m. on October 26.

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