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Exhibition - Master of Architecture II Thesis Exhibition: What Is Contemporary? at Cooper Union

Arts and Entertainment

September 9, 2019

From: The Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science and Art

What Is Contemporary?

To work through a design thesis is to ask the process of creation, to steer, divert, reflect, and problematize an initial set of questions. A thesis project does not seek to conclusively answer these questions which set it on its way; in the most exemplary instances, it resolves itself into a different set of questions informed by the labor and objects of design. This requires knowledge, research, and experimentation in order to establish a position within a discipline's discursive framework. Furthermore, a thesis must engage the pressing issues of one's time. It must ask; What is it to be contemporary?

This is a complex question. Deciding when the contemporary began depends on the issue under discussion. In a certain sense, we may all agree that we are contemporaries, yet disagree completely on what the key issues are defining our shared moment. The process of establishing an architectural thesis by necessity takes a stand on how, when, and why a discipline focuses its attention on one set of issues instead of another. The hope is that in asking these questions a critical discourse can be sparked, leading us to reevaluate assumptions regarding what is contemporary.

The seven thesis projects explore salient ideas of the contemporary in the discipline of architecture. They cover topics such as redefining the relationship between reality and rendering, questioning the plausible degrees of non-synthesis between architectural representations, developing collective sentient apparatuses for experiencing electromagnetic spectrum, blurring boundaries between air and architecture through experiments with translucency, living in symbiosis with plastics, questioning the screen as building facade, and interrogating the familiar by manipulating the architectural background.

The 2019 Master of Architecture II Graduate Thesis Design Studio is taught by professors Michael Young and Anna Bokov.

Exhibition Date: September 10, 2019 - September 27, 2019

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12-7pm

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Location: Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor, between Third and Fourth Avenues

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