Rice Architecture: Fall 2018 Lecture Series, Tom Emerson
November 5, 2018
Fall 2018 Lecture Series
Conduct. How one comports oneself...how we convey intent... on a good day, how we affect our environs. Conduct is a notion that seems simple enough. It depends on something shared, something beyond our own demeanor, something bigger than ourselves. While it can be hard to grasp what is meant by good conduct, we have typically relied on something akin to "I know it when I see it," as put forth in Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's 1964 definition of obscenity. But what happens when we can no longer see or know good conduct? Does the obscenity of the moment – our moment – mean that codes of conduct have altogether vanished?
Architects are guided by particular codes of conduct. We don't necessarily agree about them, but they grant us a shared rudder, a means of navigating the swirling political, financial, environmental, ethical, and professional waters in which we swim. Rather than accept that codes of conduct have vanished, we have no choice as architects but to work with them, even if it means rewriting them. Because if we don't, architecture will vanish into the very same darkness that engulfs conduct writ large at the moment, a darkness that we can, and should, push back upon.
This fall's Rice Architecture public lecture series, which is joined to the school's Cullinan seminar, will take up architecture and conduct. We won't wallow in the repugnant conduct that surrounds us today. We'll do better. The four talks that comprise the Cullinan Conduct series – Kenneth Frampton, Ellen van Loon, Jack Self, and Tom Emerson, will focus instead on the possibilities of conduct. For practice, for culture, for cities, for history, for now, and for tomorrow.
Our promise: there will be good conduct at these events.
Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor
Founding Director, 6a Architects
Professor of Architecture at the ETH Department of Architecture, Zurich.
Cullinan Lecture and Seminar Series
Monday, November 5, 5:30 p.m.
Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall, Rice University
The Cullinan Lecture and Seminar Series is made possible through the generous support of the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund. For information regarding visitor parking, please visit parking.rice.edu. For more information on all lectures visit arch.rice.edu.
The Futures of the Archtiectural Exhibition Lecture Series is organized by Reto Geiser (Rice Architecture) and Michael Kubo (University of Houston). The lectures are part of a Rice University Humanities Research Center (HRC) Masterclass and are supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rice University Arts Initiative Fund.
The Rice Design Alliance 2018 Fall Lecture Series: Sharing is organized in collaboration with PLAT Journal, with generous funding provided by the Humanities Research Center and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' GradStarter program. The Rice Design Alliance is the public outreach arm of Rice Architecture. PLAT is the independent architectural journal published by the students of Rice Architecture. Learn more at ricedesignalliance.org and platjournal.com.
All events are free and open to the public.