Architecture speaker to discuss bamboo canopy creation

Kelsey Henninger

The last speaker of the spring architecture lecture series will speak tonight at 7 p.m. in the Michael Schwartz lecture hall.

Kelly Provot, co-organizer of the American Institute of Architecture Students spring lecture series, said award winning architect Mimi Hoang fit into the series because her work is more like design than architecture.

She captures design in her interiors, art installations and urban planning.

Jacob Chandler, president of AIAS, agreed, saying the theme is more “designers that do architecture” rather than just architects alone.

Hoang is most recognized for her firms’ nARCHITECTS temporary bamboo canopy, which won first prize in the MoMA P.S.1 Young Architects Program in 2004. Affiliated with The Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1 is one of the oldest and largest non-profit art centers in the United States.

The canopy of freshly cut green bamboo poles turned from green to tan over the summer as it sat in the courtyard of P.S.1. The canopy provided overhead shade, and the dips created various rooms and atmospheres for different modes of lounging.

Both Provot and Chandler hope Hoang will speak about the creation of the bamboo canopy because Jonathan Kurtz, who has taught a few semesters at Kent State, helped create the canopy.

“They (nARCHITECTS) have clean contemporary design, which pushes more of an academic agenda,” Chandler said. “It’s more a practical version of high design.”

He added that Hoang’s work isn’t really edgy.

The nARCHITECTS firm was founded in New York City by partners Hoang and Eric Bunge in 1999. Their work focuses on responsive and flexible design concepts for buildings, installations, exhibitions, interiors and public spaces.

“It’s hard to put (their work) in a category,” Provot said. “They don’t favor a certain aesthetic.”

Provot said she thinks the variable, “n”, promotes different possibilities for their work and doesn’t limit them in any way.

The organizers feel there is potential collaboration in the design community and that is why they have chosen the speakers they have.

“We tried to reel people in with a sculptor and a technical speaker before,” Chandler said. He hopes for a large turnout like last time.

The lecture is free to the public.

Contact College of Architecture and Environmental Design reporter Kelsey Henninger at [email protected].