When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM THURSDAY, JULY 9
Where: At The Center
The prestigious Emerging Voices award was created in 1982 by The Architectural League of New York to showcase the work of early- to mid-career North American architects. Each year, through an invited competition, a jury selects practitioners or firms with a significant body of realized work that represents the best of its kind and has the potential to shape the future of architecture and landscape design.Thirty Years of Emerging Voices documents and critically assesses the first three decades of the League's Emerging Voices program. Essays by Reed Kroloff, Ashley Schafer, and Karen Stein and concise observations by leading critics, architects, and historians complement the presentation of work from the nearly 250 individuals and firms that have been selected for the program. Thirty Years of Emerging Voices is an ideal lens through which to interpret the last several decades of dynamic change in North American architectural design and practice.
Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York
Reed Kroloff, Principal, jones|kroloff
Anne Rieselbach, Program Director, The Architectural League of New York
Ashley Schafer, Associate Professor of Architecture, Knowlton School, Ohio State University
Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee and The Architectural League of New York
Price: Free for AIA and The Architectural League of New York members, and students with valid student ID; $10 for non-members
Oculus Book Seller: McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212.274.1160
OpenStudios: Emerging Voices
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Open House New York and the Architectural League of New York invite you to OpenStudios: Emerging Voices, an unprecedented opportunity to visit the studios of more than forty of the most inventive and exciting design practices working in the city today. OpenStudios: Emerging Voices is a self-guided walking tour. Each ticket holder will be given a map of all participating studios at registration and may visit sites in any order during the hours that they are open; Midtown Manhattan and Queens studios will open from 10am-1pm, and Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn studios from 1-5pm. More detailed information about location and opening hours will be available at registration. Architects and engineers will be on hand at each studio to answer questions and discuss the firm’s work.
CALL FOR PAPERS
OLFACTION and Preservation
Special issue co-edited by Adam Jasper and Jorge Otero-Pailos
Deadline September 30th, 2015
Future Anterior invites essays that explore the relationship between olfaction and preservation from historical, theoretical and critical perspectives. We seek scholarly papers that take stock of the recent surge of interdisciplinary research on olfaction and speculate on its relevance and impact on the practice of preservation.
Whether deodorized or artificially scented, the olfactory signature of historic buildings is rarely haphazard. Yet the conscious practice of altering smells in order to influence how visitors experience heritage is rarely subjected to serious scholarly scrutiny. In part this might be due to the fact that most preservationists lack training in olfaction. This deficiency is arguably cultural and as old as preservation itself. In 1857 the English polymath George William Septimus Piesse wrote: “Of the five senses, that of smelling is the least valued, and, as a consequence, is the least tutored; but we must not conclude from this, our own act that it is of insignificant importance to our welfare and happiness.” Piesse was writing during a period in which miasmatic theories of disease transmission held sway. He believed training the nose was useful for detecting disease-carrying airs. Whereas the 18th and 19th centuries had a horror of the effects of the stagnation of air, in contemporary hygiene aesthetics, the sterile separation of spaces via glass and ceramic tiles is privileged. To what extent can historical case studies of public beliefs (justified or not) regarding odor, hygiene and disease inform an understanding of interior space, and its concomitant implications for architectural preservation?
Today, we think of the uses of olfaction more in terms of enhancing memory and recollection, as advances in neuroscience have taught us that the region of the brain that processes smell is the limbic system, which is directly linked to the hippocampus and the amygdala, where emotions are registered and memories stored. The powerful connection between smell, memory, and emotions encouraged preservationists to experiment with scenting historic sites in the 1980s. A pioneering example is the Jorvik Viking Center in York, England, designed by John Sunderland, who conceptualized smell as a central element of what he called “time warp experiences.” Papers may examine the history, successes and failures of olfactory design in preservation projects. To what degree did the introduction of manufactured smells as part of historic buildings reinforce or challenge previous conceptions of preservation? For example, how could the focus on smell inflect debates about the authenticity of historic buildings?
Papers might also consider whether the construction of smells can be thought of as part of the history of building technology, and the modern pursuit of the well tempered and attractively scented environment. Whether deceitful or not, the reality is that we are in the midst of an explosion in the use of unique fragrances in branded spaces, such as luxury hotels or retail spaces. How can we square off the experimental preservation uses of smell with the wider contemporary trend to scent commercial environments?
The scenting of historic sites can be, and often is, dismissed as a gimmick to attract more visitors. Papers can examine why historically smell has been so easily employed or construed as a deceitful lure. If the low evidentiary value attributed to smell is due to the difficulty in objectifying or documenting it, this status should change. It is now possible to document the smells of contemporary buildings and to archive them along with more traditional records such as photographs and architectural drawings. A transformative moment in the history of smell technology was Roman Kaiser’s invention of Headspace in the 1970s, which automated the field documentation of smells, and made it possible to artificially emulate practically any smell.
What standards should this emerging documentary practice follow? What schemata are available for the categorization of historic smells? The language of smell is here a central concern. The description of smells proceeds entirely via euphemism. As Kant wrote in Reflexionen zur Anthropologie, “all the senses have their own descriptive vocabularies, e.g. for sight, there is red, green, and yellow, and for taste there is sweet and sour, etc. But the sense of smell can have no descriptive vocabulary of its own. Rather, we borrow our adjectives from the other senses, so that it smells sour, or has a smell like roses or cloves or musk. They are all, however, terms drawn from other senses. Consequently, we cannot describe our sense of smell.” Would it be appropriate to categorize the smell of historic buildings according to their visual styles (eg. Gothic, Barroque, Neo-classical, Art Deco, Modernist, etc)?
Within flavors and fragrance companies, "fragrance wheels"—in which families of smells are arranged in an analog of the spectrum of visible colors—are often used as mnemonic and communicative devices. Other schemes array scents on musical scales, or in n-dimensional space. We also have taxonomies of scents from Carl Linnaeus (1756), Zwaardemaker (1895), Crocker and Henderson (1927), and Jellinek (1951), amongst many others. The enormous variety of such representations, which may be indispensable in the effective communication of olfactory experience, attests to their current insufficiency. What developments are to be expected on this front? Can the conventional language of smell be satisfactorily formalized for professional preservation use?
In recent years, studies of the smells of decomposing materials point to a promising new form of non-destructive testing for historic architecture, and a new science of “material degradomics.” Exemplary applications include the “Heritage Smells!” project led by Lorraine T. Gibson, which analyzes the gases emitted by heritage objects to establish their state of decay. The ambitious project involves scientists and conservators from the British Museum, the University of Strathclyde, University College London, the National Records of Scotland, English Heritage and the British Library. What are the current limits to, and the necessary preconditions for the technological study of olfaction for architectural preservation? What new possibilities are offered by corpus analysis, data mining and other research techniques in the digital humanities in determining historical perceptions and theories of smell? How can these techniques best be disseminated, applied and critiqued?
Papers might examine the long history that precedes the current interest in measuring decomposition through smell. One interesting precedent is the Henning Odor Prism, or Henning Olfactory Prism (1915–1916). While scents may have much in common, according to the Henning prism they differentiate themselves from each other in their odor profile during decomposition. The Henning Prism therefore suggests the possibility of charting “smell trajectories,” that is, the characteristic changes in smell as a perfume’s volatile top note lifts to reveal its middle and base note, as a fruit ripens, or as an organic product undergoes metabolic decomposition. What are the prospects for developing an understanding of how the smell of a building will naturally change over time?
We also welcome papers that examine the relationship between olfaction and urban preservation. From the characteristic odors of the Renaissance city, through the great stenches of London and Paris in the nineteenth century, to the rise in synthetic deodorants in the twentieth, the smell of the historical city undergoes change. As Rudolph el-Khoury writes in Polish and Deodorize, "Urban historians have indeed spoken of a Copernican revolution in the Enlightenment's conception of a city. Beauty, once the governing principle of urbanism, is claimed to have been overthrown by health, hygiene and physiology". In particular, the public fear of disease engendering miasmas, and more specifically the telluric emanations of interior walls, had a significant impact on both urban planning (Haussmann’s sewers) and interior architecture (in particular wallpaper) in 18th century France. To what extent is the sense of smell, our tolerance of certain odors, its thresholds and affective categories, also historically determined?