Anthony Vidler Is Clarkson Chair in Architecture

Release Date: April 6, 2006

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Anthony Vidler is an internationally recognized scholar, theorist and critic of modern and contemporary architecture widely known for his essays on the most pressing debates in the field today.

Dean and professor of architecture at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union since 2002, Vidler has brought much lucidity to the debate surrounding the reconstruction of 9/11's Ground Zero.

The week of April 10, he will be in residence at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning as the 2006 Will and Nan Clarkson Visiting Chair in Architecture.

Vidler will present a series of seminars during the week under the theme, "Toward a New Architecture (School): Five Agendas for Architectural Education."

At 5:30 p.m. on April 12, he will deliver the 2006 Will and Nan Clarkson Lecture in Architecture. The free lecture, "Rethinking the Discipline of Architecture: The University and the Profession," will be held in 301 Crosby Hall on the UB South (Main Street) Campus.

Mehrdad Hadighi, chair of the UB Department of Architecture, says Vidler will address the expanding field of architecture in a global, urbanizing economy, as well as new technologies of design and construction.

"He also will speak to the demands for the conservation of world resources, address questions about the nature and role of history and theory, and the need for new social and cultural ethics of the discipline, all of which challenge the present educational structures of architectural schools," says Hadighi.

"During his Clarkson week," he says, "Vidler will offer four seminars to the students and faculty and present one public lecture that we hope will encourage a debate on how education can respond to the radically new conditions of contemporary practice through the rethinking of content and method in schools of architecture."

Vidler's scholarly work extends from his specialization in 18th- and 19th-century French architectural history (with emphasis on Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, a revolutionary architect) to modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism in theory and in practice.

His books include "The Writing of the Walls: Theory and Design in the Late Enlightenment," the prize-winning "Claude-Nicolas Ledoux: Architecture and Society in the Ancien Regime," "The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely" and "Warped Space: Art, Architecture and Anxiety in Modern Culture," which was nominated as one of the best books of the decade by The Art Book Journal.

From 1993-2001 he was professor and chair of the Department of Art History at UCLA, with a joint appointment in the School of Architecture starting in 1997.

He also served as dean of the College of Art, Architecture and Planning at Cornell University (1997-98) and before joining the faculty of UCLA was an 18-year member of the faculty of the Princeton University School of Architecture. There, he served as director of the Program in European Cultural Studies, and from 1990-93 as the William R. Kenan Jr. Chair of Architecture.

He is a fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City, where he directed the popular public lecture series "Open Plan," and was an editor of the journals Oppositions and Skyline.

He has received numerous honors and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities and a Getty Scholar's Fellowship.

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