UB 2008 Clarkson Chair Is Eminent Architect Kenneth Frampton

Release Date: February 29, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The 2008 Will and Nan Clarkson Visiting Chair in Architecture at the University at Buffalo will be the eminent British architect, critic and historian Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

The lecture, sponsored by the UB School of Architecture and Planning, will be presented at 5:30 p.m. March 26 in 301 Crosby Hall on the UB South (Main Street) Campus. A reception will follow.

Both will be free and open to the public

Frampton is best known for his writing on 20th-century architecture. Among his notable contributions to the literature is his defense of a version of modernism that looks to "critical regionalism," a term coined to describe architecture distinctive to a particular region; architecture that reflects its landscape, and built of materials that are local and distinctive to that region.

In his 1995 book "Studies in Tectonic Culture," he re-presented the entire tradition of modern architecture, employing the notion of tectonics to cast a critical light on the entire issue of modernity and the artistic limits of postmodernism by focusing on architecture as a constructional craft.

Frampton trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and has worked as an architect, critic and architectural historian -- he is a doyen of architectural history -- in England, Israel and the United States.

He has taught as a visiting professor in many schools of architecture worldwide, including the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands; the Eidgenosche Technische Hochschule in Switzerland, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and at the Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Frampton has written extensively and contributed to many international journals. He also is the author of such distinguished books as "Modern Architecture: a Critical History" (1980, updated and expanded in 2007), "Modern Architecture and the Critical Present" (1980), "American Masterworks" (1995), "Le Corbusier" (2002), "Labor, Work and Architecture" (2002) and important books on architects Alvaro Siza, Kenneth Meier, Steven Holl, Michael Hopkins, Robert Marino and others.

He has received numerous awards including the AIA National Honors Award (1985), the L'Academie d'Architecture Gold Medal (1987), Phi Beta Kappa Award (1987), the AIA New York Chapter Award of Merit (1988) and the ASCA Topaz Award (1990). He has received honorary doctorate degrees from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (1991), the University of Waterloo (1995) and California College of the Arts and Crafts (1999).

He and two fellow editors received nine 2001 Aga Kahn Architectural Awards for books they edited on architecture in the Islamic world in general and specifically in Iran (two books), Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Guinea, Malaysia and Morocco.

Frampton's "Intimations of Tactility: Excerpts from a Fragmentary Polemic," his observations on a range of concepts can be found at


The Clarkson Visiting Chair is an endowed visiting position awarded semi-annually to a distinguished scholar or professional in the disciplines of architecture, planning, and design. This award recognizes excellence in the pursuit of scholarship and professional application within these disciplines and is made possible by the generous support of Will and Nan Clarkson.

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