Frascari Symposium VI
Dr. Leatherbarrow has taught theory and design at UPenn since 1984, and before that at Cambridge University and the University of Westminster (formerly PCL) in England. He lectures throughout the world and has held honorary professorships in Denmark, Brazil, and China. In 2020, Dr. Leatherbarrow was awarded the Topaz Medallion, the highest award given by the AIA and ASCA for excellence in architectural education. In prior years, he was also the recipient of the Visiting Scholar Fellowship from the Canadian Center of Architecture (1997-98) and two Fulbright Fellowships. Books include: Building time: architecture, event, and experience, 20th Century Architecture, Three Cultural Ecologies (with R. Wesley), Architecture Oriented Otherwise, Topographical Stories, Surface Architecture (with Mohsen Mostafavi), Uncommon Ground, Roots of Architectural Invention, and On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time. His research focuses on history and theory of architecture, gardens, and the city.
Billie Tsien, AIA, is an architect and a founding partner with Tod Williams of the New York City-based studio Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners. The firm’s work is committed to reflecting the values of non-profit, cultural, and academic institutions through an architecture that is serene and enduring. Prominent examples include academic building projects at Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, Bennington College, and the University of California, Berkeley. Some of their public and institutional projects include the Phoenix Art Museum, the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, and the Lefrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. They have long collaborated with artists as part of their practice, recently as the exhibit designers for “Martin Puryear: Liberty/Libertà” representing the U.S. Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. The firm’s current work includes the renovation of the David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, the U.S. Embassy Complex in Mexico City, and the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
Tsien holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice at Yale University and contributes to a range of cultural institutions such as the Architectural League of New York, the National Academy of Design, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy in Rome and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, where she serves as president. Her work has been recognized with the Thomas Jefferson Medal Award in Architecture and the Architecture Firm Award of the American Institute of Architects, the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize, and the National Medal of Arts. Tsien is steadfast in her mission to create a better world through architecture and to contribute to supporting a broader and more diverse cultural landscape.
Following 25 years at the University of Manchester, where he was appointed Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology in 1995, he moved in 1999 to Aberdeen, where he established the UK’s newest Department of Anthropology, as well as directing the University’s strategic research theme on ‘The North’ (2011-17). He has carried out ethnographic fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland, and has written on comparative questions of environment, technology and social organization in the circumpolar North, as well as on the role of animals in human society, on issues in human ecology, and on evolutionary theory in anthropology, biology and history. From there, he went on to explore the links between environmental perception and skilled practice, with a view to replacing traditional models of genetic and cultural transmission with a relational approach focusing on the growth of embodied skills of perception and action within social and environmental contexts of development. In his more recent research, he has pursued three lines of inquiry that emerged from his earlier work, concerning the dynamics of pedestrian movement, the creativity of practice, and the linearity of writing. These all came together in a project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (2005-08), entitled ‘Explorations in the comparative anthropology of the line’. He has subsequently taught and written on a series of issues on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. From 2013 to 2018 he directed the project ‘Knowing From the Inside: Anthropology, Art, Architecture and Design’ (2013-18), with funding from the European Research Council. He retired from the University in 2018, but continues to research and writes as an independent scholar.