The Portland State School of Architecture recently kicked off a lecture series titled “Vs.” to address the role of competition in architecture. Each lecture is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Shattuck Hall Annex.
Juan Heredia, a professor at the PSU School of Architecture who was involved in planning the lecture series, said that competition is a very important term in the discipline.
“Architecture competitions are those things that sometimes make possible for a starting firm to emerge…but in a way, [there are] both minuses and pluses for competition,” Heredia said.
The series began on Oct. 16 with a presentation by architect Jenny Wu, who is known for finding experimental ways to work with materials, and combines digital or computer-like processes with handmade or analog processes, Heredia said.
The next event in the series will feature architectural critic Alejandro Hernández Gálvez on Nov. 13. Gálvez is known for his work on the democratization of architectural practice in Mexico City.
The final speakers in the series are international architect Adam Caruso on Jan. 22, and landscape architect and urban historian Alison B. Hirsch on Feb. 5.
Heredia said that Caruso is an internationally recognized figure who will bring an interesting perspective to the theme of competition because he has acquired a level of fame that allows him to choose clients very selectively.
Hirsch is of particular interest to the Portland community because of the local ties to her historical writing on landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, Heredia said.
Heredia encouraged all students to explore the lecture series, regardless of their previous knowledge of architecture.
“Architecture is a very public art, so it’s something that matters to all of us,” Heredia said.