Nicholas de Monchaux – Church Lecture

Although presented at an accelerated rate, Monchaux’s breathless lecture portrayed his knowledge and work in an appropriate fashion. The first part of the lecture Monchaux presented the exhibit that he has recently become notable for, “Local Code”. Looking at San Francisco’s unaccepted / undocumented streets, the resurfacing of  unseen or forgotten nodes in San Francsico produced a thought-provoking exhibit that coincedentally helped give clarity to my current studio work. Moreover, Monchaux’s “Local Code” demonstrates a shift in the field of [landscape] architecture toward an awareness and understanding of emerging technologies. Specifically, as parametric modeling and GIS software is becoming more efficient than existing practices, “Local Code” demonstrates the positive applicability that these new technologies can accomplish, such as understanding space and quantifying vast, individual activities across sites into a singular database.

In the second half of the lecture, Monchaux thoroughly investigates the influences of today’s parametrics by investigating the life and work of Gordon Matta Clark. Although initially difficult to understand how the extensive recap connected to Monchaux’s own work in “Local Code”, I think that Matta Clark’s notion of being the “anti-architect” opened the field of architecture to an unconventional way of thinking about form and space. Thus, through this evolution in architecture brought forth by Matta Clark, eventually the way architects began to physically formalize these ideas give rise and prominence to the ways parametrics can effectively engage and answer these ideas/questions.

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