Kicking off just before the Super Bowl is a lecture by Aaron Betsky entitled Blob Utopia: Digital Destiny or Aesthetic Escape?, part of the Art Lecture Series at Mills College. Betsky taught the visiting professor studio at UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) I took back when he was the Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects at SFMoMA. The studio was a refreshing change from the dominance of New Urbanist thinking prevalent within SARUP at the time. Betsky challenged us to view the suburban landscape of sprawl not as a spatial condition that needed re-form, but as the physical manifestation of modernity and the milieu to which architects must give meaning and coherence.
After SFMoMA, Betsky went on to head the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. A few years ago, he became director of the Cincinnatti Art Museum, likely in large part because of the opportunity to build a new museum. Since then, the museum sponsered an invited competition and hired Neutelings Ridijk Architects (Rotterdam Shipping and Transport College building pictured above) to design what will be their first U.S. building.
Betsky is also the author of numerous architectural monographs and books on design, the best of which is False Flat: Why Dutch Design is so Good. The lecture is at 3:00 pm on Sunday, in the Danforth Lecture Hall of the Art Building at Mills College.