30TH ANNUAL NE/SAH Student Symposium
Stubbins Room
 Graduate School of Design
March 15, 2008, 9:30 AM

9:30 a.m. Coffee and refreshments

10:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions, Milda Richardson, NE/SAH President

Jennifer Mack, NE/SAH Symposium Organizer


SESSION 1: Sacred Domesticities

10:10 a.m. “A Bohemian Monastery; the Last Bishop of Prague and the Monastery of Augustinian Canons at Roudnice on the Elbe”

 ALICE KLIMA, History of Art and Architecture, Brown University

Roudnice monastery was founded in 1333 by the bishop of Prague, John of Drazice IV (1301-1343), after an eleven-year stay in the papal city of Avignon. This paper will consider Roudnice as an example of architectural patronage and national identity in fourteenth century central Europe.

Archival sources, such as the Franti􀀃ek Chronicle, relate two thus far unexplained phenomena at the Roudnice monastery; first, the bishop imported a French mason to work at Roudnice, and second, the bishop requested that only Czechs whose mother and father spoke Czech be admitted to the new monastery. The request for Czech speakers at the monastery has been interpreted as a sign of Czech nationalism and a strengthening opposition to the German population in Bohemia. There is, however, little evidence that national identity was connected to language use in the medieval period. My discussion of the architectural context of the monastery will show that sources and workmanship at Roudnice were primarily local. The bishop’s political and personal motivations, however, which include the elevation of Prague to an archdiocese, will place the wish for French architecture and Czech monks in a new context.


Al ice Klima holds a BA from Lake Forest College and an MA in Art History from University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Currently she is completing her dissertation titled, “The Last Bishop of Prague and the Foundation of Roudnice, a Monastery of Augustinian Canons at on the Elbe, Bohemia,” at Brown University in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. The research for her dissertation was supported by a Fulbright Grant to the Czech Republic. As a Czech native, she is most interested in medieval Bohemian architecture, monastic culture, and issues of nationality and identity.

10:30 a.m.

 “Old Fragments in New Houses: The Salvage and Re-Use of Architectural  Elements at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House”

 CASEY HORNA, Preservation Studies Program, Boston University

This paper will examine the use of architectural salvage by Isabella Stewart Gardner and Henry Davis Sleeper in their respective homes, Fenway Court and Beauport, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While a lack of documentation and provenance information on the architectural fragments in the two collections has likely prohibited serious study of this topic in the past, recent academic research pertaining to architectural salvage and material culture suggests, however, that it is still possible to analyze if not the movement, the subsequent re-use of salvages in historic house museums. Fenway Court and Beauport have traditionally been described as chaotic assemblages, or romantic interiors, but further study may suggest that these two early historic house museums are part of a broader group of such houses in Europe and the United States, hitherto unidentified as a collection.

 Casey Horna is a first year MA student in the Preservation Studies Program at Boston University, where she is also working toward a Certificate in Museum Studies. After graduating from Boston University with degrees in Archaeology and American History, Casey moved to Virginia, where she worked in cultural resource management and as the Archaeology Education Specialist for the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project at Historic Jamestowne. Casey studied vernacular architecture at the College of William & Mary, which led her to pursue further graduate studies in historic preservation as a means of combining interests in historical archaeology, architectural history, and material culture.

 10:50 a.m.

 “Dwelling, Religious Discourse, and the Space of Modern Iran”

 PAMELA KARIMI, The Aga Khan Program/HTC, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

During the reign of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1979), Iran changed dramatically, buoyed by its oil resources and American financial support. President Truman’s Point IV Program for Iran (1946-1967) established home economics programs and housing developments directed and designed by American specialists. American aid pushed Iranians into a new space, in both a concrete and abstract sense. “What is going on in Iran,” said President Johnson in 1964, “is about the best thing going on anywhere in the world.” These changes to home life and broader society were not imported wholesale without modification. Religious scholars of the Pahlavi period struggled to update traditional Shiite ethics of home life and hygiene to curb the influence of Western standards that were widely disseminated. This paper looks at how in the two decades preceding the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the private realm became associated not only with “progress” and “Westernization,” but also raised questions about what defined “authentic” Shiism at a time of ongoing change.

Pame la Kar imi holds two Master’s degrees in architecture and comparative cultural and literary studies. She is now a PhD candidate in the Aga Khan Program at MIT. A recipient of fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the American Association of University Women, her dissertation considers the transformation of residential architecture vis-à-vis gender relations and consumer culture in post-WWII Iran. She has contributed to various publications including Bidoun: Art and Culture from the Middle East, Persica: Uitgave van het Genootschap Nederland-Iran, Art Journal, Thresholds, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Arab Studies Journal, and The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Currently she teaches a survey of Islamic art and architecture at Brandeis University’s Department of Fine Arts.

11:10 a.m. Discussion

11:25 a.m. Break

 SESSION 2: Scales and Sentiments

 11:45 a.m.

 “Working towards the Supermedium: Loudspeakers, Laser Beams, and Architecture”

 OLGA TOULOUMI, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

In the second architectural convention of Japan organized within the festivities of the Expo ’70 in Osaka, the architect-in-chief, Kenzo Tange, called on architects to reflect on the transition to an “information communications society.” Among the first to take up the challenge were two composers, Toru Takemitsu and Karlheinz Stockhausen: Stockhausen, representing his homeland, in the design of the West Germany Pavilion auditorium and Takemitsu in the design of the Iron and Steel Pavilion auditorium. To incorporate the sonic and visual attributes of the multimedia spectacles in the design was one task; to act as a sort of hyper-brain, an extended nervous system, for the audience was another one. Apart from the philology surrounding the intentions and programmatic statements, architects, engineers, artists, industries and the two composers came together to ask architecture to become the supermedium for an assumed universal subjectivity. How the architectural product finally worked, whether the programmatic inquiry was fulfilled, and what kind of subjectivity was assumed, constitute the questions I will reconsider in my presentation.

Olga Touloumi holds a professional degree in architecture from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Master of Science in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture from MIT. Her general interest is in the history of architectural theory and the fields that have informed it, with a particular focus on questions of interdisciplinarity, subjectivity and theorizations of the field. Currently, Olga explores the notion of space through developments in musical composition and performance in the avant-garde music scene of the 20th century, the history of sound technologies and acoustics. Her research focuses on the concept of “ambience” in architectural, musical and art production of the 60’s and the 70’s.

12:05 p.m.

“Bridge Buildings”

CORINA PADURARU, School of Architecture, Northeastern University

The concept of bridge buildings extends beyond the idea of connecting two points in the landscape. This presentation will focus on a typological study that identifies what we call bridge building and is mainly a work in progress and opens to more suggestions. I will present several types of bridge buildings, such as: bridges as meeting places, as secure passages, bridges as buildings, bridges as protective buildings, as transition points, and bridge buildings as structural, in order to show a different points of viewing a bridge building. Throughout history, bridges developed their functions according to the needs required at that time. Even from the medieval times, bridge buildings expressed strong concepts that shaped the functions that occupiedthe entire length of the bridge. Some bridge buildings were destined for gathering spaces, for security purposes, others for commercial use, or military use. In the medieval times bridge buildings constituted a defense strategy by enclosing passages for people to pass through without being attacked. Covered passages served for both cars and people. Nowadays the focus of the bridge buildings is to show the structural characteristics present in the design of bridge buildings. Bridge buildings, being group into different typological classifications, can be considered as extending the main idea of a bridge, which is to connect two points in the landscape.

Corina Paduraru is an international student from Romania and is currently a senior undergraduate student at Northeastern University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Architecture. The knowledge that she has gained in her field was not only formed while taking classes but also from cooperative experience. Her co-op experience started with Graphisoft U.S. Inc, and followed with an internship with design LAB Architects. Her third cooperative experience was at Elkus-Manfredi Architects, where she is still working part-time. She also participated in a study-abroad program in 2006, which took place in Rome. After graduation in May 2008, Corina plans to attend a Master’s degree to further advance her knowledge in the field.

12:25 p.m.

“City and Countryside: Ian McHarg’s Urban Imagination”

 KATHLEEN JOHN-ALDER, School of Architecture, Yale University

Ian McHarg’s seminal study of ecological planning, Design with Nature, published in 1969, is commonly associated with the rear cover of the book -an image of the earth patterned with swirling white clouds. Over time, this association has resulted in the misperception that his classic study of ecological planning is concerned with the preservation of wilderness – those areas of the earth free of human habitation. However, the front cover of Design with Nature, which depicts a glowing solar image blemished only by the silhouette of a city skyline, tells a different story. This image suggests that McHarg’s concern was not just limited to wilderness preservation but also included a middle landscape, where man and nature, technology and wilderness co-exist. The intent of my paper is to look at the juxtaposition of the front and rear cover images. In particular, I argue that McHarg was personally and intellectually invested in towns and cities. Yet, his image of the city skyline is murky and indeterminate. It is hard to tell if the city is actively emerging or in entropic decay. The ambiguity is indicative of a certain state of anxiety in McHarg himself concerning the existing state of the city. Moreover, other members of the contemporaneous urban design community generally shared McHarg’s urban anxiety. The intent of my essay is to trace the source of McHarg’s skyline anxiety, placing it within the context of a larger dialogue about urbanism, ecology and the form of the mid-twentieth century American city.

Kathleen (Kate) John-Alder, MS, ASLA, is a landscape architect currently on sabbatical from practice to receive a Master’s in Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture. Ms. John-Alder’s project experience includes the J.P. Getty Museum, the Washington Monument, Silvercup Studios, and a master plan for Greenwich Street South in New York City. As an Associate Partner, at Olin Partnership, Kate led Olin’s entry with Richard Rogers and Partners in the competition for Orange County Great Park, which was co-winner in the initial design jury phase of the project. Kate’s area of academic interest is landscape representation. Her thesis involves a critical interpretation of Ian McHarg and his seminal contributions to regional planning and urbanism.

 12:45 p.m. Discussion