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Geoffrey Von Oeyen / Geoffrey Von Oeyen Design

Gui Auditorium / Knowlton Hall
March 30, 2016 - 5:30pm

Geoffrey von Oeyen will present a lecture titled "Geoffrey von Oeyen Design: Site, Sight, and Sailing" in Knowlton Hall’s Gui Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The talk is free and open to the public.

Principal of Geoffrey von Oeyen Design and Principal/Partner of Von Oeyen Architects in Los Angeles, von Oeyen teaches and coordinates architectural design studios as a faculty member at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. In 2014, his design work was awarded the Architectural League Prize from the Architectural League of New York, which included an exhibition, lecture, interviews and a book by Princeton Architectural Press. He was also awarded a fellowship residency at The MacDowell Colony, during which he produced writings and drawings regarding his 2014 USC School of Architecture symposium, exhibition and workshop titled Performative Composites: Sailing Architecture.

From 2005 to 2011, von Oeyen was an Associate at Gehry Partners, LLP. During that time he played key roles in the design of several geometrically and technically complex, large-scale, culturally significant international projects, including the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la creation art museum in Paris, France, and the UTS Business School in Sydney, Australia.

In addition to USC, von Oeyen has taught at UC Berkeley, the Harvard University GSD and the University of Cambridge, and has lectured about his design work at the Harvard University GSD, the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley and Parsons The New School for Design.

Von Oeyen received his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he accepted the Faculty Design Award and Architecture Chair’s Letter of Commendation. Prior to attending the Harvard GSD, he was a US/UK Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he received his Master of Philosophy degree in the History and Philosophy of Architecture.

About "Geoffrey von Oeyen Design: Site, Sight, and Sailing"

Geoffrey von Oeyen Design, founded in Los Angeles, leverages geometric relationships and site conditions to create visual overlays for the spatial registration of place. Current professional projects serve as optical devices specifically adapted to represent familiar contexts in unanticipated ways, and are designed through a process that seeks to reframe and redirect views. Representing and transforming familiar typologies obliges Geoffrey von Oeyen to solve issues of daylight, space, and view as a source of recurring visual discovery. Perspectival alignments, geometric sequences, visual coincidences, shadow projections, daylight diffusion, erosion patterns, and other visual and material phenomena can be understood through an accretion of experiences in an around these projects over time, thus revealing spatial capacities latent in each design.

In parallel with his professional design work on the architectural constraints and opportunities of site and the visual construction of space, Geoffrey von Oeyen’s academic research is informed by a lifelong connection with sailing concepts and techniques. Since De architectura by Vitruvius, there have been essential interdisciplinary dependencies between architecture and naval architecture. And as Le Corbusier wrote in Vers un architecture that ocean liners revealed the design paradigms that should inform architecture in the twentieth century, von Oeyen posits that sailing is paradigmatic of what twenty-first century architecture can become. Sailboats mediate between dynamic site conditions and spatial needs in real-time, and they do so through geometrically constructed forms that are synthetically designed for multiple and simultaneous uses. The precise ways that sailboats relate to their site conditions at sea, and adapt to their site through use, are analogous to the multidimensional design strategies that leverage the architectural and urban conditions of site.