The Knowlton School is pleased to announce Viola Ago and Galo Cañizares as 2018-19 Yessios Visiting Assistant Professors. The Fellowship provides a residency to investigate a specific project related to emerging digital fabrication tools and related technologies, to produce within the Fellowship period an exhibition and lecture concerning that work, and to develop their ideas in the context of teaching an architectural design studio and seminar.
Viola Ago is an architectural designer, educator and practitioner. Ago earned her Master of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University in Toronto. Ago was the recipient of the 2016-2017 William Muschenheim Design Fellowship at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. She is also a lecturer in architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and has previously taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Prior to joining Taubman in 2016, Ago worked as a lead designer in the Advanced Technology Team at Morphosis Architects and was involved in international design and construction projects.
Previously, her design work has focuses on methods of abstraction; generally privileging visual effects, the figure, and near figure moments, over form. More recently, Ago is using the digital surface to test opportunities and limitations offered by the relationship between precision and indeterminacy, and the relationship between the digital and the physical. She is concurrently interested in constructing an evaluative criteria for design work as it relates to current modes of digital environments and media culture.
Ago states that her residency project, Frictions, will explore methods of printing crafts, contemporary materials research, and three dimensional form, while operating as an experiment in digital fabrication. “The project has a simple premise; fuse contemporary printing processes with computationally aided fabrication methods to develop novel architectural surfaces,” she states. “The ambition of Frictions is to achieve an integrated system of visualization and fabrication.”
Ago is currently a member of the Scientific Committee for the 2018 ACADIA Conference. She has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, TxA Emerging Design + Technology Journal, Dimensions, Archinect, Sci-Arc Offramp, and most recently in the AD Architectural Design Magazine (forthcoming). Her design work has been exhibited at the Omi International Arts Center Architecture Field 01 in Ghent, the A+D Museum and WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles, CCA Hubbell Street Galleries in San Francisco, the Banvard Gallery at the Knowlton School of Architecture in Columbus, and the University of Michigan Taubman College Gallery in Ann Arbor.
Galo Cañizares was the Knowlton School's 2016-17 Howard E. LeFevre ’29 Emerging Practitioner Fellow. He holds a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before joining the Knowlton School, he taught at Syracuse University School of Architecture. Cañizares has worked as a designer in the offices of NADAAA, Kennedy & Violich, and Kyu Sung Woo.
In 2014, Canizares founded office ca, a research and design collaborative that investigates alternate methods for architectural practice. Some recurring themes of the practice include absurdity, genre fiction, conspiracy theories, world-making, storytelling, simulation, and most recently, the parafictional. As a LeFevre Fellow at the Knowlton School, he expanded on several of these themes in a series of happenings which revisited performance as a means of architectural re-presentation and investigation.
Cañizares states that his residency project, Ghosts and Machines, engages the realms of simulation and narrative to produce new viscous aggregates. “I propose to research the notion of the ‘ghost in the machine,’ as it relates to architectural software: what we might call design software’s ontic consciousness (to perhaps eschew the trite ‘ghost’ phrase),” states Cañizares. “The project could manifest itself in a variety of media, and I foresee continuing to explore simulation mediums in conjunction with fabrication tools to oscillate between soft(ware) and hard(ware) materials, or rather between simulated ghosts and simulated machines.”
Along with Knowlton School Lecturer Stephanie Sang Delgado (MARCH ’15), Cañizares won the sixth annual Ragdale Ring competition for their design, Noodle Soup. Open to the public in the summer of 2018, their interactive playscape for outdoor performances was a contemporary interpretation of the original Ragdale Ring garden theatre designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912.