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Jeffrey M. Kipnis

  • Professor, Architecture Section
221 Knowlton Hall

Jeffrey Kipnis is a professor of architecture at the Knowlton School where he teaches courses on architectural design and theory. For more than two decades, Kipnis’ work has shaped the thinking, imagination and creative work of architects and critics. From seminal studies of the work of such key practitioners as Philip Johnson, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind, to theoretical reflections on the intellectual, cultural and political role of contemporary architecture in such essays as “Toward a New Architecture,” “Twisting the Separatrix” and “Political Space I,” to exhibitions on architectural drawing and design, Kipnis has brought a restless, generous and provocative originality to bear on the issues that have defined contemporary architecture.

Kipnis’ writings on art and architecture have appeared in such publications as Log, Hunch, Harvard Design Magazine, Quaderns, 2G, El Croquis, Art Forum, Assemblage, and his books include Choral Works: The Eisenman-Derrida collaboration, Perfect Acts of Architecture, and The Glass House. As architecture/design curator for the Wexner Center for the Arts, he organized the design survey, “Mood River” with co-curator Annetta Massie, and “Suite Fantastique,” a compilation of four exhibitions: “Perfect Acts of Architecture,” “The Furniture of Scott Burton,” “The Predator” – a collaboration between Greg Lynn and Fabian Marcaccio, and “Imaginary Forces” – Motion Graphics. His film, “A Constructive Madness,” produced in collaboration with Tom Ball and Brian Neff, looks at the architect Frank Gehry’s work on the un-built but seminal Peter Lewis house project.

Recent Work

A Question of Qualities

Jeffrey Kipnis’s writing, thinking, and teaching casts architecture as both an intellectual discourse and a lived, affective experience. His essays on contemporary architects are less about making critical judgments than about explication, exegesis, and provocation. In these eleven essays, written between 1990 and 2008, he considers projects, concepts, and buildings by some of the most recognized architects working today, with special attention to the productions of affect. He explores “intuition” in the work of Morphosis, “exhilaration” in Coop Himmelb(l)au, “freedom” in the work of Rem Koolhaas and OMA, “magic” in Steven Holl’s buildings, and “anxiety” in Rafael Moneo’s writing about contemporary architecture.