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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Architectural Happening: Diller and Scofidio, 1979-89

  • Author(s): Moon, Whitney Morgin
  • Advisor(s): Lavin, Sylvia
  • et al.

“The Architectural Happening: Diller and Scofidio, 1979-89” is a study of the early objects, installations, and performances generated by New York based architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. In the first decade of their practice, Diller and Scofidio carried out a series of material experiments to redefine the terms through which architecture was produced and experienced. Comprised of interactive objects, temporary installations, and stage sets for theatrical performances, these works demonstrated not only unconventional modes of architectural production, but re-engaged the discipline with concerns about the body, space, and time. Divided into three primary chapters – Object/Body, Installation/Space, and Performance/Time – this dissertation exposes the significance of these early projects, about which little scholarly attention has been previously paid, arguing that although not buildings, they had everything to do with architecture.

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