Selected Undergraduate Design Studio Projects--Design IV, Spring 2015

 

Professors Diane Lewis, Peter Schubert, Daniel Meridor, Daniel Sherer

CUTOUTS 2015

The Matisse Cutout exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in January of 2015. Having been given the position of continuing the Cutouts course in 1982, a course that was initiated by John Hejduk in 1975, the presence of the Matisse Cutouts in New York was clearly an opportunity for a new exploration on the essence of this studio approach at the outset of this semester. The entire studio teaching team agreed that the provocative cutouts in the exhibition carry an architectural character that also confronts color, sculptural form, iconography, and the challenge of penetrating form with the act of cutting and ripping painted paper elements on paper grounds or fields.

We wished to find out how the Cutouts inform the notational nuances of architectural language, to imbue a structure with the spirit, thought, and hand of its individual author.

We also wanted to discuss the nature of a religious or sacred building in the terms of contemporary art and abstraction, and the tradition of figural and iconographic imagery imbedded in the plans and sections of the church over centuries, as well as other religions and pagan structures.

The knowledge of how sacred buildings are and were sited by the architect in many civilizations, and the challenge of the abstract aspect of architectural language and its ability to carry these intentions and decisions is necessary to the project.

All of the studio participants and faculty began with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art to see the Matisse Cutouts exhibition to begin the studio semester. The exhibition included the Chapel at Venice that Matisse designed from the inspiration of the Cutouts he created.

The first Cutouts Project of 1974 as given by Hejduk was a list of the artists Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, Braques, Gris, Leger, Ingres, and the word HOUSE. The exhibition revealed the potential of the new component of study now - the CHAPEL as the program to be the outcome of the CUTOUTS.

With the challenge of this new component, the chapel, the studio was structured in three phases:

Select a Matisse Cutout as your inspiration.

Phase One: STILL LIFE/CUTOUT STUDY

Phase Two: RAISON D’ETRE FOR SITING A CHAPEL - SITE SELECTION AND SCALING

Phase Three:  THE CUTOUTS OF THE CHAPEL FROM THE INSIDE OUT

 

Projects & Links

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.