Exhibition Lecture | Joshua Ramus: Rethinking Flexibility

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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Image: Brown University Performing Arts Center – Providence, Rhode Island

Image: Brown University Performing Arts Center – Providence, Rhode Island

This presentation will be conducted in-person and through Zoom. Public attendance is limited to Zoom, please register in advance here.

Despite an increased need to accommodate change, contemporary architecture still relies on the antiquated modernist vision of flexibility: a blank slate (or white cube or black box) upon which any activity can occur. This approach has historically produced banal, sterile architecture, and the intellectual and economic costs to reconfigure these architectural tabula rasae have become prohibitive. New concepts of flexibility must, and can, be advanced.

The lecture will be introduced by Dean Nader Tehrani. Ted Baab will moderate the discussion that follows.

Image: Elizabeth Quay 1.0 (EQ 1.0) – Perth, Australia
Image: Elizabeth Quay 1.0 (EQ 1.0) – Perth, Australia

Joshua Ramus is the founding principal of REX, whose mission is to challenge and advance building paradigms and promote the agency of architecture. He is currently working on The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center; the Brown University Performing Arts Center in Providence; two mixed-use towers in Australia; the Necklace Residence on Long Island; and a virtual museum and performing arts space for Metapurse, which will “house” Beeple’s infamous NFT The first 5000 Days. Joshua’s belief that architecture should do things for its users and communities, and not simply be a representational art, was first applied to his design of the Seattle Central Library, which he led as a founding partner of OMA New York.

Joshua has been honored with the Action Maverick Award from the experimental performance company STREB and was the first American recipient of the international Marcus Prize. He has also been credited as one of: the “5 greatest architects under 50” by The Huffington Post; the world’s most influential young architects by Wallpaper*; the twenty most influential players in design by Fast Company; “The 20 Essential Young Architects” by ICON magazine; and the “Best and Brightest” by Esquire. His projects consistently receive the profession’s top awards and accolades. 

In addition to his current studio at The Cooper Union, Joshua has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, Syracuse University, and Yale University. An early member of the TED Advisory Board, he shared REX’s design methodologies at the TED2006 and TEDxSMU conferences. Joshua holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Yale University.

In-person attendance to the lecture is open to Cooper Union students, faculty, and staff in room 315F. Members of the public may attend through Zoom only. 

View the full Fall 2021 Lectures and Events List.

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