Architecture is a Provocation

Spike Wolff

Spike Wolff is Curator of the School of Architecture Lecture Series and Executive Director and Curator of the wats:ON? Festival Across the Arts. Spike holds a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.



The nature of architecture is itself ambiguous. Architecture, as physic, a noun, is that of a constructed object; fixed, static, and enduring, the material reality of a building. Architecture, as metaphysic, a verb, is that of the state of the idea; fluid, alive, and in flux, the dynamic experience of the individual. Adroitly duplicitous, architecture straddles the territory existing between the gravity of built form and the radical luminosity of its own critical deconstruction.

Architecture is changing. As the world, its technologies, and our cultures are rapidly and progressively evolving, so is the practice of architecture. The interests, influences, and investigations in current architectural practice are broad and unrestrained by the limits of convention or science. There exists a rich tradition of the discipline of architecture and also an unknown future, full of possibilities yet to be invented.

These lectures are strategically unstrategic. As architecture is a stealthily moving target, so the series is intentionally eclectic, reflecting the expansive diversity of the field. The lecture series provides both a measure of what is out there and a challenge to the divergent potentials of where architecture can go.1


1.    Editor’s note: This is the introduction to Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture Lecture Series, spring 2011, as written by Spike Wolff, curator of the series.