Mark Lee will be presenting the public lecture:

GENERIC SPECIFICITY – Five Points for an Architecture of Approximation

This will be held at 7pm on Monday, 23rd May 2011, Level 5 Architecture Studios* – Faculty of DAB (Building 6), 702 – 730 Harris St, Broadway 2007

*Note: change in venue previously advertised for Level 3 room 322 – venue is now back to Level 5 Architecture Studios.

An architecture of approximation provides a methodology which assimilates local typologies, geographies, construction methods, symbols, traditions, and language as means to approximate global form. On a building scale, typologies and iconographies specific to the local context are deployed as a form of departure. Through processes of abstraction and adaptation, the indigenous spaces are translated into a state of equilibrium – suspended between being specific and generic, between something which is familiar and foreign. On an urbanistic scale, generic volumes are used as a basic building block. Through processes of agglomeration, the primitive volumes are combined to approximate the specificities of the local urban context, creating a state which hovers between vernacular indeterminacy and typological specificity.

Mark Lee is the principal of Johnston Marklee & Associates. The Los Angeles-based firm has been engaged in a range of institutional, residential, and commercial commissions in California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and New Mexico as well as in China, Argentina, Portugal, and Italy since the office opened in 1998. Adopting an interdisciplinary design approach in exploring emergent design strategies and solutions for architecture and urbanism, Johnston Marklee has received several awards, including the 2002 Progressive Architecture Design Award, the 2004 and 2006 AIA Los Angeles Honor Awards, the 2007 Merit Award from the AIA California Council, the 2007 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum, the Honor Award from the Westside Urban Forum, the Design Award Citation from the AIA Los Angeles and P/A Awards from Architecture Magazine.

Combining his academic and design expertise, Mark Lee conducts speculative research based on critical reassessments of architectural and urban design history.  Developing theories on the urban development and housing at border cities, culture-specific topological landscapes, and new design strategies in material form and technology, he has written and lectured widely on his research. Mark Lee has taught at the Federal Institute of Technology (E.T.H.) in Zurich, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); where he has served as Vice Chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, and is currently holding a guest professorship at the Technical University of Berlin.

Click here to see list of complete speakers in the Public Lecture Series