Second Wave of Modernism II: Landscape Complexity and Transformation starts from the premise that in recent years there has been an accelerating attitudinal shift—a departure away from the Modernist’s tabula rasa exemplified at varying scales by icons such as Philip Johnson’s Beck House in Dallas and the Lincoln Center Campus in New York.
Today, designers are returning to Modernist sites with new motivations, attempting to balance the complex values of natural and cultural systems.
A daylong conference November 18, hosted by Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) in partnership with MoMA is followed on November 19 by a day of tours of major New York City projects. Second Wave II features thematic presentations by leading landscape architects and other experts that will collectively explore landscape transformations at residential, urban and metropolitan scales through a design lens that seeks to balance natural and cultural systems rather than the historic tabula rasa approach.
Speakers include James Corner (James Corner Field Operations), Kathryn Gustafson (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol), Gary Hilderbrand (Reed Hilderbrand), Charles Renfro (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Michael Van Valkenburgh (Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.), and others. at MoMA features internationally recognized leaders in landscape architecture, architecture and other experts who examine landscape transformations at residential, urban and metropolitan scales.
The residential panel looks at work in California, New York and Texas to examine how Modernism attempts to capture the essence of natural environments without mimicking its expression or materiality. The urban panel considers renewal projects in Miami, New York and St. Louis that are now being remade. Metropolitan Transformations tackles work in London, Nashville, New York and Philadelphia.
The conference will be followed by a separate, ticketed reception at the offices of James Corner Field Operations, landscape architects for the High Line.
In addition, there will be three separately ticketed tours on Saturday, November 19: the former World Trade Center Complex, the High Line, and Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The conference is made possible by host MoMA, presenting sponsors Charles Luck and landscapeforms, media partners The Architect’s Newspaper and Topos, the International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, with additional support from the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
“Given the amazing scholarly and public work The Cultural Landscape Foundation is doing, the Department of Architecture is delighted to host this important conference at MoMA,” said Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.
“The leadership and vision of the landscape architecture community is increasingly being recognized critically and publicly at places like the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s Founder and President. “This conference, hosted by MoMA and featuring some of the most talented practitioners in the field, is part of TCLF’s broad mission to make the hand of the landscape architect visible and make us better stewards of our diverse landscape legacy.”
The conference follows the first Second Wave of Modernism conference held in 2008 in Chicago. Proceedings from both conferences will be published at a later date.