Radical Nature: James Wines/SITE

5 October 2009 6.30pm

  • Indeterminate Façade Building, Houston, Texas, 1974 © SITE

Economy of Means: James Wines/SITE
Chaired by Vicky Richardson, Editor, Blueprint magazine

Founded by James Wines in 1970 following his career as an abstract sculptor, SITE Environmental Design is a pioneering architecture practice of ecological sensitivity and radical artistic gestures. An acronym for ‘Sculpture In The Environment’, SITE achieved wide and lasting notoriety through their projects for Best Products in the 1970s – big box showrooms that transcended their function with trompe-l’oeil peeling walls, collapsing facades, and invading forests.

Presenting a new lecture, Economy of Means: A Brief History of Doing More with Less in Art, Architecture and Landscape Design, James will profile ways to meet the demands of economic crisis, energy efficiency and sustainable design, without loss of aesthetic quality. From Duchamp’s ‘readymades’ and Picasso’s collages, to Le Corbusier’s ‘Machines for Living in’ and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonion houses; from the birth of the Radical Architecture movement in the 1970s to the idea of utilising frugality as inspiration and raw material in the present.

James Wines is founder, President and Creative Director of SITE, and Professor of Architecture at Penn State University.