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"Staging Life": A lecture by Rick Joy, AIA

Thursday, November 14, 2013, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Gaines Hall, 101

Rick Joy is Principal of Rick Joy Architects, a 12 person architecture and planning firm established in 1993 in Tucson, Arizona.  From the beginning, each of RJA's works have been exhibited and published extensively and have won numerous awards.  Joy received the 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and in 2004 won the prestigious National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institute/Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  He periodically serves as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rice and M.I.T. and he lectures extensively on the firm's work throughout the world. In 2002, Joy's first monograph was published entitled Rick Joy: Desert Works, the first in the Princeton Architecture Press/Graham Foundation invited New Voices in Architecture series. 

RJA has realized architectural works throughout North America with extensive experience with lifestyle based projects from numerous single-family residences to an ultra-lux resort and large scale master-plans.  The office has several active residential commissions in Miami, La Paz, Sun Valley, Santa Fe, Taos and Bozeman, a master plan and spa at Le Massif Ski Resort in Quebec in collaboration with Brian Mackay-Lyons and Tom Kundig and a 1.3 million square foot mixed-use development in Tucson.

Being comprehensively observant and sensitive towards the world around us is highly valuable for making architecture that lives well in its surroundings and that is lived in well.  Beyond what is being photographed, architecture is what is being graciously enlivened. It is the stage for personal events, where daily life and momentary dramas unfold in spaces that condition behaviors as much as they are soulfully conditioned by their inhabitants. Architecture is the background for personal life. Mr. Joy believes this view of architecture is deeply humane and unfashionably grounded in patience and perseverance in observing habits, listening to nuances, sensing mood and reading place.  These characteristics do not guarantee great architecture, but livable architecture might not happen without them. 

This kind of thinking risks to get stuck in trivial tautological reassurances - failing to reach a new each time. Yet, from his practice Rick knows that when there is courage to make a bold architectural statement in designing a place for living, a statement that is founded on a realistic interpretation of human lifestyle, a statement that can be conceptually thought about first, then all reflection is synthesized into the making of place.

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