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Talk-Show: A Conversation on “The Piranesi Variations"

February 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

This event will feature Architecture Chair John McMorrough in conversation with Jeffrey Kipnis (Professor of Architecture, The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture), and Sylvia Lavin (Director of Critical Studies, Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA).

About the Exhibition:

The Piranesi Variations is a project for developed by the Yale School of Architecture for the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The project, developed by Professor Peter Eisenmann and his students, provides a new dimension, literally, to a landmark work by 18th-century engraver, mapmaker, and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778). Eisenman’s students contributed historical analysis as a platform for three contemporary interpretations of Piranesi’s drawing – one from Eisenman’s own New York office, Eisenman Architects; a second from the architecture critic Jeffrey Kipnis of Ohio State University; and a third from architect Pier Vittorio Aureli of the Belgian office DOGMA. With access to Piranesi’s original folio, housed in Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Eisenman’s students “re-invented” Piranesi’s Rome as a detailed gold-painted 3D-printed model at the scale of the original etching – the first of its kind.

This multipart endeavor focuses on Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 “Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma,” a folio of six etchings that depict his fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like, derived from years of archaeological and architectural research. Each of the models created for this exhibition is 8 x 10 feet at its base — double the size of the folio. Each revisits Piranesi’s etchings, proposing answers to the inherent questions they raise about the relationship of architecture to ground, following the Biennale’s theme of “Common Ground.”

“The Piranesi Variations” is organized by the Yale School of Architecture, New Haven: in collaboration with Eisenman Architects, New York; DOGMA Architects, Brussels; and Jeffrey Kipnis, Jose Oubrerie, and Stephen Turk of The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, Columbus. “The Project of Campo Marzio” (Yale School of Architecture) is supported in part by Marshall Ruben and Carolyn Greenspan. “A Field of Diagrams” (Eisenman Architects) is supported in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. “The Piranesi Variations” was originally developed by Eisenman Architects as an invited participant in the 13th Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2012. The exhibition at Taubman College is generously supported by The Guido A. Binda Lecture and Exhibition Fund.


February 27, 2013
6:00 pm