Preservation Is Overtaking Us by Rem Koolhaas; Jorge Otero-Pailos (As told to); Jordan Carver (Editor); Mark Wigley (Introduction by)Preservation is Overtaking Us brings together two lectures given by Rem Koolhaas at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, along with a response (framed as a supplement to the original lectures) by Jorge Otero-Pailos. In the first essay Koolhaas describes alternative strategies for preserving Beijing, China. The second talk marks the inaugural Paul Spencer Byard lecture, named in celebration of the longtime professor of Historic Preservation at GSAPP. These two lectures trace key moments of Koolhaas' thinking on preservation, including his practice's entry into China and the commission to redevelop the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a format well known to Koolhaas' readers, Otero-Pailos reworks the lectures into a working manifesto, using it to interrogate OMA's work from within the discipline of preservation.
Publication Date: 2014
Experimental Preservation by Jorge Otero-Pailos (Editor)Old things, historic things, smelly dirty things, all the things that were considered the very opposite of "contemporary," have suddenly irrupted forcefully into architecture and art, blurring their boundaries. This book takes stock of the emerging generation behind this turn, and examines their experimental engagements with the preservation of culturally charged objects. Structured around a series of interdisciplinary dialogues among practitioners and thinkers, and illustrated with recent projects, the book provides a window into the unfolding intellectual frameworks, aesthetic modes, cultural ambitions, and political commitments that are the basis of experimental preservation.
Publication Date: 2016
Architecture's Historical Turn by Jorge Otero-PailosArchitecture's Historical Turn traces the hidden history of architectural phenomenology, a movement that reflected a key turning point in the early phases of postmodernism and a legitimating source for those architects who first dared to confront history as an intellectual problem and not merely as a stylistic question. Jorge Otero-Pailos shows how architectural phenomenology radically transformed how architects engaged, theorized, and produced history. In the first critical intellectual account of the movement, Otero-Pailos discusses the contributions of leading members, including Jean Labatut, Charles Moore, Christian Norberg-Schulz, and Kenneth Frampton. For architects maturing after World War II, Otero-Pailos contends, architectural history was a problem rather than a given. Paradoxically, their awareness of modernism's historicity led some of them to search for an ahistorical experiential constant that might underpin all architectural expression. They drew from phenomenology, exploring the work of Bachelard, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, and Ricoeur, which they translated for architectural audiences. Initially, the concept that experience could be a timeless architectural language provided a unifying intellectual basis for the stylistic pluralism that characterized postmodernism. It helped give theory--especially the theory of architectural history--a new importance over practice. However, as Otero-Pailos makes clear, architectural phenomenologists could not accept the idea of theory as an end in itself. In the mid-1980s they were caught in the contradictory and untenable position of having to formulate their own demotion of theory. Otero-Pailos reveals how, ultimately, the rise of architectural phenomenology played a crucial double role in the rise of postmodernism, creating the antimodern specter of a historical consciousness and offering the modern notion of essential experience as the means to defeat it.
Architecture and Human Attachment: An Interview with Jorge Otero-Pailos by Shelton, Ted; Stuth, TriciaDr. Jorge Otero-Pailos is the director of the Historic Preservation program at Columbia University and one of the foremost practitioners of experimental preservation. His Ethics of Dust series in particular has provocatively examined the relationship between pollution and cultural artifacts. What follows is an interview conducted with Dr. Otero-Pailos conducted by Ted Shelton and Tricia Stuth, the editors of this issue. It was conducted in Knoxville, Tennessee and has been edited for length and clarity.