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09.11.12
SCI-Arc Celebrates 2012 Thesis Weekend & Graduation

More than 700 guests attended the commencement ceremony at SCI-Arc this past Sunday, September 9. Seated under a tradition of graduation pavilions designed by faculty members and built with the help of students, the event welcomed the graduating class, faculty, families and friends who came to celebrate the 137 graduates and undergraduates receiving their degrees.

“There is a discussion about rebellion in architecture: rebellion, change, revolution, movement forward,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss in his opening speech. “I think these are topics much discussed at SCI-Arc, and you can see that in the work that surrounds us in the building today.” Moss added, “One of the primary ingredients of someone who’s rebellious at heart is the capacity to consider the possibility that he’s entirely incorrect.”


Architectural theorist Jeffrey Kipnis, professor of architectural design and theory at the Ohio State Knowlton School of Architecture and a Distinguished SCI-Arc Visiting Professor, delivered the Commencement Speech at the 2012 graduation ceremony. Architect Michael Rotondi (B.Arch ‘73), a SCI-Arc founding alumnus and current faculty member, offered the alumni address.

Kipnis engaged both graduating students and parents in his speech. “There’s something about this place, and I can’t get it out of my blood,” said Kipnis. “I am here as SCI-Arc’s biggest fan.”


The 2012 pavilion and stage were designed by Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative. Watch the Netscape video >>.

Following the commencement and alumni addresses, diplomas were awarded by Director Eric Owen Moss, Director of Academic Affairs Ming Fung, Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso, and Undergraduate Program Chair John Enright.

A highlight of the event was the announcement of the inaugural Gehry Prize recognizing outstanding graduate thesis work. The 2012 Gehry Prize was awarded to the husband and wife team Liz von Hasseln (M.Arch 1 ‘12) and Kyle von Hasseln (M.Arch ‘12) for their project, Phantom Geometry, developed in the SCI-Arc Robot House. Thesis advisers were faculty members Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa.

Six graduate thesis projects and one undergraduate project were selected to receive 2012 best thesis awards. Graduate students honored were Maya Alam (M.Arch 1) for The Bastardized Gestalt, Daniel Nytoft Berlin (M.Arch 2) for Rendezvous—Subverting the latent relationship between a stack and a pile, Erin D. Bessler (M.Arch 1) for Low Fidelity, Fernando Herrera (M.Arch 2) for Unraveled, Dale Edward Strong (M.Arch 2) for Working Blue and Ben Warwas (M.Arch 1) for Field So Good. The undergraduate thesis award went to Paul Ferrier Cambon for his Window-as-Volume project presented at the Undergraduate Thesis & Spring Show in April.

An exhibition of the selected graduate thesis projects will be on view in the SCI-Arc Gallery September 17-28. On Friday, September 21, the Gehry Prize winners and the 6 best thesis winners will join Director Eric Owen Moss in a discussion about the exhibition. More about the Selected Thesis Exhibition >>