SCI-Arc today announced the launch of its much-anticipated SCI-Arc Media Archive, an online showcase of public events held at the school from 1974 to the present. A public reception will be held at SCI-Arc on Friday, September 28, starting 7pm, to celebrate the archive launch.
“At its aspirational best, speaking at SCI-Arc means speaking to an audience that expects the speaker to bend the discourse, to confront conventional allegiances, and to make a few enemies along the way,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “Speakers at SCI-Arc anticipate that obligation.”
Found at sma.sciarc.edu, the archive is home to more than 600 videos of public events, features 700-plus speakers, and forms a comprehensive digital media platform designed to be useful for students and scholars, but also for anybody with an interest in architecture, Los Angeles and experimental design. It provides access to never-before-seen footage of some of the most influential leaders in architecture and design, including Frank O. Gehry, Zaha Hadid, David Hockney, Rem Koolhaas, John Lautner, Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Kazuyo Sejima, and many more. Many of these architects and artists appear more than once, providing opportunities for analysis of their development over a long span of their careers.
Major support for the SCI-Arc Media Archive was provided by The Getty Foundation as part of the Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture initiative. Additional support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. These transformative grants were used by SCI-Arc to digitize, describe and organize one of the most complete architectural archival collections of its kind in the world. Documentation critical to understanding the architectural history and legacy of Southern California, and Los Angeles’ role as an incubator of innovation, is particularly strong in this collection.
"This website is a wonderful resource and a great archive for anyone interested in modern architecture and its major players from the past four decades," comments Sarah Weber, Director of Education at the Los Angeles Conservancy. “Looking at some of the longer lectures, I found myself wishing I could hear shorter clips from them, only to discover that they were already there. As the content on this site continues to grow, I can only imagine that it will become one of the 'go-to' resources for primary media sources in modern architecture.”
SCI-Arc’s lecture archive was started in 1974, when students began taping lectures by distinguished practitioners and scholars spanning the fields of architecture, urban design, city planning, and other arts-related environments. Now standard practice at educational and cultural institutions, videotaping lectures was uncommon in the mid-1970s. Lecturers responded to SCI-Arc’s culture of creative engagement, by speaking candidly about their work.