Neil M. Denari

W.M. Keck Hall

March 15, 2017 at 7:00pm

In exploring the dual meanings of the term discipline – a field of study and a system of rules that govern an activity – you quickly come across the moment when the two meanings intersect: you need discipline to work within a discipline. And  as discipline is also, in yet another definition of the term, a form of self-control, it's very mode of existence is used to repress impulsive and outrageous behavior, which, quite possibly, could be the key to progress within the field. In Neil Denari's office, there usually comes a moment when we say "The project needs to be disciplined," which is not to say punished for being too wild, but in fact to say that its sublimity can only be reached through the precision and limits that rules provide. Using a series of current projects, Neil Denari will uncover the ways in which roughness, approximation, and a certain wildness exists within clean geometry and finish.    

Neil Denari is principal of NMDA, Neil M. Denari Architects Inc., and Professor of Architecture and Interim Chair of the AUD at UCLA. He received his B.Arch from the University of Houston in 1980 and an M.Arch from Harvard in 1982. Among his many awards is the Los Angeles AIA Gold Medal, received in 2011. His work has been included in many exhibitions, including the solo show “The Artless Drawing” in 2010 at Ace Gallery LA and the 2013 group show New Sculpturalism at MOCA Los Angeles. His work is permanently held by eight major museums around the world. With NMDA, Denari works on building projects in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2012, NMDA won first prize in the New Keelung Harbor Service Building competition.

Denari lectures worldwide and has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and UC Berkeley among other schools and was the Director of SCI-Arc from 1997-2002.  He is the author of Interrupted Projections (1996), Gyroscopic Horizons (1999), and Mass X forthcoming in 2017.