Todd Gannon Lecture: Reyner Banham and the Paradoxes of  High Tech

W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

March 14, 2018 at 7:00pm

Todd Gannon is a Professor and Head of the Architecture Section at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School. His most recent book is Reyner Banham and the Paradoxes of High Tech. His other books include The Light Construction Reader (2002), Et in Suburbia Ego: José Oubrerie's Miller House (2013) and monographs on the work of Morphosis, Bernard Tschumi, UN Studio, Steven Holl, Mack Scogin/Merrill Elam, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, and Eric Owen Moss. His essays have appeared in The Routledge Companion for Architecture Design and Practice (2015), The SAGE Handbook for Architectural Theory (2012), and in periodicals including Log, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Offramp. In collaboration with Ewan Branda and Andrew Zago, he curated the 2013 exhibition A Confederacy of Heretics. His work has been recognized and supported by the Getty Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The Ohio State University, and UCLA.

Todd Gannon will discuss his most recent book, Reyner Banham and the Paradoxes of High Tech, which reassesses one of the most influential voices in twentieth-century architectural history through a detailed examination of Banham’s writing on High Tech architecture and its immediate antecedents. Taking as a guide Banham’s habit of structuring his writings around dialectical tensions, Gannon sheds new light on Banham’s early engagement with the New Brutalism of Alison and Peter Smithson, his measured enthusiasm for the “clip-on” approach developed by Cedric Price and the Archigram group, his advocacy of “well-tempered environments” fostered by integrated mechanical and electrical systems, and his late-career assessments of High Tech practitioners such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Renzo Piano. Gannon will devote significant attention to Banham’s late work, including fresh archival materials related to Making Architecture: The Paradoxes of High Tech, the manuscript he left unfinished at his death in 1988.