Jeffrey Inaba, “Architectural Communication in the Knowledge Economy”

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As cities become knowledge-intensive economies, urban planning requires them to weigh the importance of inherently dissimilar activities, such as digital vs physical and economic vs non-economic. Architectural plans with annotated drawings, renderings, animations, and photographs can provide insight into urban conditions. These plans are a valuable medium for assessing and conceptualizing knowledge-based urban development – perhaps all the more so because of its rhetorical potential.

Of course, representing the city isn’t an exercise in objective analysis; it’s one of architectural communication where a point of view is expressed through graphic arguments, and which hopefully makes its case using effective rhetorical means to communicate its public consequences. The presentation will include studies of contemporary urban relationships with projects such as: DIY power kits, patterns of philanthropic giving, the weather, gum, war treaties, and the urbanism of banks.

Jeffrey Inaba is the founder of INABA, an architecture firm based in Los Angeles. Its recent work includes urban design and housing projects in Europe, Asia, and the US, and commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum, Walker Art Center, Storefront for Art and Architecture, X-Initiative, and Enel Contemporanea.

He directs the Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting (C-Lab) a research unit at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation that acts as a kind of energy source for incubating new channels for communication about architecture. He is the Features Editor of Volume Magazine, the independent quarterly whose recent issues cover American ‘60s Counterculture, Storytelling, and Ambition. He is the author of numerous publications, including the recent book, World of Giving (Lars Müller Publishers, 2010). Inaba received Master of Architecture with Distinction and MA in Philosophy of Architecture degrees from Harvard University, and an AB with highest honors from University of California, Berkeley.