Architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, the Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, will deliver the annual Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture, titled Mendes da Rocha and the Space of Appearance.
Born in 1930 in Woking, Surrey, UK, Frampton has been a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York since 1972. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London, and subsequently worked as an architect with Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in London, with Dov Karmi in Israel, with the Middlesex County Council, and with Douglas Stephens and Partners in London from 1961-1965. While at Stephens’ office, Frampton designed the Corringham Building, an 8-story block of flats in Bayswater, London, in addition to co-editing and writing his first book, British Buildings 1955–65, and serving, from 1962-1965, as technical editor of the British journal Architectural Design (AD).
Frampton came to the United States to take up a teaching position at Princeton University in 1966, and he was appointed to teach at Columbia University in 1972. Also in 1972 he was made a Fellow in the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS) in New York, where he was also co-founding editor of the IAUS journal, Oppositions. In addition to Princeton, the IAUS, and Columbia, Frampton has taught at the Royal College of Art, London; the University of Virginia; Rice University; all three Swiss schools of architecture, the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, the ETH Zürich, and the EPFL Lausanne; and the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, among others.
Frampton’s seminal and canonical writings include Modern Architecture: A Critical History (1980; the 5th edition published in 2020); Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1982); the essay, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance” (1983); Pierre Chareau (with Marc Vellay, 1984); Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture (1995); Technology Place and Architecture (1998); Alvaro Siza: Complete Works (2000); Le Corbusier (2001); Steven Holl Architect (2002); Labour, Work and Architecture: Collected Essays on Architecture and Design (2002); The Evolution of 20th Century Architecture: A Synoptic Account (2007); Five North American Architects: An Anthology by Kenneth Frampton (2010); Kengo Kuma: Complete Works (2012); A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form (2015); and L’altro movimento Moderno (2015). Frampton’s teaching was the subject of the 2017 exhibition, Educating Architects: Four Courses by Kenneth Frampton, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, where his teaching and writing archive is held. Frampton is the author of numerous essays, chapters, and introductions; he has lectured at numerous universities and conferences around the world; and he has served on many international juries for architecture awards and building commissions.
Frampton has received honors including the ACSA Topaz Medallion for lifetime contributions to architectural education; Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Letters; UIA Jean Tschumi Prize and the UIA Prize in Architectural Criticism; Medaille d’Or of the Academie d’Architecture, Paris; Fellow in the Society of Architectural Historians; Architecture League of New York’s President’s Medal; Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Lifetime Achievement Award; honorary doctorates from a half-dozen international universities; and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Architecture at the 16th International Exhibition of Architecture, La Biennale, Venice, in 2018.
In 2020 Frampton was honored with the festschrift, Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Frampton, edited by Karla Britton, Professor of Art History at Diné College on the Navajo Nation, and Robert McCarter, Ruth and Norman Moore Professor, with contributions from 30 internationally recognized architects, historians and critics.