Andrew Zago, a UofM alumni, recently lectured at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning under this year’s theme, “Representation.”

Andrew emphasized his architecture as one of “eclecticism grounded in the application or rigor of the project” and of encompassing a “highly disciplined and structured movement.”  With this in mind, his lecture went through a number of projects, emphasizing form investigations of each one.  The first was “weak form” involving a relaxation of the form, the kind of “jeweled” or faceted architectural language become almost a vernacular in modern architecture.  The second, “section form” investigated architecture within architecture, an object within an object.   The third was the involute, in which the outside becomes the interior.  The last few concepts were “ambiguity of material,” “inclusion” in which the form is made from the negative of stamped in shapes, and lastly, mis-registration” in which objects look like they are going to touch.  This format, although seemingly slightly sporadic, hearkens back to his the eclecticism he spoke of in his beginning lecture.  His explanation of investigating forms and ideas was valuable to students as well as practioners.  In many ways, his interest in testing spatial concepts and in classifying them in very clear, definable typologies speaks highly of his ability to not only produce form but also to engage it within the larger discipline.  His understanding of his work is furthered in his idea of projects residing between immanent and projective, between what is inherent in the architecture versus that which is projected upon it.

Not only does Zago emphasize specific agendas in his work, but he also questions the traditional practice model and promotes one of “subversion” in which the architecture can avoid the traditional metrics by which architecture is gauged and propel itself further from this exclusion.

Although not all of his work is stellar – much of it is exploratory and like any architect, may need a few more prototypes – it will be interesting to watch the spatial concepts he chooses to explore in the future.