About

Lecture Topics

The following is a list of topics upon which I have lectured over the past twenty-five years at various universities, professional societies, community groups and local government committees. I am currently available to lecture on all of these subjects. To view my lecture series on post-modernism, please click here.

ARCHITECTURE 101 - This is a two-hour lecture accompanied by a book I wrote that is an explanation of basic concepts of design, including definitions and examples of scale, proportion, context, style, massing, and the use of materials. This lecture was prepared for the Palo Alto City Council subcommittee on neighborhood preservation, to provide local residents with a vocabulary with which to discuss their concerns over the detriorating quality of their neighborhoods that were being overwhlemed by very large, ill-fitting homes.

CEZANNE, PICASSO AND THE ROOTS OF MODERN DESIGN - This lecture was first prepared for a class I taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design with Michael Gebhardt. It developed over the years as my study of Cubism intensified, and was most recently given to the architecture students of the University of Southern California. This lecture focuses on the detailed esthetic mechanics of Cubism, and the growth of these ideas into the great 500-year paradigm shift known as Modern Art.

THE HISTORY OF THE PICTURE PLANE - This lecture was also prepared for my class at Harvard. In it, I trace the development of the depth of the picture plane in Western art from the caves at Lascaux and Altimira through Romanesque and Renaissance art up through the great shift that was Cubsim and up into the contemporary painting of Frank Stella, Brigit Riley, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline.

TURNING POINTS - This lecture is based on my book Station Point, in which I discuss the two great turning points in Western culture as expressed in art in the inventions of Filippo Brunelleschi in 1412 and Picasso in 1912. These two inventions were, respectively, Linear Perspective (Brunelleschi) and Cubism (Picasso).

THE FOLLOWING ARE TOPICS UPON WHICH I COULD PREPARE A TWO-HOUR LECTURE ON-DEMAND:

  • Principles of residential wood frame structural design and detailing
  • Elegant Interiors: Detailing with stone, hardwood, tile, glass, terrazzo, stainless steel, enamelled steel panles, hardwood veneer panels.
  • Color theory for painters, architects and interior designers: sources of subtlety
  • Architectural graphics - Linear perspectgive
  • Advanced techniques in oil and watercolor painting
  • Figure drawing, drawing from the landscape, drawing machines: planes, cars, and trains
  • Theory of composition on the picture plane - Renaissance and contemporary models
  • The history of architectural theory: Working paradigms - Classical to Postmodern
  • Pen and ink theory and practice - Good for that sketching trip to Europe

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