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  • Fresh Brew | Creative Synthesis: Neutra’s Prescient Quest for Architectural Well-Being

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    Fresh Brew | Creative Synthesis: Neutra’s Prescient Quest for Architectural Well-Being

    Thursday, May 19, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am PDT
    1926 Ring Plan School Model | Courtesy of The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design

    AIA Member: $15 | General: $20 | Student: $5

    Join us for the second of a three-part series exploring the ideas and work of the pioneer Viennese-American architect, Richard J. Neutra, FAIA (1892-1970).

    Environmental/Design Psychologist Dr. James A. Wise and Neutra Scholar/Architectural Historian Dr. Barbara Lamprecht discuss Neutra's life-long study of nineteenth and early twentieth century psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, along with his background in horticulture and landscape, informed the designs he created. While viewed as an admired Modernist for his cool, sleek forms, his “soul anchorages,” as Neutra called his environments, they reveal a different basis than those of his iconic twentieth century peers. His was an ideology rooted in biology and physiology rather than “modernity.”

    His keen observations of his fellow humans and his ardent concern for well-being led Neutra to redefine “luxury”, not as expensive finishes or daunting acrobatics, but as the body moving fluidly through space — reconceived as a kinetic canvas for human endeavor, space “stretched” to perceptually expand small dwellings, and dissolved boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

    This discussion will explore how Neutra’s theories stand up in today’s emerging design practices aimed at health and well-being.


    Dr. Barbara Lamprecht, Architectural Historian, Modern Resources

    Dr. Barbara Lamprecht is a Pasadena-based “qualified architectural historian” specializing in the rehabilitation of Modern buildings and preparing national and local designations and Mills Act contracts. Lamprecht is the author of Neutra: Complete Works (Taschen, 2000), Neutra: Selected Projects (Taschen 2004), Richard Neutra: Furniture: the Body and the Senses (Wasmuth, 2015), and the introduction to a new edition of Neutra’s prescient Survival Through Design. She has taught all periods of architectural history and lectures widely at venues including the National Building Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute. Lamprecht earned an M.Arch. at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and her Ph.D. in architecture at the University of Liverpool. Her dissertation explored Richard Neutra’s late nineteenth and early twentieth century roots in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and landscape, especially explicating his philosophy of biorealism. As a rehabilitation project manager, she has overseen or consulted on many Neutra houses; the rehabilitation of the former Garden Grove Community Church (Rev. Robert Schuller’s “drive-in church” and now part of Christ Cathedral); and cowrote the Historic Structure Report for the Jardinette Apartments (Hollywood), a four-story reinforced concrete International Style designed by Neutra with Rudolf Schindler in 1929.

    Dr. James A. Wise, Retired

    Dr. James A. Wise is currently retired after a 40 year career in academia, private business and a U.S. government national laboratory. After receiving his Bachelor’s and Ph.D. in Experimental and Mathematical Psychology at the University of Washington, Dr. Wise focused his career on working with designers, architects and engineers of complex technical systems and environments in order to better fit them to users and organizations. In that work, he has been a university professor, internationally recognized research scientist, and consultant to government agencies and major corporations throughout his career.

    He has over 140 publications in the academic and professional literature, with international research awards in Industrial Design and Architecture, a U.S. Dept. of Energy Award in Public Outreach and Partnership, and an R&D 100 Applied Technology Award for leading a team of government researchers that created the world’s first text visualization software. His seminal article on that research won the 2016 first "Test of Time" award from the IEEE Information Visualization Society.

    Fresh Brew is a series of online morning conversations covering a variety of topics about all things architecture and design. Fresh Brew provides the general public and industry professionals with engaging dialogue and a space for inspiration. Co-presented by the Center for Architecture + Design in collaboration with AIA San Francisco.

    Learning Objectives (1 LU)

    1. Understand how and why Richard Neutra applied disparate disciplines in the melded service of architecture and design.

    2. Explain two of Neutra’s specific strategies that change one’s perception of space.

    3. Understand and explain why Neutra’s use of psychology was different than the dominant “Stimulus-Response” paradigm of his time.

    4. Understand how Neutra’s theories and design practices effectively foresaw today’s developments in design for health and well being.


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    Thursday, May 19, 2022
    9:00 am - 10:00 am PDT
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    Online Event