Architecture professor Deborah Richards recently lectured on “Architecture, Space and Time: How Ontology has Inspired Innovation in Architectural Surfaces.” Her lecture was sponsored by the OU Humanities Forum. Richards is a 2018 Humanities Forum Fellow.

During her lecture, Richards explored how a surface condition in architecture can be generated and understood through philosophical framings in three different ways: surface can be generated as a continuous field, the crust of an object, or as a narrative.

Prior to the lecture, Richards invited attendees to read excerpts from Stan Allen’s Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City (1999), as well as Mark Foster Gage’s essay, “Killing Simplicity: Object-Oriented Philosophy in Architecture” (2015), and Bruno Latour and Albena Yaneva’s essay, “‘Give Me a Gun and I Will Make All Buildings Move’: An ANT’s View of Architecture” (2008).

This lecture offered a preface to her Humanities Forum-funded Surface Flux project, which she is completing with architecture professor Ken Marold. Richards and Marold plan to use parametric design to produce three different surfaces.

Surface Flux “investigates the ways in which the physical environment can be understood and shaped through different philosophical perspectives. Three unique surfaces will be computationally designed and digitally fabricated as part of a final exhibit. The first surface will explore networks, the second will explore objects, and the third will explore the tension between the two, while also engaging the viewer as part of the built environment narrative” (Humanities Forum).

An exhibition of “Surface Flux” is planned for Oklahoma City in Spring 2019.