June Updates

Billie Tsien and Tod Williams with colleagues in their studio.
Billie Tsien and Tod Williams with colleagues in their studio.

It's June and the Big News here is that we have selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) as designers of the Institute's permanent home! They will collaborate with TEF of San Francisco and landscape architect Cheryl Barton. Along with picking our architects, the past two months have been jammed with events and activities for us. So this post is a quick catch-up as the academic year winds down.  

The architects. Needless to say—but I'll say it—we are thrilled to be working with TWBTA on this project. They have compiled a superb record of cultural and educational architecture. A visit I made this spring to their C. V. Starr East Asian Library at UC Berkeley underlined the spatial elegance, functionality, and material pleasures of their work. The library was full of students and full of light.

Williams and Tsien proposed a distinctly anti-monumental building concept for the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Their plan includes three distinct building zones and sinks each into the earth, opening them on the south to stunning views of the Monterey Bay and the Santa Lucia Mountains. This summer and fall we will spend quality time with the architects on the building site, working together to interrogate, refine, and revamp their initial site plan, building, and program. I've been looking forward to this work since I arrived here, and I can't wait to start.

For those wanting to know more, we have updated the FUTURE BUILDING section of our website to provide background on the architect selection process and the building project as a whole. We will keep updating it as design work progress. You can also follow the press response we are getting in the News section.  


Nobel Prize winning physicist David Gross discusses beauty and symmetry in science for "Interrogating Methodologies" conference, UC Santa Barabara

Interrogating Methodologies. On April 18 and 19, the Institute was at UC Santa Barbara for the conference about science, visualization, and art-science collaborations that we helped George Legrady put together and present. Titled Interrogating Methodologies, Exploring the Boundaries of Art and Science, the conference was a preparatory step for the Vision and Wave exhibition George and I are curating, currently scheduled for 2016 at the UCSB Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design.

I am grateful to the four faculty from UC Santa Cruz who participated, including organic chemists Rebecca Braslau and Dave Deamer, and astrophysicists Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz and Joel Primack, Director of the University of California High-Performance Astrocomputing Center. All gave excellent talks, including Joel on two panels. They were joined by faculty colleagues from UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley, UCLA, and keynote lecturer James Elkins from the Chicago Art Institute, who launched the conference with a survey of the notion of visualization. We had strong audiences both days, and the conference was another reminder of the breadth and depth of research going on throughout the UC system. 

This Summer:  LASERs take a breather, Public Doors and Windows continues. Like most of the campus, we will be working mostly behind the scenes this summer. Our LASER series returns October 28, and I expect to publicize the lineup well before that. I was pleased at the strong audiences and wonderful talks the LASERs brought to UC Santa Cruz this last year, and my thanks go again to LASER founder Piero Scaruffi for our collaboration. My deepest thanks go to the many speakers who shared their work here, and to everyone who turnout out to hear them. The success of the series demonstrated a strong appetite at Santa Cruz for multi-disciplinary programming, and faculty turnout was noteworthy.

Finally, before signing off, I want to say that Harrell Fletcher, Molly Sherman, and Nolan Calisch of Public Doors and Windows (PDW) will be back in August for a tour of the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, a.k.a. the Farm. It will feature this summer's crop of apprentices talking about what they are learning and what they think about their experiences here. As with the PDW campus "art walk" in April, I'm sure the tour of the Farm will be eye-opening. Our tentative date is August 19, but please check back later for confirmation. Hope to see you there!