Mitchell Lecture Series: Jenny Sabin

Surface Architecture and New Paradigms of Making
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:00p.m.
LeRoy Neiman Center
37 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL
United States
Lumen by Jenny Sabin Studio for The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program 2017, on view at MoMA PS1 from June 29 to September 4, 2017. Images courtesy MoMA PS1 and Jenny Sabin Studio. Photo by Jesse Winter.

This talk will present ongoing trans-disciplinary research and design spanning across the fields of cell biology, materials science, physics, fiber science, fashion, mechanical and structural engineering, and architecture. Jenny Sabin’s collaborative research, teaching, and design practice focus on the contextual, material, and formal intersections between architecture, science, and emerging technologies. The material world that this type of research interrogates reveals examples of nonlinear fabrication and self-assembly at the surface, and at a deeper structural level. In parallel, this work offers up novel possibilities that question and redefine architecture within the greater scope of generative design and fabrication. This talk will elucidate the research methods, prototypes, and architectural projects that Sabin and her collaborators have achieved, which include adaptive building skins, fabric structures and ceramic assemblies, and architectural interventions that ultimately (re)configure their own performance based upon local criteria and human interaction.

Photo by Jesse Winter

Jenny E. Sabin is an architectural designer whose work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st century architectural practice — one that investigates the intersections of architecture and science and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of responsive material structures and adaptive architecture. Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture and Associate Dean for Design at Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning where she established a new advanced research degree in Matter Design Computation. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Ithaca and Director of the Sabin Lab at Cornell AAP.

Sabin holds degrees in ceramics and interdisciplinary visual art from the University of Washington and a master of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts 2010 and was named a USA Knight Fellow in Architecture. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Architectural League Prize. Her work has been exhibited internationally including at the FRAC Centre, Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, MoMA, and most recently as part of Imprimer Le Monde at the Pompidou. Her book LabStudio: Design Research Between Architecture and Biology co-authored with Peter Lloyd Jones was published in 2017. Sabin won MoMA & MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program with her submission, Lumen, 2017.

Ada by Jenny Sabin Studio for Microsoft Research Artist in Resident Program, 2018-2019. Photo by Jake Knapp for Microsoft.
Ada by Jenny Sabin Studio for Microsoft Research Artist in Resident Program, 2018-2019. Photo by John Brecher for Microsoft.

All lectures and events are free and open to the public, supported by the William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lecture Series. Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations should visit saic.edu/access.