Archival Program Information
For current Research Institute events, please see The Getty Event Calendar


Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, 2008
The Hammer Museum and Getty Center

Admission is free. Separate reservations are required for each day of the symposium and evening conversations.

Dieste / Church
On September 19 and 20, 2008, the Getty Research Institute and the Hammer Museum host a major symposium on antirationalism in architecture during the second half of the twentieth century. Organized in conjunction with the Hammer Museum's exhibition Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner, the symposium attempts to broaden the historical view of postwar architecture beyond the standard narrative that emphasizes such modernists as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; and Harrison and Abramovitz. In a series of panels and presentations, respected scholars use Lautner's nonrational philosophy as a critical window onto postwar architecture in the United States and abroad.

Confirmed participants include Stanford Anderson, Robert Bruegmann, Jean-Louis Cohen, Alan Hess, Greg Hise, Sandy Isenstadt , Sylvia Lavin, Eric Mumford, Nicholas Olsberg, Timothy M. Rohan, Marc Treib, and Dell Upton.

The symposium schedule is available online.

The symposium poster (pdf, 1.9MB) is available for download. Please note: 11x17 is the posters intended size.

Evening Conversations

Davidson / HL23
Engaging Lautner's Built Legacy in the 21st Century

Friday, September 19, 2008, 7.30 p.m.
Billy Wilder Theater, The Hammer Museum

Designing beside a legend can be one of the most inspiring commissions for an architect. This program challenges each member of a panel of avant-garde architects to create an addition to one of Lautner's residential structures, thereby actively engaging his built legacy. Their solutions to this theoretical design challenge, potentially both sacrilegious and revelatory, are unveiled at this event. Envisioned as both a design charette and provocative discussion, this program is moderated by Christopher James Alexander, associate curator of architecture and design at the Getty Research Institute.

Participants include Hernán Díaz Alonso, principal, Xefirotarch; Neil M. Denari, principal, Neil M. Denari Architects; Winka Dubbeldam, principal, Archi-Tectonics; and Frank Escher, principal, Escher GuneWardena Architecture.

Shulman / Lautner's Arango House
Free-Form Living: A Conversation with the Clients and Colleagues of John Lautner

Saturday, September 20, 2008, 8.00 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium, The Getty Center

John Lautner was an iconoclast whose ideas were often met with skepticism. His design philosophy required the total commitment of both those who worked on and inhabited his living spaces. Stretching the limits of materiality with free-floating walls and sweeping concrete roofs, his technical innovations produced buildings with sensuous curves and geometric forms, but at what price? This discussion, moderated by Rani Singh, senior research associate, Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute, brings together a lively panel of Lautner's original clients and colleagues to explore the challenges of creating and inhabiting buildings that reshaped the image of modernist architecture in the second half of the twentieth century.

Confirmed participants include Helena Arahuete, John de la Vaux, Kelly Lynch, Leonard Malin, Robin Poirier, Kenneth Reiner, and Guy Zebert.

The symposium "Against Reason: John Lautner and Postwar Architecture" and Evening Conversations are held in conjunction with Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner, on view at the Hammer Museum through October 12, 2008. For more information about related events, please visit

Admission is free. Separate reservations are required for each day of the symposium and evening conversations.