Nicholas de Monchaux

Young Bauhaus Research Colloquium




Nicholas de Monchaux

College of Environmental Design & Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media,
University of California, Berkeley

Nicholas de Monchaux is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural and urban history of the Apollo Spacesuit. He was winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize. His latest book Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2016. The work of de Monchaux’s Oakland-based design practice has been exhibited widely, including at the Biennial of the Americas, the Venice Architecture Biennale, Lisbon SFMOMA and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).
de Monchaux received his B.A. with distinction in Architecture, from Yale, and his Professional Degree (M.Arch.) from Princeton. Prior to his independent practice, he worked with Michael Hopkins & Partners in London, and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York.

Hard and Soft: the Bauhaus, California, and the dispersion of design.

From the oblique but essential influence of the Bauhaus on the design and technology culture exemplified by the Bay Area, to more complex histories of exchange and invention across American academic history, this paper will excavate the relationships between twentieth-century architectural culture and the networks of mapping, data and information that shape our own age. Drawing from my forthcoming book, Local Code: 3,659 Proposals about Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities, I will propose how a re-engagement with this history and its alternate possibilities may expose essential new potentials for the relationship between software, information and urban architectural practice.