Graduate Architecture

Cecil Balmond's 'Crossover'

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 6:30pm
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Meyerson Hall, Upper Gallery

Cecil Balmond, Principal of Balmond Studio and Paul Philippe Cret Practice Professor of Architecture at Penn, will speak about his recent publication Crossover. Balmond and Manuel De Landa will then engage in a discussion moderated by Aaron Levy, Executive Director of the Slought. Book sales and a reception will follow.  


From the publisher:


In this long-awaited follow-up to the enormously popular Informal, designer, writer, and engineer Cecil Balmond invites readers into his creative process as he documents his most innovative projects in art, architecture, and bridge design.


Hailed by friend and frequent collaborator Rem Koolhaas as having ‘almost single-handedly shifted the ground in engineering - and enabled architecture to be imagined differently,' Cecil Balmond has achieved special status as a pioneer in cross-disciplinary thinking. Balmond's instinctual understanding and manipulation of forces has paved the way for generations of designers to break free from traditional systems of organization and embrace the non-linear. Crossover establishes and galvanizes these radical ideas in the emergence of new forms and contemporary aesthetics.


This crucial new book outlines more than a dozen international projects and five theoretical chapters that embody the notion of ‘Crossover,' which Balmond describes as the movement between Metaphor and Substance through Pattern. Navigating between the ideal and the pragmatic, Balmond creates balance between the poetic and the essential. Crossover presents Balmond's thoughts and musings and charts his conceptual journey from the original fleeting idea to the finished product. Photographs, drawings, and plans for each project accompany never before seen journal notes, sketches, and in-depth commentary. The book includes the Weave Bridge at the University of Pennsylvania, a poetic solution to a pedestrian problem; the Serpentine Gallery Pavilions at London's Kensington Gardens; ArcelorMittal Orbit at the site of the London 2012 Olympics; and the world-renowned CCTV tower in Beijing.


Making the impossible possible and creating new typologies, Cecil Balmond's practice fuses aesthetic form with innovative methodology and design concepts born from a deep curiosity and understanding of how the Universe works. Navigating between the ideal and the pragmatic, Balmond creates balance between the poetic and the essential. Crossover, like its predecessor Informal, is destined to become essential reading for all students of modern architecture and engineering.