Graduate Architecture

Posted October 7, 2020

Graduate Architecture Presents ‘Mixing Chambers’ at the Penn Museum

The latest iteration of the Department of Architecture’s Pavilion ProjectMixing Chambers is a virtual installation of designs by first-year graduate architecture students accessed via QR codes in the Stoner Courtyard of the Penn Museum.

As employed in various scientific and engineering pursuits, mixing chambers are enclosed spaces intended to foster the combination of two or more discrete elements. For the purposes of this project, institutions like the Penn Museum are considered for their role as cultural mixing chambers, fostering interactions between a diverse community of visitors and a wide-ranging collection of historical artifacts. At a time when truth and memory are deeply contested, the role of cultural institutions and the ways in which they share, display, and disseminate the objects, stories and histories of our collective pasts has come under new scrunity.

In addition to cultural mixing, students have been asked to consider “Mixed Realities” for this project. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically transformed day-to-day communications around the world, accelerating the adoption of virtual meeting and web streaming technologies. As virtual, augmented, and actual realities have all become part of daily life for most of humanity, the emerging field of Mixed Reality--an examination of the merging of the virtual and phsyical--has never been more urgent. Students interrogate these mixed realities through various forms of representation.

For the first project presented in this exhibition, students draw on these concepts of mixing and at the same time problematize the concept through the design of a Mixing Chamber. Each Mixing Chamber is intended to house and curate a range of specific artifacts from different departments within the Penn Museum.

The installation will be on view from October 12-19, from sunrise to sunset. There is a public opening on Monday, October 12, at 1:00pm. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

The studio review will take place on Monday, October 12, at 9:00am-1:00pm and will be livestreamed on Weitzman's YouTube channel.

complementary exhibition website showcases additional renderings and phases of design.

The 501 studio is coordinated by Associate Professor of Architecture Andrew Saunders with critics Maya Alam, Daniel Markiewicz, Nate Hume, Venessa Keith, Brian Deluna and Danielle Willems.