Architect Urtzi Grau to begin Distinguished Visiting Professorship at School of Architecture
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: January 23, 2018
Portland State University School of Architecture welcomes architect Urtzi Grau as Distinguished Visiting Professor for Winter 2018. Urtzi Grau will be in residency February 4 – 10, 2018, where he will work with first-year Master of Architecture students in a graduate design studio course taught by Assistant Professor of Practice Andrew Santa Lucia.

Grau is an architect, director of the Master of Architectural Research at University of Technology Sydney and co-founder of Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, an architecture office that has received the AIA New York New Practices Award, has been shortlisted in the MoMA PS1 and the Miami Design pavilions, was finalist the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition, and represented Australia in the Chicago Architectural Biennial. The office has recently completed the Superphosphates! Masterplan in Cáceres and the OE House in Barcelona. Grau graduated from the School of Architecture of Barcelona in 2000, was awarded Master in Advanced Architectural Design by Columbia University in 2004, and is currently completing his Ph.D. at Princeton University on the 1970s urban renewal of Barcelona. He has previously taught at Cooper Union, Princeton University, Columbia University, Cornell University, and Rice University School of Architecture. His work and writings have been published in various international journals such as AV, Bawelt, Domus, Kerb, Log, Plot, Praxis, Spam, Volume, and White Zinfandel and exhibited in la Bienal de Buenos Aires, P! Gallery, RMIT Design Hub, Shenzhen Biennale, Storefront, the Venice Biennale and 0047.

His lecture will discuss the Indo Pacific region and the role of design and architecture in defining its identity. “In 2013 Australia officially moved to the Indo Pacific, a region created ex-proposito that expands from South America to the Gulf, from South East Asia to East Africa,” Grau writes. “The aim of this lecture is to quantify its physical and intangible dimensions, to articulate facts in order to make visible the cosmopolitical edifice that holds the region together. Due to its abrupt conception, the maps and the histories of the Indo Pacific Region – the social, political, economic, technologic, eco-systemic, and spatial relations that define it – are currently being constructed. Thus, design decisions are still possible. As an imaginary space relentlessly becoming real, this parafictional region is architecture's ideal site.”

Urtzi Grau is one of three Distinguished Visiting Professors at the School of Architecture during the 2017-2018 academic year, with Leni Schwendinger (Fall 2017) and Ipek Türeli (Spring 2018).

Capping his residency in the School of Architecture, he will present a Fridays@4 talk titled “Indo Pacific: An Instantaneous Region: Stories, Atlases, Cartographies, and Commons,” 4pm, Friday, February 9, 2018, in Shattuck Hall Annex. This lecture will be free and open to the public.