International architect Gisue Hariri to speak at UTSA Nov. 11

Hariri Lecture

International architect Gisue Hariri
(Photo by Peter Freed)

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(Nov. 4, 2009)--The UTSA College of Architecture will present Gisue Hariri of New York-based Hariri & Hariri Architecture for the final lecture of the college's fall series at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11 in the Buena Vista Theater on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri, Iranian-born sisters educated at Cornell University, opened their practice in 1986. While a practicing architect, Gisue has taught at a number of prestigious universities, giving credence to the necessity for academic and philosophical discourse in the professional practice of architecture. She held an adjunct faculty position at Columbia University and visiting critic positions at Cornell, McGill and the Parsons School of Design. She frequently is sought as a jurist for design competitions including the annual American Institute of Architects Design Awards.

The Hariri sisters have contributed to the Sternbrauerei multi-housing development in Salzburg, Austria; the Houses at Sagaponac development in Long Island, N.Y.; and received the No. 1 pool house in America rank by Home & Garden Television for their Wilton pool house in Connecticut.

Hariri & Hariri brings a global perspective and intensity in the project development process with designs and builds going on in several parts of the world on concurrent timelines. Their architecture encompasses commercial, residential, private and public projects and artistic installations.

"We are honored to bring an internationally renowned architect such as Gisue Hariri to San Antonio," said John Murphy, dean of the UTSA College of Architecture. "This presents a fantastic opportunity for people from around the city to be exposed to her context of architecture and her talented perspectives."

Paul Goldberger, a former architecture critic for the New York Times, wrote in an introduction to a Hariri & Hariri monograph in 2005, "The work of Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri represents modernism at its most optimistic, and its most realistic? Another way to put this would be to say that architecture of the Hariris places a high value on both imagination and reality. This is an architecture of balance. It is at once powerful and restrained, self-assured and understated."

Taeg Nishimoto, associate dean for research, outreach and graduate studies in the UTSA College of Architecture, selected Hariri for this fall's lecture to offer students perspective in the approach to architecture theory and practice. He credits Hariri with a unique sensibility to the use of materials and the juxtaposition of certain radical design components tempered by restrained modernity. According to Nishimoto, Hariri has a unique perspective of scale and can design from a single piece of furniture, to an interior, to a full-scale urban building.