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Felix Candela: A Symposium



Columbia University

501 Schermerhorn Hall

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Free and open to the public


In conjunction with the exhibition Felix Candela, the Wallach Art Gallery and the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library present a symposium on his life and work. 

Félix Candela is regarded as one the greatest Spanish architects of the 20th century. He is celebrated for his feats of architectural engineering that transform concrete into visual poetry with his structural design based on hyperbolic paraboloid geometric form.

Barry Bergdoll, curator of Architecture & Design, Museum of Modern Art, will introduce the symposium and our keynote speaker Professor David Billington of Princeton University will present Felix Candela, engineer, builder and structural artist. his presentation will be followed by two panel discussions. The first, moderated by Angela Giral, former Avery Librarian, will focus on the relationship between politics and architecture.  The second panel moderated by Professor Mary McLeod, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) will take up the discussion of Candela’s legacy. Closing remarks and presentation of the exhibition will be delivered by Professor Juan Ignacio del Cueto, of UNAM, Mexico.

Additional speakers and program details.

Exhibition opening and reception immediately following.



Virtual Reality, VSim, and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893: Is There Hope for the Technically Challenged


Lisa Snyder (Associate Director of the Experiential Technologies Center, UCLA) specializes in the use of interactive virtual reality environments to study and teach about historic urban environments. For the Israel Antiquities Authority, she created a three-dimensional interactive digital reconstruction of the Temple Mount complex, and, more recently, she’s developed a computer simulation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Dr. Snyder’s pioneering work with real-time visual simulation technology provides unprecedented opportunities for experiential interpretation of and innovative pedagogy involving cultural heritage sites. Based on extensive archaeological and historical research, her highly detailed computer reconstructions allow users to explore built environments that no longer exist. Snyder is currently working with a team of programmers on an NEH-funded project to develop a new software interface (VSim) to facilitate educational use of three-dimensional computer models.


Co-sponsored by Columbia University Libraries Digital Humanities Center, the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center.