University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Ways of Working, Spring 2010

DES 1905 section 1 (call #95446), 2 credits
Mondays and Wednesdays, March 22-May 5, 7:00-8:40 p.m.
13 Rapson Hall
Instructor: Professor Leslie Van Duzer

This course will examine the artistic production of two visiting artists and their unique ways of working. The class will be structured around a series of five public conversations between Finnish architect and writer Juhani Pallasmaa and American playwright Leigh Fondakowski, and will include short reading and writing assignments and group discussions. By focusing in depth on the work of two significant artists, students will glean a broader understanding of the complex nature of the creative process.

Leigh Fondakowski was the Head Writer of The Laramie Projectand has been a member of Tectonic Theatre Project since 1995. She is an Emmy nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation ofThe Laramie Project for HBO. Her latest work, The People’s Temple, has been performed under her direction at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Perseverance Theater, and The Guthrie Theater, and received the Glickman Award for best new play in 2005. Another original play, I Think I Like Girls, premiered at Encore Theater in San Francisco under her direction and was voted one of the top 10 plays of 2002 by The Advocate.

Other directing credits include: 3 Seconds in the Key by Deb Margolin (San Francisco Playhouse), The Laramie Project(Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Perseverance Theatre), La Voix Humaine by Jean Cocteau (Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh), Agatha by Marguerite Duras (French Alliance, New York), Gwen John adapted from the novel by Jane Warrick (HERE, New York), and readings and workshops of new plays by Jeff Baron, Stephen Belber, Colman Domingo, Laura Eason and Lisa Ramirez. Fondakowski is currently developing a play about 19th century actress Charlotte Cushman with Tectonic Theatre Project and About Face Theatre.

Juhani Pallasmaa has been engaged in architectural, product, and graphic design and town planning since 1963 and currently runs his own architectural office in Helsinki while serving as Acting Professor of Architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology. During the course of his career, he has also served as State Artist Professor (1983-88); Director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture (1978- 83); Associate Professor at the Haile Selassie I University, Addis Abeba (1972-74); Director of the Exhibition Department at the Museum of Finnish Architecture (1968-72, 74-83); and Rector of the College of Crafts and Design(1970-72).

Pallasmaa has been the designer of a multitude of exhibitions of Finnish architecture, planning and visual arts shown abroad in more than thirty countries and the author of numerous articles and lectures on cultural philosophy, environmental psychology and theory of architecture and arts in various countries. He has edited several books and over thirty exhibition catalogues and is a member of the CICA (International Committee of Architectural Critics) and the International Academy of Architecture, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Fondakowski and Pallasmaa’s visit is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Imagine Fund which is supported by a generous donation from the McKnight Foundation

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