Brown’s Exhibit Changes Definition of Architecture

Lori Brown PhotoLori Brown gives a lecture and presents an architecture exhibition called “Feminist Practices” on Wednesday afternoon in the Design Building.

Tall buildings and big bridges usually come to mind when students think of architecture, but Lori Brown gave LSU students an entirely new perspective on the subject Wednesday.

The artist, architect and associate professor at Syracuse University gave a lecture to more than 100 students about her exhibit “Feminist Practices,” which highlighted her work and the projects of other female architects.

“One of my primary goals is to broaden the need of architecture and the role of design in contemporary society,” Brown said. “I want to raise awareness about why design is relevant and what it can do socially and politically in our world.”

“Feminist Practices,” will be on display in the Art and Design Building’s common area from Oct. 5 to Oct. 16.

Brown said she was inspired to create the exhibit by of the lack of women in the professional field of architecture. She said female architects can bring a new and different perspective to architecture and space, and the exhibit embodies this belief.

The exhibit features her project about issues between the First Amendment and public space. Brown examined the space of abortion clinics and where they are placed throughout the nation and within each state, rather than the design of actual buildings.

“It’s looking at how access [to the abortion clinic] is legislated and how that impacts the space we use,” she said. The exhibit features other female architects’ works, like Ronit Eisenbach, Meghan Walsh and Cynthia Hammond.

Eisenbach’s project explored the sensitivity between space and human movement. Walsh took architecture students to rural Brazil to build staircases and improve the village’s primary public circulation zones, and Hammond explored how buildings breathe.

“It’s important for students to realize architecture isn’t just about buildings, but about any kind of interpretation no matter what the scale,” said Jori Erdman, director of the School of Architecture.

Brown said she wants students to be able to rethink what architecture is, what it can do and what it can become.

Andre Charitat, architecture freshman, said he was surprised to hear there was a shortage of female architects because architecture is an art-based field.

“[Her lecture and exhibit are] changing the definition of architecture,” Charitat said. “It’s not about the physical building, but the buildings in relation to each other.”

By Mary Walker Baus
Staff Writer, LSU Daily Reveille