New to LSU: Q&A with Gregory Hurcomb

Gregory Hurcomb is an assistant professor in the LSU School of Interior Design. He has exhibited nationally in New York City, NY; Portland, OR; Princeton, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and San Francisco, CA; and internationally in Athens, Greece; Berlin, Germany; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has previously taught at the California College of the Arts, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Davis, the University of Pennsylvania, and the International Center of Photography. In addition, he has been a guest critic on fine art, design, and architecture reviews at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, CCA, Academy of Art University, Woodbury University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a contributor for the Architect’s Newspaper and has written about art for Art Practical, and on architecture for Architizer. In addition, he is presently a guest artist at the Sally and Don Lucas Artist in Residency Program (LAP) at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA.

Gregory Hurcomb

Gregory Hurcomb

Q: What is your background?

A: I’d say that my background is fairly broad. For the greater part of the past twenty years, I’ve been focused on being and becoming both a creative professional and an academic. From my studies as an undergraduate in both the arts and sciences, having earned a degree in English Literature and Letters, as well as a minor in chemistry, because at that point, way back then, I was on a well-rounded path to becoming a medical doctor. I shifted though and explored more divergent aspects and potentials of creative production in New York City, studying photography at the International Center of Photography, worked in book publishing and photography, in addition to making a few films, played a number of music venues, and took part in the diverse and intense lifestyle that a large metropolis offers. There was a time then though, where I needed to break away from the Big Apple, so I journeyed to Philadelphia to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where I earned a Masters of Architecture.

After graduating it was time for another repositioning, and I rambled on to the West Coast, landing in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’ve spent the past ten years teaching and working, building both my professional and academic experience through many different and
varied situations, prior to arriving here at LSU.

Q: What are your research interests?

A: My creative work is driven by a particular curiosity in the meeting point of the fine arts
(including but not limited to installation, sculpture, photography, film, drawing, and
painting), and architectural and interior design. I am inspired and motivated to explore the
hybrid processes that are located within the physical and perceptual transformation of space
by the mediums of air, light, sound, and structure, all amalgamated into new forms, and
potential energies.

My current research agenda is one that seeks to connect the digital and analogue processes,
specifically aimed at the juncture between making and designing meaningful constructs and
assemblies while utilizing insightful research into the future of the city, place making, and
public discourse, working with students of varied disciplines including the fine arts,
architecture, interior, interaction, industrial, and graphic designers. My work has focused on
the production of art, architecture and design through the training of students in the
interplay between two, three, and four-dimensional means of representation, fabrication,
and their historical and theoretical underpinnings. An additional line of research focused on
the origins of installation as a mode of architectural, artistic, and design production. Over the
course of the extended amount of time that it takes to traverse their education, students
have the opportunity to follow a trajectory of conceptual insight into a more detailed,
regimented knowledge being employed by the aforementioned industries. It is crucial and
essential that students engage in the whole range of thought processes that go on through a
robust educational agenda, incorporating interdisciplinary theory and practice as a core skill.

This includes new and emerging technologies. Having engaged in these different levels of
insight and education, through the fabrication of various syllabi as well as guiding curriculum,
I have been absorbed in wide-ranging processes by which to consider what art, architecture,
and design education should and can look like. I have sculpted new conditions by which
courses that I run have a multi-nodal system that includes conceptual, theoretical, historical,
and practical aspects, in order for students to be able to engage in these varied thought
processes and conditions early on as creative individuals. In this day and age it is a necessity
to consider what our future world will look like by considering all aspects of creation, from
concept to the gallery, in addition to the public realm. A thorough and integrated agenda is
especially needed in today’s ever shifting conditions.

Q: What is the focus of your studio courses this semester?

A: I’m currently teaching two courses this semester in the School of Interior Design, an
introductory studio course and a graphics course, both with sophomore level students. The
studio is focused on introducing students to form finding by investigating form and space through the lens of making, in both the analogue and digital spaces of creative experimentation. Their final project will be to design a series of rooms within rooms, spaces within spaces, site on site. The graphics course is aimed at developing student’s abilities to create dynamic visual representation through ideation, diagramming, graphic design techniques, and storytelling; all directed towards honing their production and presentation skills.

Q: What has been your first impression of LSU?

A: Well besides the hurricane, which was more of a regional welcome, I’d have to say that LSU is wonderful. I’m really overwhelmed by the lush campus, live oak groves, and the warmth of the overall environment. It is a good thing that I have a preference for humidity. I’m really looking forward to getting more involved in the art, architecture, and design community within LSU, Baton Rouge, and the greater region of the deep south.