Sam Fox School spring Public Lecture Series begins Jan. 26

Speakers include Judith Barry, Kahlil Robert Irving, Julie Bargmann, Michael Maltzan, Timothy Morton

Architect Michael Maltzan will discuss his work April 4. Pictured is the 3,500-foot-long Sixth Street Viaduct in Los Angeles, which Maltzan’s firm completed in 2022. (Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture)

Artists Judith Barry and Kahlil Robert Irving, architects Fernanda Canales and Michael Maltzan, landscape architect Julie Bargmann and philosopher Timothy Morton are among the internationally renowned creative professionals who will discuss their work for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis’ spring Public Lecture Series.

Uniting WashU’s academic units in art, architecture and design with its acclaimed Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Sam Fox School brings an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues and challenges, from sustainable design and the role of digital creative tools to the importance of strengthening local communities.

The spring Public Lecture Series will highlight themes relating to social equity, resilient cities and the impact of emerging technologies. Events will begin Jan. 26 with architects Brennan Buck and David Freeland, co-founders of FreelandBuck. The practice, based in Los Angeles and New York, is known for exploring the spatial, atmospheric and structural potentials of computational patterning.

Josh Kline will deliver the Bunny and Charles Burson Visiting Lecture Feb. 6. Pictured is a still from Kline’s film “Adaptation” (2019-22). (Photo: Josh Kline)

New York-based artist Josh Kline, whose multimedia installations explore the politics of consumerism and climate change in 21st-century life — and whose recent solo exhibitions include shows at LAXART and the Whitney Museum of American Art — will speak Feb. 6. Gina Ford and Brie Hensold, co-founders of Cambridge, Mass.-based Agency Landscape + Planning, will discuss the foundational role of community engagement in public-oriented design Feb. 8.

Jonathan Louie and Nicole McIntosh, co-principals of Zurich-based Architecture Office, will discuss their transdisciplinary practice Feb. 16. Mexico City architect and theorist Fernanda Canales, whose writings and built works explore the history of Mexican housing and the nature of shared structures, will speak Feb. 19.

Installation view of “Kahlil Robert Irving: Archaeology of the Present.” (Photo: Kameron Herndon, courtesy Walker Art Center)

On Feb. 23, the Kemper Art Museum will host a conversation between Irving, a Sam Fox School alumnus (MFA ’17), and LAXART director Hamza Walker. An opening reception for “Kahlil Robert Irving: Archaeology of the Present,” which investigates our relationship to the city street, will immediately follow. Irving also will present a gallery talk, on April 3, with Andrea Achi, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Associate Curator of Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

David Dowell, a partner at El Dorado in Kansas City, Mo., will discuss integrated architecture, urban design, and curatorial, education and fabrication practice Feb. 26. Los Angeles architect Cory Henry, whose current projects include residential housing for St. Louis’ celebrated On Olive development (other architects include the Sam Fox School’s Constance Vale), will speak March 18.

Julie Bargmann and D.I.R.T. studio, Turtle Creek Water Works, Dallas. (Photo: Barrett Dougherty, courtesy of D.I.R.T. studio and The Cultural Landscape Foundation)

Landscape architect Julie Bargmann, dubbed a “visionary” by the New York Times for revitalizing toxic sites and reconnecting them to surrounding communities, will discuss her practice March 25. Architect Michael Maltzan — whose major projects include MoMA QNS, the Museum of Modern Art’s home in Long Island City, N.Y.; Qaumajuq, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s center for Inuit art; and a 35-unit apartment building for On Olive — will speak April 4.

Artist Tamara Johnson, the Sam Fox School’s 2023-24 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow, will speak at the Saint Louis Art Museum April 5. The talk coincides with the opening of “Currents 123: Tamara Johnson,” which will remain on view at the museum through Sept. 15.

Tamara Johnson, “Cracker with Cheese,” 2023. Pewter, pigmented resin, and oil-based paint, matte varnish; 2 x 2 x 1/2 inches; © Tamara Johnson. (Photo: Trey Burns)

Quinlin Messenger, founder of JUST Design Inc. and a contributor to “The Black Experience in Design” (co-edited by the Sam Fox School’s Penina Acayo Laker) will discuss his work April 11. Artist and writer Judith Barry, whose work is included in the collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum and the Centre Pompidou, among many others, will speak April 25.

Concluding the Public Lecture Series, on May 6, will be author, philosopher and filmmaker Timothy Morton, who frequently grapples with the state of environmental theory and the nature of nature itself. The talk is held in conjunction with the Kemper Art Museum exhibition “Santiago Sierra: 52 Canvases Exposed to Mexico City’s Air.”

All events are free and open to the public and begin at 5:30 p.m. Central in the Sam Fox School’s Steinberg Hall unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 314-935-9300 or visit

FreelandBuck, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 2019. (Photo courtesy of FreelandBuck)

Spring 2024 speakers

Jan. 26
Brennan Buck and David Freeland
Co-founders, FreelandBuck
Fitzgibbon Charrette Kickoff Lecture

Feb. 6
Josh Kline
Bunny and Charles Burson Visiting Lecture

Feb. 8
Gina Ford and Brie Hensold
Co-founders and principals, Agency Landscape + Planning
Fumihiko Maki Lecture

Feb. 16
Jonathan Louie and Nicole McIntosh
Co-principals, Architecture Office
Laskey Charrette Kickoff Lecture

Fernanda Canales, Casa Bruma, Mexico, 2017. (Photo: Rafael Gamo, courtesy of Fernanda Canales Arquitectura)

Feb. 19
Fernanda Canales
Founder, Fernanda Canales Arquitectura
Coral Courts Lecture

Feb. 23
Artist Kahlil Robert Irving
Q&A with Hamza Walker, director of LAXART
Exhibition opening to immediately follow.
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

Feb. 26
David Dowell
Partner, El Dorado
The Historic Preservation Lecture

El Dorado, 1901 Main Street, Kansas City. (Photo courtesy of El Dorado)

March 18
Cory Henry
Principal, Atelier Cory Henry
Ruth & Norman Moore Visiting Professor of Architecture Lecture

March 25
Julie Bargmann
Founder and principal, D.I.R.T. studio
Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

April 3
Kahlil Robert Irving
Gallery talk with Andrea Achi, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Associate Curator of Byzantine Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
* Lecture in Kemper Art Museum. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences.

Cory Henry, rendering of the Brownsville Futures Project, Atlanta. (Image: Atelier Cory Henry)

April 4
Michael Maltzan
Principal, Michael Maltzan Architecture
Harris Armstrong Fund Lecture

April 5
Tamara Johnson
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow Lecture
* Lecture at 6 p.m. at Saint Louis Art Museum

April 11
Quinlin Messenger
Founder and director, JUST Design Inc.
AIA St. Louis Scholarship Trust Lecture

Judith Barry, “pastpresentfuturetense…ppft,” 1977. Performance still: sand curtain as it releases from the ceiling. (Photo courtesy of the artist and Mary Boone Gallery)

April 25
Judith Barry
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture

May 6
Timothy Morton
Rita Shea Guffey Professor of English, Rice University
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences
* Lecture in Kemper Art Museum

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