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THE PROBLEM WITH THE CORNER PROBLEM

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | Perloff Hall
The Problem with the Corner Problem, 142 A.UD Technology II (Undergrad)
Instructor: Erin Besler

Corners.
The other big thing was, as far as I was concerned, that they almost all seemed to get in trouble in the corners.   -Frank Stella (1)

As some would describe the title of this course as merely a cliche, superfluous or boring, no recent topic in architecture has carried less discursive weight than the Corner Problem.  Why is it that the meeting of two surfaces has caused such a perpetual problem? Might we point fingers at issues of material thickness, or accuracy and tolerance? Despite claims that the Corner Problem is nothing more than a clumsy Roman invention (2), some have argued that it has already been solved in a variety of ways (as problems often are). Perhaps only in architecture has the term problem, not come to be something that requires a solution, but rather something to be worked on - a project. And if it is a problem, if it has reached a point where the discipline can call it that, then clearly we all agree that there is something repetitively happening in the corner.

(1) Frank Stella Interview, 1972 accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watchvcN_rRCfRdmQ
(2) Christopher Drew Armstrong, Julien-David Leroy and The Making of Architectural History, 99.

 

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