Alan Chimacoff Lecture: Mod: Trad: Figure: Abstract; In Search of Détente


Location: 104 Bond Hall


The Robert A.M. Stern Architects Lecture

Lecture Summary

The perpetual argument between traditional and Modern architecture—premises and principles of figural and abstract thinking and imagery—is one of apparent divergence.  Following Colin Rowe’s identification of the potential for détente in “The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa,” observing the trajectories in the work of Michael Graves, and personally plagued by allegiances to both, this is an exploration into whether it is possible to reconcile the ideological differences in a quest for AUTHENTICITY, in both architecture and photography.



Alan Chimacoff is an architect in Princeton, New Jersey.   A New Jersey native, he was educated at Cornell and Harvard universities.  His professional career in architecture includes: individual private practice; Director of Design at Hillier Architecture; a founding principal at ikon.5 architects.  He has had an extensive career in architecture education and academic administration.  He is a dedicated photographer.

His architecture and planning work is principally for colleges and universities.  His important projects are at Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Arizona State, Johns Hopkins and Syracuse universities, covering a range of building types:  professional schools, academic and classroom facilities, and laboratories, as well as undergraduate and graduate residential and related social buildings.  Currently in process, a private developer building in Ithaca, New York, for use by Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management.

In architecture education between 1969 and 2013, he was:  at Cornell University—assistant professor; at Princeton University—lecturer, associate professor, full professor, director of graduate studies and part- time adjunct.  He also was visiting professor at University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

In photography, his abstract and architectural/urban pictures have been exhibited in New York, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and numerous places in New Jersey.  Book currently in process:  New York; City of Many Cities.