Talk: Architect Ronald Rael

Ron Rael

Friday, February 2, 5:30pm

Presented by 516 ARTS & UNM School of Architecture and Planning
At George Pearl Hall, UNM School of Architecture 

Architect Ronald Rael is the author of Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (University of California Press 2017), a timely re-examination of what the physical barrier that divides the United States of America from the United Mexican States is and could be. It is both a protest against the wall and a projection about its future by advocating for a reconsideration of the existing barrier dividing the U.S. and Mexico through design proposals that are hyperboles of actual scenarios that have occurred as a consequence of the wall. In conjunction with Rael’s talk, works on paper from Rael San Fratello Architecture Studio are exhibited at the Rainosek Gallery, UNM School of Architecture. On view January 23 - March 6, 2018

Associate Professor Ronald Rael holds the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture and a joint appointment in the Department of Architecture, in the College of Environmental Design, and the Department of Art Practice. He is both a Bakar and Hellman Fellow, chairs the Masters of Architecture Committee, and directs the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials). His teaching spans the curriculum, from graduate design thesis, undergraduate courses on Design & Activism, and he has twice directed the one year post-professional Master of Architecture program, Studio One.

He is an applied architectural researcher, design activist, author, and thought leader in the fields of additive manufacturing and earthen architecture. In 2014 his creative practice, Rael San Fratello (with architect Virginia San Fratello), was named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York—one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. In 2016 Rael San Fratello was also awarded the Digital Practice Award of Excellence by the The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA).

He is the author of Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (University of California Press 2017), which advocates for a reconsideration of the existing barrier dividing the U.S. and Mexico through design proposals that are hyperboles of actual scenarios that have occured as a consequence of the wall, and Earth Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) is a history of building with earth in the modern era to exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet. Emerging Objects, a company co-founded by Rael, is an independent, creatively driven, 3D Printing MAKE-tank specializing in innovations in 3D printing architecture, building components, environments and products (a short documentary of thier work can be seen here). A monograph of the work of Emerging Objects will be published in 2018 by Princeton Architectural Press.

Rael earned his Master of Architecture degree at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he was the recipient of the William Kinne Memorial Fellowship. Previous academic and professional appointments include positions at the Southern California Institute for Architecture (SCI_arc), Clemson University, the University of Arizona, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam. His work has been published widely, including the New York Times, Wired, MARK, Domus, Metropolis Magazine, PRAXIS, Thresholds, Log, and recognized by several institutions including The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, La Biennale di Venezia, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Center for Fine Arts, Netherlands and included in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Image: Ron Rael & Virginia San Fratello, Teeter-Totter Wall, 2013, composite model, 4 x 4 inches, collection of Rael San Fratello