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Far and Near
2022–2023 Lecture Series: Engaging Pluralism, Fall Edition
MD Anderson Hall, Farish Gallery

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Only If is a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism founded in 2013 and led by Adam Frampton and Karolina Czeczek. Only If’s projects span a range of different types and scales, from small interiors and cafes, to houses and housing, to larger-scale urban planning, research, and speculation. The practice works in buildings and interiors in a very detailed and hands-on manner, while simultaneously operating at an urban and regional scale of design. "Far and Near” emerges from the seemingly incongruous scalar and durational differences of the practice’s work, but also its ability interconnect the material and spatial questions of architecture to larger social concerns, in order to critically address how cities and landscapes are formed, how they will adapt and change in the future, and how we live collectively.
Only If’s projects have been featured in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Architect, Architectural Record, Interior Design, Frame, Domus, Wallpaper*, Azure, and the Architect’s Newspaper, among other publications. In 2022, Only If’s Narrow House was nominated for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize and Only If was also named part of Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard. In 2020, Only If was named as one of the 50 best emerging architecture firms in the world by Domus. Only If has been also recognized as Architect Magazine’s Next Progressives (2019), Architect’s Newspaper AN 50 (2018, 2019), a winner of the 2018 AIANY New Practices New York, PIN-UP’s Magazine’s New Power Generation (2017), and the World Interior News’ 2016 Emerging Interior Practice of the Year.
Karolina Czeczek is an architect and Principal at Only If, a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism. She is currently a Critic at the Yale School of Architecture and Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt and has previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, University of Kentucky, and University of Cincinnati. She is an author of several articles and research on the New York City public pools that explores the history, form, social, and cultural aspects of the swimming pool as an architectural type. Karolina previously worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam and Hong Kong, where she was involved in the design of interior, building, and urban scale projects in the Netherlands, Australia, China, Morocco, and Egypt. She is a Fulbright Scholar who holds M.Arch degrees from Yale University and the Cracow University of Technology. Karolina is a registered architect in the Netherlands and Poland.
Adam Frampton is an architect and a Principal of Only If, a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism. Frampton is also a Design Critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP, and has also taught at Parsons, Syracuse University, and the University of Kentucky.  He is the co-author of Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook (2012) which maps Hong Kong's three-dimensional networks of pedestrian circulation and public space. His work and research have been exhibited in the 12th, 14th, 16th, and 17th Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, the M+ Hong Kong, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Center for Architecture, and the Van Alen Institute, New York. Previously, he worked as an Associate at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam and Hong Kong from 2006 to 2013. He holds an M.Arch from Princeton University and is a licensed Architect in the United States and the Netherlands.


Engaging Pluralism
When ideologies and cultures collide, new ways of working with and living in the world emerge. As a form of political philosophy, pluralism draws upon this dynamic condition, promoting the coexistence of multiple approaches and worldviews. Yet in the context of compounding crises and unchecked inequality, this is far from a neutral position: it becomes a commitment to struggle and discourse. Drawing from a broad-ranging group of speakers, Rice Architecture’s annual lecture series, Engaging Pluralism, explores how architects and designers can work with friction, contradiction, and multiplicity to effect broader social, cultural, and environmental change. It is an all-school platform for reflecting on the possibilities and challenges of designing for a pluralistic society.

All lectures are free and open to the public and, unless noted otherwise, will be held in person in Farish Gallery, MD Anderson Hall, with a livestream component. In the event that COVID-19 circumstances prohibit in-person lectures, the series will be held virtually via Zoom. Each lecture has been submitted for AIA CES approval.

This lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund; the William B. Coleman Jr. Colloquium Fund for Architecture; the Wm. W. Caudill Lecture Series Fund; and Rice Design Alliance (RDA), the public programs and outreach arm of Rice Architecture, which includes the generous support of its members and RDA Underwriters:  Harvey | Harvey-Cleary; Tellepsen Family; Big State Electric; Brochsteins; CED Houston; MAREK; Turner Construction; and Walter P. Moore. Additional support is provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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