Design Symposium: Details, Details—Residential Architecture Assembled

If you read the AIA CRAN report in Residential Design on the Wright Symposium held at the Raymond Farm Center and wished you could have attended, now is your chance. The next symposium, called “Details, Details: Residential Architecture Assembled/The Prose & Poetry of Construction,” will take place on June 30 from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design in New Hope, Penn.—RD Staff

Event Program

DETAILS, Details Residential Architecture Assembled/ The Prose & Poetry of Construction 

In Celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Publication ofAntonin and Noémi Raymond’s Architectural Details (1938) 

A one-day symposium on the history, theory, and evolution of modern residential architectural detailing, from the early 20th century to contemporary architecture today. 

JUNE 30 


Speakers & Topics 

Edward R. Ford— Intolerance: Craft in the Age of Digital Perfection 

Ken Tadashi OshimaCulture, Climate & Craft in Antonin Raymond’s Architectural Details 

Michael Cadwell, FAIA— Strange Details: Carlo Scarpa, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe & Louis Kahn 

Christian Schittich— Residential Details: Europe + Japan 

Panel Discussion: The Prose & Poetry of Construction

Moderator Simon Tickell AIA- Associate Professor Drexel University

Westphal College Architecture, Interiors, Urban Planning 

Special Guest Lindsay Falck of Drexel University & University of Pennsylvania Architecture 

Attendance Fee 

AIA Member $200

Non-AIA Member $300

AIAS $50 (Limited Student Admission Scholarships Available)

AIA CES 5 LU Credits

60 available attendee slots 

Registration is on the Raymond Farm Center site

Sponsors and Collaborators 

AIA CRAN Custom Residential Architectural Network 

Residential Design magazine 


Raymond Farm Center

In collaboration with AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee 

DETAILS, Details Residential Architecture Assembled/ The Prose & Poetry of Construction


Since the beginning of modern architecture at the turn of the last century, architects and designers have faced and embraced new challenges: the integration of new technologies; the emergence of new materials and methods of construction; new concepts of space and form; new relationships between the “inside and out;” and even new ideas about the relationship between architecture and nature itself. All led to a new conception and meaning of construction. The modern architectural detail became an expression and celebration of the New, and would act as a more authentic replacement for traditional ornamental systems and their meanings.

Residential architecture played a vital role in the development of modern architecture. Because of its modest scale, relatively low costs, and attraction to an adventurous clientele, residential building was the perfect laboratory for exploring new ideas. One cannot imagine modern architecture without Schindler’s King’s Road House, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Wright’s Usonian Houses, or Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. However, the story of the modern detail in architecture is not simple, nor even rational. Many experiments in modern construction took a step backward from traditional systems. Many modernists did not adequately address the problems posed by the assembly needed for a complete building system. Others overestimated the potentials of new materials and methods. Still, others emphasized the expression of new techniques over the integrity of the building envelope. Often, “dumber” traditional construction details outperformed their modernist’s “functional” substitutes. By the post-World War II period, the impact of new technologies, the industrialization of building products, and the standardization of modern components and materials increased building performance, but simultaneously diminished the expressive range of the architect’s detail design. Much of the poetry of construction was lost.

Now, after more than a century of modernism, the architect’s design responsibilities have grown even more complicated. Environmental concerns set new ethical and ecological criteria. Performance building codes such as LEED, Net-Zero, and the Living Building Challenge set new benchmarks. Green roofs, solar roofs, rain screens, geothermal heating and cooling—and a whole host of next-generation materials andsystems—have risen to meet these demanding new standards. Home automation, as well as advancements in lighting design and sound and entertainment systems, havetransformed the designer’s role from master-builder to “master-coordinator.” The assembly and detailing of the home’s interior have become as complex as the building’s structure and envelope. All the while, new digital design and fabrication tools continue to expand the possibilities, and perhaps the limits, for architectural expression.

The Details, Details symposium will explore this history and evolution, and examine where we are today here in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as looking forward towards the future of residential architecture’s technical and expressive detailing and design. — Program Director/Event Coordinator: John DeFazio AIA, Architect, Drexel University, Director of the RFC

Speakers’ Topics and Bios:

Edward R. Ford— Intolerance: Craft in the Age of Digital Perfection

Is craft perfection? Is it messy vitality? Is it a concept that even matters if our future is to be robotic, digital and jointless? If craft does survive must it not change conceptually as the culture of building changes? The fact is we do not understand the status quo nor do we understand the future as well as we would like to believe, but an examination of issues of building assembly and the nature of materials with some specificity, now and in the past, yields a more productive line of inquiry, the concept of “narratives of craft” that are an integral part of the buildings we value.

Edward Ford is the author of The Details of Modern Architecture (MIT, 1990) and The Details of Modern Architecture, Volume 2 (MIT, 1996), both supported by grants from the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; Five Houses, Ten Details (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009); and most recently The Architectural Detail (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011). He has published articles in Architectural Design, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Detail, Harvard Design Magazine, and Perspecta. His architectural work has been published in The New American House, Japan Architect, Competitions, 18 Houses, Inform, ARQ, and Oculus and has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Foundation for Architecture.

Ken Tadashi Oshima—Culture, Climate & Craft in Antonin Raymond’s Architectural Details

Antonin Raymond Architectural Details (1937, 1947) is a seminal publication, both in its pre WWII context in Japan and post WWII context in the United States. This talk will situate this publication within these contexts through the themes of culture, climate and craft through specific projects between Japan, India and the US and Raymond’s work. Further consideration will be given to his collaborators including Noemi Raymond, George Nakashima and Junzô Yoshimura as the basis for considering the broader impact and lasting lessons of Architectural Details.

Ken Tadashi Oshima is a professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, where he teaches in the areas of trans-national architectural history,theory, representation, and design. He was a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in London. Among many other publications, Dr. Oshima has written, International Architecture in Interwar Japan: Constructing Kokusai Kenchiku (University of Washington Press, 2009) and was contributor to Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noémi Raymond, and co-curator with William Whitaker of the related exhibit at University of Pennsylvania, UC Santa Barbara, Kamakura Museum of Modern Art, 2006-7.

Michael Cadwell, FAIA— Strange Details: Carlo Scarpa, Frank Lloyd Wright, Miesvan der Rohe & Louis Kahn

Suspending the conventional understanding of modern construction and resistingtheoretical pronouncements, Micheal Cadwell will revisit the canonical modern works ofCarlo Scarpa, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe & Louis Kahn: the material menagerie of Scarpa’s the Querini Stampalia; the wood light frame of Wright’s Jacobs House; the welded steel frame of Mies’ Farnsworth House; and the reinforced concrete of Kahn’s Yale Center for British Art. There is a consistent strangeness in theconstruction of each building, a reconfiguration of the rudimentary facts of building that creates a subtle but undeniable shift in a building’s physicality. In each, we are afforded a new sense of the world, one that we can detect in their architects’ reconfigurations of the world’s materials.

Michael B. Cadwell, FAIA LEED AP, is the Walter H. Kidd Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture. He received his BA in English Literature with Honors from Williams College and his Master of Architecture from Yale University. Before coming to Ohio State University, Cadwell taught at the Parsons School of Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Williams College. He also practiced in the offices of Turner Brooks, Wiemann and Lamphere, and Cesar Pelli. He is a fellow of the Woodstock Arts Colony, the McDowell Arts Colony, and the American Academy in Rome. Cadwell also practices with Jane Murphy. Cadwell designed and built a series of small wood buildings on remote New England sites and public sculpture parks, which were collected as Pamphlet Architecture 17 by Princeton Architectural Press. He is the author of Strange Details (MIT Press, 2007) and more recently his writing has appeared in Hunch, Harvard Design Magazine, Log, and Domus.

Christian Schittich— Residential Details Today: Europe + Asia

What is the nature of contemporary architectural details today? How do they influence the character of a building? How are they developed and what are the technical functions they serve? Christian Schittich will focus upon the latest international trends in residential architectural detailing, in Europe in the works of such architects as Beart & Deplazes, BIG, Hild und K, Kempe Thill. Mr. Schittich will then redirect his attention to residential architecture in China and Japan—surveying the last three decades in Asia, from Tadao Ando to today’s generation of architects, including Wang Shu, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma, Akihisa Hirata and MiCo. He will then compare residential detailing in Japan with that of European work in regards to design, expression, durability, sustainability and energy efficiency. Schittich will conclude with his observations on the differences in how architecture and construction are practiced in Japan versus Europe and how these differences are reflected in how details are developed and residential architecture built.

Christian Schittich, is an architect, writer. and consultant. He is a graduate of Architecture and Engineering at the University of Technology, Munich. In addition to his years of practice, he is the former editor-in-chief of DETAIL: a Review of Architecture and Construction Details, after having served for 25 years. Under his direction, DETAIL had become one of the most internationally distinguished magazines in the profession. He is also the author and editor of numerous books including: Glass Construction Manual, 1999; In Detail: Single Family Houses, 2005; In Detail: Building Simply 2001/2012; In Detail: Japan, 2002; Housing in Japan, 2016; Landmark Buildings – A Review of Three Decades of Architecture, 2017.

Panel Discussion & Q&A Moderator

Simon J. Tickell, AIA

Simon J. Tickell, AIA is a practicing architect with over 30 years of professional experience. Concurrent with his professional practice, Simon began teaching in the evening program in 1987 as an adjunct faculty member. Simon has experience inmany building types, including educational and museum facilities. Simon coordinates the 5th year studio sequence, teaches Architectural Details, and Materials and Methods coursework and serves as Architect Licensing Advisor for the department. Simon has a Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, BA, Urban Studies, Lehigh University.

Panel Discussion Special Guest

Dyer Alfred ‘Lindsay’ Falck RA

Lindsay Falck, is lecturer on architectural technologies at University of Pennsylvania, and Adjunct professor of Drexel University. Mr. Falck has Bachelor of Architecture, University of Capetown, South Africa and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Capetown, South Africa.

Program: Details, Details

Symposium Format

This symposium will have four presentations, followed by a panel discussion and Q & A.

Proposed Schedule

8:30 – 9:30       AM Arrival & Sign In – Coffee and Bagels

9:45 – 10:00     Introduction: Stuart Narofsky FAIA, Chairman of CRAN (Custom Residential Architecture Network) Tri-State Region CRAN Chapter

10:00 – 10:15    John DeFazio AIA-Introduction to Details, Details

10:15 – 11:00    Edward R. Ford— Intolerance: Craft in the Age of Digital Perfection

11:15 – 12:00    Ken Tadashi Oshima— Ken Tadashi Oshima— Culture, Climate & Craft in Antonin Raymond’s Architectural Details

12:00 – 1:30    Lunch- Raymond Farmhouse Open House

1:30 – 2:15     Michael Cadwell, FAIA— Strange Details: Carlo Scarpa, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe & Louis Kahn

2:30 – 3:15    Christian Schittich— Residential Details: Europe + Japan

3:30 – 4:30   Panel Discussion The Prose & Poetry of Construction + Q & A – Simon Tickell Moderator, Lindsey Faulk Special Guest

4:30 – 6:00    Wine & Cheese Reception -Hosted by Charlotte and Janet Raymond and the Raymond Family

Special Event

7:00-9:30     Dinner with the Raymond Family and the Guest Speakers at the Raymond Studio

(Limited Number) $150 per Person


Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design

The Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts & Design is a non-profit culture, arts and design organization based in New Hope, Pennsylvania at the former studio/home of the designer-architects Noémi and Antonin Raymond. Serving the Bucks County PA community and the greater Philadelphia/New York City region, it hosts programming related to culture, architecture, sustainability, art, craft, and design, with particular attention to their relationship to nature. The center is dedicated to the preservation of the historic Raymond Farmhouse as well as carrying forward the principals embodied in their work and lives. The Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts & Design is a member of CultureWorks of Greater Philadelphia.

Antonin and Noémi Raymond

Antonin and Noémi’s Raymond’s international careers spanned from the 1910s through the 1970s, practicing architecture and designing furniture, lighting, and textiles, as well as ceramics, flatware, and ironwork. Working in their Japan, New York, and New Hope studios, the Raymonds established one of the most avant-garde design studios in the world. Today in Japan, Antonin is known as the “father of modern architecture.”

With war looming in Japan and Europe in 1937, the Raymonds returned their practice to New York and set up a summer studio/home on an 18th century Quaker farm in Bucks County. Dubbed “the New Hope Experiment,” the Raymond Farm served as a live/work atelier that taught practical design solutions. Here, the Raymond Farm apprentices would learn by working in the studio while also assisting in the farm work.

During the summer months, the Raymonds would frequently host their friends—fellow architects, artists, musicians, writers, poets, architects, and scholars—who would often welcome a sojourn in the Bucks County countryside. Hence, the Raymond Farm became more than a home and studio, but an atelier, salon, and a way of life rooted in nature, beauty, art, and work.

Raymond Farm Center Team

John DeFazio AIA, Director RFC Founder, Professional & Educational Programing, Administrations

Charlotte Raymond, CoDirector RFC Founder, Family Chair, Administration, Community Events

Programmer Janet Raymond, Associate Director, RFC Founder, CoFamily Chair, Administrative Consulting

Vinni Cheng, Director of Cultural Programming Japanese Arts and Cultural Events Programming, Artist

Miriam Carpenter, Artist in Residence, RFC Artist, Woodworker, Founder of the Residency Program

David Brady, Director of Facilities, RFC Founder, Management & Administration


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