Architect Peter Ballman joins artist and writer Joan Waltemath for a conversation. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Lynn Crawford.
Peter Ballman is a principal of Ballman Khapalova, an architecture practice based in Ithaca and New York City. Through this practice Peter works at a variety of scales, from infrastructure to urban playgrounds, always seeking to integrate intuitive and imaginative design methods with a rigorous approach to drawing, building and planning. He has worked as a designer at Barkow Leibinger in Berlin, as well as Senior Project Manager at Sciame Construction in NYC, working closely on the coordination and construction of the The Shed at Hudson Yards. His primary interests are in integrating the study of culture with building techniques and typologies across the history of architecture, and with the development of an intuitive design methodology drawing on a multitude of disciplines and techniques.
Ballman holds a B.A.in Anthropology from Reed College and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union. He is currently the Tafel Visiting Critic at the Cornell University School of Architecture where he teaches an advanced studio course entitled Disaster Machines, proposing architectural and infrastructural solutions for social and environmental catastrophes. Prior courses at Cornell have included Mies Variations: Exercises in langue and parole, which focused on the evolution of architectural language and construction detailing over time. He has also taught at integrated design at Pratt Institute, and has served as a guest critic at The Cooper Union, Pratt and Cornell.
Joan Waltemath, born in 1953, grew up on the Great Plains where her German ancestors settled in the late 19th century. Her early experiences in nature and looking at native geometries inform her subsequent abstract paintings and guide their complex use of materials. As her multifaceted 2 dimensional surfaces unfold in time, their spatial voids constructed of harmonic progressions emerge to facilitate an interaction with her audience and allow for a reflective response from sustained engagement.
Waltemath holds a BFA from the RI School of Design and an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY. She has lived and worked in New York city since 1977 and collaborated with filmmakers, musicians, architects and writers in collective groups and through special projects since the early days of the downtown No Wave era. “Ok, Today, Tomorrow” a film produced out of her studio was shown at MOMA and archived in their collection as part of a recent survey of the L.E.Side 1980’s.
Her engagement at the I. S. Chanin School of Architecture since the early 90’s has led to several collaborative projects with prominent architects in Berlin, New York and a project in Nebraska. An exhibition of her collaboration with Ballman Khapalova is currently on view at Cooper Union’s newly created online gallery. Her ongoing dialogue with architecture both informs her own work and allows for concepts developed in painting to be translated into the discipline of architecture.
Shown in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Portland, San Diego, Omaha, London, Basel, Amsterdam and Cologne, her paintings and drawings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University Art Galleries, the Harvard University Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago among others. She has written extensively on art and served as an editor-at-large for the Brooklyn Rail since 2001. She taught at the I.S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union from 1997 to 2010, also at Princeton University and has lectured widely. She is currently the Director of MICA’s MFA program, the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Lynn Crawford reading.