Exhibition & Gallery Talk: "PLAN GAMES"


Art McDonald

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gallery talk, art mcdonald, syracuse






Professor Art McDonald retired at the end of the fall 2015 semester. To honor his distinguished career, an exhibition of some of his built work was on display in the Slocum Hall Marble Room from November 5 through December 11, 2015.

“PLAN GAMES” is suggestive of a mode of architectural design production that involves “RULES” and “PLAYS.” “DISCIPLINARY RULES” refers to formal principles related to particular architectural organizational devises and typologies. Circumstantial “PLAYS” refers to the opportunities afforded by the particulars of program and site for invention within the “RULES” of the plan type or “GAME.” It is these inventive “PLAYS” that transform the generic type (the abstract) to the relative (the empirical). In this exhibit the formal types consist of two simple means of spatial organization deploying an element and a device, the WALL and the GRID.

Arthur McDonald received a bachelor of architecture degree from Pratt Institute and a master of architecture degree (Urban Design) from Cornell University where he received the Eidlitz Traveling Fellowship. After several years of professional practice as a registered architect in New York City, including a position as project architect with Ulrich Franzen & Associates, he joined the faculty of the Syracuse University School of Architecture in 1974. He has continued to practice architecture in Syracuse since 1979.

McDonald’s teaching and research interests lie in architectural and urban design, urban housing, the history and theory of urban planning, and the theoretical underpinnings of the modern movement. He served as head of the Undergraduate Program here at Syracuse Architecture from 1982 to 1989, Chair of the Graduate Program from 1996 to 2002, and as Interim Dean of the School from 2002-2004.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.