Neri&Hu, The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai, China, 2010; photo: Pedro Pegenaute

Rossana Hu: “Thresholds — Space, Time, and Practice”

Thursday, Mar 28, 2024

6:30–8 p.m.

Floor 1, Phyllis Wattis Theater

Free with RSVP

Rossana Hu, chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, will present work from her award-winning practice, Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, in the lecture “Thresholds: Space, Time, and Practice.”

Terence Hawkes once said that the ”true nature of things may be said to lie not in things themselves, but in the relationships that we construct and then perceive between them.” The idea of “thresholds,” as used in the title of this lecture, has long been embedded in Neri&Hu’s architectural practice. The word can be roughly translated to the Chinese notion of jian, which means “gap,” “space,” or “pause.” In an architectural sense, the term is often used to describe the physical mediation between two contrasting spatial environments. Through examining a series of contemporary issues in various global contexts, this lecture sheds light on how Neri&Hu ground their work while maintaining an intellectual inquiry into adaptive reuse and the role of history, as well as reimagined spatial legibility associated with voyeurism, tectonics, and the use of poché, a search for a connection back to the vernacular and the role of collective memory and fragments.

This lecture is presented in partnership with the California College of the Arts as part of the Spring 2024 CCA Architecture Division “Design Action” Lecture Series and is sponsored by the M. Arthur Gensler Jr. Center for Design Excellence at CCA.

About the Speaker

Rossana Hu co-founded Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, an interdisciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai, with Lyndon Neri in 2006. Through her practice, Hu reinforces a core vision: to respond to a global worldview incorporating overlapping design disciplines for a critical paradigm in architecture, alongside strong belief in research as a design tool, as each project bears its unique set of contextual issues.

Rossana is deeply committed to architectural education and has lectured across the globe as a visiting professor and design critic in various universities and professional forums, including the University of California, Berkeley; Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Yale School of Architecture. Rossana was appointed chair of the Department of Architecture at Tongji University in 2021 and chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, effective spring semester 2024.

Hu is also founding partner of Design Republic in Shanghai, a design platform incorporating retail, design and cultural exhibitions, and education. In 2015, she was appointed creative director of Stellar Works, and has served on the international advisory board of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 2018.

Hu received her master of Architecture and Urban Planning at Princeton University and her bachelor of arts in Architecture at University of California, Berkeley, with a minor in music.

Accessibility Information

Accessibility accommodations such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and assisted listening devices are available upon request 10 business days in advance. Please email publicengagement@sfmoma.org, and we will do our best to fulfill your request.

Support for Public Programs and Artist Talks at SFMOMA is provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series.