The CRAN Symposium in Charleston was a lot of fun. After the oyster roast I mentioned in my previous post, we got right into the swing of things. We started out with a talk by Witold Rybczynski, author of the book Home: A Short History of an Idea, who spoke about the traditions of home using paintings of interiors from throughout history to illustrate the concepts of how people lived in their homes. I enjoyed reading Home when I was in college and I really enjoyed hearing him speak in person.
A view of our “classroom” – the second floor of Hibernian Hall in Charleston.
Other speakers on Thursday included Ellen Dunham Jones, Stephen Byrns, David Samela, and Gary Brewer, who spoke about various styles of architecture. That evening, we had a gala dinner after hearing a keynote address by Andres Duany, of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company.
Andres Duany, FAIA
The next day was packed with activities, including a wonderful walking tour of renovated homes in central Charleston. It was really amazing to see that, despite being packed together on tiny lots, these homes had a sense of privacy and coziness.
This is the view from one of the homes into their walled garden. It was so lush!
This is another view from one of the homes.
The following homes weren’t on our tour, but we walked by them as we went from one home to another. The private gardens were mysterious and green!
A tiny pink house situated behind and between two other homes, as seen on the walking tour.
The private gardens were so green and mysterious!
Charleston was so green. There were many walls and other surfaces with plant material on them. Here we see the risers of brick steps covered with green. I wonder whether people ever trip on the plants.
This home was as crooked as it appears in the photo.
The front entry gate to the last house I visited on the walking tour. No drinks allowed inside, apparently. Hmm, I wonder what architects like to drink…
I think all the Symposium participants enjoyed getting out of the “classroom” and into the beautiful city of Charleston.
Later that day, we heard from Robert Adam, Calder Loth, Gil Schafer, Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, and Marc Appleton. Robert A. M. Stern gave the keynote address that evening, and he spoke about the history of suburbs.
Robert A. M. Stern, FAIA
On Saturday, we started VERY early with a bus tour of the Ocean Course Clubhouse and four homes on Kiawah Island. We arrived back at Hibernian Hall for an afternoon filled with talks by Alexander Gorlin, Sandy Isenstadt, Julie Snow, Lorcan O’Herlihy, and Robert Gurney.
The best part of any CRAN Symposium, in my opinion, is the networking dinners. We’ve planned these networking dinners for the past four years, and this year, we had a few hiccups, but I think people enjoyed them anyway. What we do is make reservations for parties of 6 to 8 people for various local restaurants, and then ask attendees and sponsors to sign up for tables. This provides an opportunity for unstructured networking, and typically involves good wine and food, too!
We’ve already started planning the 2015 CRAN Symposium, which will take place in Minneapolis from September 19 through 23.