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Collective Creativity and the Participatory City
Eva J. Friedberg and Alison Hirsch
Dec 04, 2014 (6pm)

Please RSVP

In conjunction with the exhibition Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, the Graham Foundation is pleased to present the Chicago launch of the Graham-funded book City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America by landscape architectural designer and urban historian Alison Hirsch. Hirsch will be joined by fellow grantee, architectural historian Eva J. Friedberg to discuss the influences, development, and impact of Anna and Lawrence Halprins’ collaborative workshops. 

Friedberg will trace the origins of the Halprins’ partnership, highlighting the parallels between architecture and dance, and the culmination of the couple’s collaborative practice within the setting of the "Experiments in Environment" workshops. Then, Hirsch will then discuss the impact of these workshops on Anna and Lawrence’s subsequent work in the urban context of the late 1960s and 1970s, emphasizing the development and application of Lawrence Halprin's "Take Part" workshop process. 

Copies of City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) are available for purchase in the Graham Foundation Bookshop.


Eva J. Friedberg is a modern art and architecture historian on adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego and Woodbury University School of Architecture. Her essay on the Experiments in Environment workshops, “Collective Movement: Anna and Lawrence Halprin’s Joint Workshops,” appears in the 2012 anthology West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Friedberg’s doctoral dissertation on the early work of Lawrence Halprin closely examines the designer’s development of the RSVP Cycles as a new method for organizing human creative processes and as a guide to collective creativity.

Alison Hirsch is a landscape architectural designer as well as urban historian and theorist. She is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Southern California and co-founder and partner of Foreground design agency. Her book City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America was released by University of Minnesota Press in April 2014. The book provides an analysis of the creative process Lawrence Halprin developed with his wife, dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin, and how aspects of this process have the potential to enrich contemporary approaches to structuring the city.


Related Grants: Alison Hirsch, City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America (University of Minnesota Press, 2014); and Eva Jessica Friedberg, "Action Architecture: Lawrence Halprin's Experiments in Landscape Design, Urbanism, and the Creative Process."

Image: Photographer unknown, participants in “Experiments in Environment," a creativity workshop that served as an experimental precursor to Lawrence Halprin & Associates’ Take Part Process, a community participation methodology, 1966, Kentfield, CA. Courtesy of the Lawrence Halprin Collection, the Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the exhibition, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, click here.