Monthly Luncheon Meeting


The monthly meeting of the Chapter features presentations of interest to the architectural profession.

Finding Our Place in New Mexico

June 11, 2020

Time:  Noon to 1:15 pm

Via Zoom

Credit Designations: 1.0 LU/HSW  (pending)

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This presentation is only available to AIA Santa Fe Members and Allied Partners
by invitation

Meeting Sponsor

Program Summary

Though a case study of the Whitmore Residence (2002-2003) by Bart Prince in Glorieta, New Mexico, this lecture will consider how architecture can create a sense of place that does not rely on the stylistic imitation of historic styles. Comparisons with John Gaw Meem’s Los Poblanos (1932-9133) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (1937-1959) in Scottsdale Arizona, and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1945-1951) in Plano, Illinois, will be used to analyze the difference between representation and experience in architecture: how a sense of place is represented formally by a characteristic style and how it is created experientially by drawing on the natural and cultural conditions of a place. These differences will be related to role of geometry, space, and building technologies in making architecture and will support the conclusion that a sense of place can never be fixed in a style because any place is always changing


Christopher Mead, Emeritus Regents’ Professor, University of New Mexico


Christopher Mead taught from 1980 to 2013 at the University of New Mexico, where he was a Presidential Teaching Fellow and Regents’ Professor with joint faculty appointments in the School of Architecture and Planning and the College of Fine Arts. From 2004 to 2009, he served as Dean of the College of Fine Arts. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of California at Riverside, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  A past President and now Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians, he has written and lectured widely on European and American architecture and urbanism, including books on the American architects Robert Venturi, Bart Prince, and Antoine Predock, and the French architects Charles Garnier and Victor Baltard. His monograph, Making Modern Paris: Victor Baltard’s Central Markets and the Urban Practice of Architecture received the 2015 Alice David Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians for “the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture by a North American scholar.” He has coordinated an online guidebook for the Society of Architectural Historians, “Archipedia: New Mexico,” and is currently writing a book on Japanese modern architecture after the bombing of Hiroshima

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective One:

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of place in architectural design.


Learning Objective Two:

Analyze the difference between representation and experience in architecture: between an architecture that the uses the formal elements of a historic style to represent our sense of place, and an architecture that uses the phenomenal elements of both nature and culture to inform our experience of living in a place.


Learning Objective Three:

Analyze the ways in which geometry, space, and building technologies contribute to making an architecture of place.


Learning Objective Four

Determine whether place is a static condition that can be captured permanently in a style of architecture or whether place is a dynamic condition of daily life whose architectural form is continuously changing and can never be fixed.

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