Cornell University

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Building Bad: How Architectural Utility is Constrained by Politics and Damaged by Expression

Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 4:00pm

Virtual Event

What happens when buildings are designed as political or artistic statements?

In a live, virtual Chats in the Stacks talk, Jonathan Ochshorn discusses his latest book, Building Bad: How Architectural Utility is Constrained by Politics and Damaged by Expression (Lund Humphries, 2021), where he examines how utilitarian function in architecture can be thwarted by political and economic forces, and undermined by artistic expression. In considering several contemporary buildings and projects, Ochshorn avoids advocating for a specific style or practice but provides an objective framework for analyzing architecture through the lens of utility.

Sponsored by the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library, the talk is followed by a live Q&A.

Ochshorn, a Fulbright Scholar (2016) and professor in the architecture department at Cornell University, is also a registered architect with a background in structural engineering and urban design. His numerous publications focus on the relationship between utility and expression in the built environment.



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Author Appearance


Cornell University Library, Architecture, Fine Arts Library


Cornell University Library, book talk, aap, Fine Arts Library


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Peggy Tully


Jonathan Ochshorn

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Architecture, Cornell College of Art, Architecture & Planning

Dept. Web Site

Open To

Free and open to the public

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