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MACHINE AGE

AS PART OF Artforum’s ongoing series of conversations about museum architecture, senior editor Julian Rose interviews ELIZABETH DILLER, whose decades-long practice has upended conventional ways of building, straying into performance, video, sculpture, and politics. Diller’s new designs for exhibition spaces—including a major expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, currently under construction—reflect the architect’s sustained investigation of mutiny and media.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mural (detail), 2003, electric drill, metal track, electronic components, drywall, dimensions variable.

JULIAN ROSE: You went to the Cooper Union in New York, one of the few institutions in this country where an art school and an architecture school coexist in the same building. How did that interdisciplinary environment affect you?

ELIZABETH DILLER: I came to Cooper as an art student. I wanted to make films. But on a whim, I saw a class called Architectonics in the course catalogue, and I thought, What could that mean? I decided to enroll. It was nothing like I imagined. In the art school, there wasn’t a lot of discussion about what you did, what it meant, and why you did it, or how you positioned yourself relative to history or theory. In the architecture school, we spoke about the discipline constantly—its history and intersection with other fields. I was seduced by those conversations and, of course, by John Hejduk, who was dean at the time. If I had found myself in any

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