Liz Brown and I are taking an interdisciplinary group of students from the University of Washington for an intensive seminar. Using Lyon as our laboratory, we will explore and experience this center for innovation since Roman times to today. Unlike in the U.S. where the arts are essentially separated as an endeavor, the arts in Lyon have been the stimulant for aesthetic and scientific progress and functioned as an economic driver. The birthplace of cinema and the home of the Lumiere brothers and the center for the silk industry where Jackard invented his loom, Lyon today is on the forefront of contemporary architecture and public placemaking, building upon a long tradition of remarkable public places. Over the course of the seminar, the students with majors in dance, visual communication, human centered design, landscape architecture, English, comparative literature and engineering will construct a daily blog charting their experiences.

Elmgreen & Dragset artists

Artists Elmgreen and Dragset created “The Weight of Oneself” for the Rives de Soane project that revitalized the 15 kilometer riverbank.

contemporary architecture

The Confluence Museum. Coop Hummelblau design. Photo by Liz Brown