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Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Masonry  

Francis Woodman and Jacques Heyman

Assemblage of stones, bricks, or sun-dried mud (adobe), fitted together for construction, with or without mortar.

Francis Woodman

Masonry can be either quarried and artificially shaped (dressed and ashlar; see §II below), or natural (dry-stone and flint walling). Dry-stone walling is an ancient masonry technique, using well-chosen frost-shattered or splintered rocks carefully interlocked. The resulting structures are most frequently used for field walls and crude huts. South Italian trulli, with their beehive domes, are remarkable survivors of this continuous tradition. The dry-stone walling of Great Zimbabwe, however, shows that it could also be used in ceremonial buildings.

The ancient Egyptians first exploited cut stone, using primitive tools to extract and shape rectangular blocks and harder granites to grind and polish smooth surfaces and perfect joints. Their extraordinary skill permitted substantial masonry structures to be erected without any form of bonding or mortar. Aswan granite was quarried using wedges, heat, and rapid cooling, whereby the Egyptians created substantial monolithic blocks, such as the obelisk (h. 30 m) now in the ...