Faculty: Marcus Shaffer

Biography

Before joining RISD’s faculty, Marcus Shaffer was assistant professor of Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. He has a Master’s of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a BFA in Industrial Design from RISD. In 2013 he published the book Rise Tectonic Machines (ORO Editions) and earned a Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Shaffer’s research activities focus on works, theories and
practices that engage the Machine as an architectural extension of our
 impulse to examine and remake the natural world. This work includes
 building machines, automatons and spiritual mechanisms that represent our
 earliest technological expression; the mechano-pagan influence of the
 Machine on modern/visionary architecture; and attempts to embody 
architectural knowledge and craft in construction/fabrication technologies.


As a designer and studio critic experienced with industrial and handcrafted 
means of making, Shaffer addresses architecture not only as the manifestation of
 our physical needs and cultural desires, but also as constructed form 
directly resultant from the combination of mind, machinery, materials and
 process/labor. While Shaffer studies and contributes to a critical discourse
 probing and defining the Machine in an architectural context, his
 historical/theoretical search is informed by and applied to the design and 
fabrication of various Tectonic Machines. The agenda for these machines 
is a synthesis of our powerfully rationalized technologies with the potency
 of meaning found in our ritual practices – including building.

 

Marcus  Shaffer

Marcus Shaffer

Critic
mshaffer@risd.edu
401-454-6281

  • BFA, Rhode Island School of Design
  • MARCH, VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

Courses
  • ARCH-21ST
    ADVANCED STUDIO
  • FOUND-1006
    STUDIO: SPATIAL DYNAMICS
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