The Clara M. Southworth lecture series, endowed in 1969 by the interior designer from Portland, Maine, is meant to “bring annually to the campus a distinguished lecturer or lecturers to speak on a subject in the broad field of environmental design with emphasis on understanding some of the underlying philosophies of design which relate to the way in which men live.”

Paul Discoe presents the 2019 Clara M. Southworth Lecture
“Form and Emptiness in the Design Process”
March 12, 2019
F.W. Olin Science Center, room 1
5 p.m.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Paul Discoe is a designer and innovator who acts as the managing partner for O2 Artisans Aggregate (O2AA), an urban industrial ecopark in Oakland, California. He is also a design consultant for Japanese style temples, restaurants, houses and furniture. His studio at O2AA includes a small workshop for prototypes and one-of-a-kind objects, and handles repairs and maintenance of the O2 compound.

Paul is a longtime student of Zen Buddhism and an ordained Buddhist priest. After becoming a successful designer and innovator, founding Joinery Structures and becoming well known for building Larry Ellison’s Japanese mansion in Woodside, California, he decided to devote his retirement to solving sustainability issues through design. Some of his current projects include an industrial food waste to animal feed plant, an aquaponic nursery for fish and plants alike, and a burgeoning bio char operation.


Previous lectures in this series:

2018: Timothy Lock and Riley Pratt, GO-Logic, “Lock-in: Design Parameters for a Carbon Neutral Future”

2015: “The Culture of Nature: Garden Design, East and West” symposium, with speakers James L. Westcoat, Jr., Alison Hardie, Eric Haskell, and Anna Marley.

2015: Daniel Harkett, Rhode Island School of Design, “François Gérard and the Art of the Interior”

2014: Lee Glazer, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, “Heirloom of the Artist: Rethinking Whistler’s Peacock Room”

2012: Nicolai Ourossoff, Former Chief Architecture Critic, New York Times, “What Can Architecture Do?”

2012: Charles Renfro, Partner at Diller Scofidio & Renfro, “Super-Natural”

2010: Yoshihiro Takishita, “Minka, Traditional Japanese Farmhouse”

2010: Deborah Berke, Architect, “Here and Now”

2007: Adam Kalkin, Architect, “Architecture, Fiction, Storytelling and Memory”

2006: Peter Bohlin, Founding Partner of Bohlin-Cywinski-Jackson, “The Nature of Circumstance”

2003: Terence Riley, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA, “Architecture and the Media: Changing Relationships”

2003: Will Bruder, Architect, “Reflections on the Journey”

2002: Edward Maeder, Curator of Textiles and Chair of the Curatorial Department at Historic Deerfield, “A Personal Environment: Men’s Fashion 1760-1860”

2001: Michael Sorkin, Urban Designer, “The City After Now”