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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
January 12, 2005

Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts Presents "Wats:ON?" Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture Series

Friday, January 21-Saturday, January 22, 2005

PITTSBURGH—The Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture Series, also known as Wats:ON?, will be held at Carnegie Mellon University, January 21 and 22, 2005. This year's Wats:ON? will feature a lecture by renowned architect Craig Hodgetts and the first American performance by Japanese multimedia group Maywa Denki. All events are free and open to the public.

Craig Hodgetts, principal and co-founder of Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture, is an internationally recognized architect and urban scenarist known for his imaginative synthesis of architecture, arts and technology. He has been called upon to produce full-scale architectural projects, master plans, urban designs, exhibition installations, entertainment venues and industrial products. Between 1969 and 1984, Hodgetts collaborated with Robert Mangurian in the firm of Studio Works, during which time he received three First Design Awards from Progressive Architecture magazine. Since joining Hsin-Ming Fung to create Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture, the firm has received numerous awards. In 1969 Hodgetts was a founding dean of the California Institute of the Arts and is now a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hodgetts will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in the Kresge Recital Hall in the College of Fine Arts Building. Before the lecture a reception will be held at 5 p.m. in the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery. Hodgetts will also give a public critique of recent design projects by Carnegie Mellon students from 3 to 4:45 p.m. Friday in 203 Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall.

Maywa Denki is an art unit created in 1993 by Nobumichi Tosa and his older brother Masamichi. Each piece of Maywa Denki's work is called "a product" and a live performance or exhibition is held as "a product demonstration." Maywa Denki products to date include "NAKI Series," fish-motif nonsense machines; "Tsukuba Series," original musical instruments; and "Edelweiss," flower-motif objet d'art. Although Maywa Denki is known and appreciated as an arts collective, its promotional strategies and creative endeavors are diverse, including exhibition, live performances, music and video production, writing and merchandising toys, stationery and electric devices. As Nobumichi is still looking for a new scheme for a different approach to the public, Maywa Denki now extends its activities to overseas, holding exhibitions in Europe (Paris, London) and selling Na-Cord in the United States. Maywa Denki will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, in McConomy Hall in the University Center. Their performance will be followed by a reception beginning at 4:15 p.m. in the Miller Gallery.

The Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture Series (Wats:ON?), previously known as the Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts, celebrates the diverse artistic interests of Jill Watson, a Carnegie Mellon alumna, adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture and Pittsburgh architect. Watson died tragically in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996. This lecture series honors her commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist and celebrates her accomplishments and reputation as an architect. Wats:ON? is made possible as a result of generous contributions from Jill Watson's family and many friends in Pittsburgh and across the United States. Each year the lecture series brings both emerging and recognized artists, designers, musicians, architects and performers to Carnegie Mellon to share their work and insights with students and the general public through a diverse offering of lectures, performances, workshops and exhibitions.

For more information, contact Jenny Strayer at 412-268-3877 or or Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or A list of the schedule of events follows:

Wats:ON? 2005 — Schedule

Friday, January 21

  • 3-4:45 p.m.: Craig Hodgetts critiques student design projects (Margaret Morrison 203)
  • 5 p.m. :Reception for Craig Hodgetts (Miller Gallery)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Craig Hodgetts lecture (Kresge Recital Hall, College of Fine Arts)
Saturday, January 22

  • 3 p.m.: Maywa Denki performance (McConomy Auditorium, University Center)
  • 4:15 p.m.: Reception for Maywa Denki (Miller Gallery)


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