Our fifteenth Standing-Room Only Lecture will have Nicholas de Monchaux walking across town from MIT to talk about a different kind of lettering. One of the most traditional identifiers of design culture is the way architects write (or, used to). While we should be careful with nostalgia for this elegant uniformity (which correlates all-too-well with racial and gender uniformity in the historic profession), looking closely at how architects write can teach a lot about typography and architecture’s inter-related history—and the relationship of both disciplines to power and authority. Spanning from the 2nd century AD to the recent present, the talk will be an obituary for some aspects of consistency present in the history of design media, and a consideration of those standards which, for good and ill, have replaced them.

Our speaker, Nicholas de Monchaux, is a Professor and Head of Architecture at MIT. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011) and Local Code: 3,659 Proposals on Data, Design and the Nature of Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016). As a partner at Modem with Kathryn Moll, he works in software, architecture, urban design, and digital fabrication.


Twenty-five tickets are available for $15 each.

Date and Time
Tuesday, November 29 at 7p
Doors open at 6p for mingling.

Katherine Small Gallery
108 Beacon Street
Somerville, MA 02143 [map]

Standing-Room Only Lectures aim to present short talks about graphic design, typography, and collecting. The lectures are kept to about twenty minutes because—true to its name—the series takes place in our standing-room only gallery. So, wear comfortable shoes and bring a short attention span.

We will be checking ticket reservations at the door. Don’t bother printing your ticket as we can look you up by name. We will have a stand-by line at the door for this event. Five minutes before the event begins, we will open up the event to those in the stand-by line on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have reserved a ticket for this event, please note that it will guarantee your place until 6:55 pm on the day of the event.

Will this talk be recorded or available for streaming?