Condemned Building: Prints of Douglas Darden


September 14 - October 14, 2022 | ARCH 121 Gallery

This exhibition presents prints by the renowned architectural storyteller Douglas Darden. Not long before Darden died, the printmaking studio of Osama Nakasuji in Osaka, Japan, created a unique set of 10 black and white prints of five of the theoretical projects from Darden’s now-legendary 1993 architectural treatise titled Condemned Building (Princeton Architectural Press). Although drawn in a very detailed plan, section, and elevation, the 10 projects were unbuilt works, designed as allegorical structures only. 

The prints are a gift to Roger Williams University from the Darden estate and will be housed in the Library Archive Collections after the exhibition. Special thanks to Ben Ledbetter, Marc Neveu, and Rubén Alcolea for making this gift possible. 

Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1951, Darden had a background in literature and dance, which translated into expressive works that rely on narrative structuring. He began work on the projects that would later be featured in Condemned Building while also teaching. Darden’s explorations of his industrial surroundings in New Jersey influenced the atmosphere of his work. Likewise, his time as a fellow of the American Academy in Rome (1988–89) gave him a deeper interest in the history and buildings of Rome. In 1993, Darden released Condemned Building. 

The original prints of Douglas Darden are exhibited with a selection of etchings by Piranesi, which are part of the RWU Library Archive Collection.

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