Interview with Perry Kulper

WASH: We understand that you have been teaching for a long time. How do you find time to do other things?

Perry Kulper: Like Nathalie and Cruz, and like you will have to figure out how to allocate your resources. I do a lot of things—a lot of people have said to me you need to be much more selfish with your time and just say “no” to things. That’s hard to do to people when you think you might be able to contribute to something. But I also have a lot of school responsibilities, like teaching. But for example, also as reviewing for promotion, tenure cases for other universities, and other things like that. So it’s still hard for me to find time to work.

We saw on a student blog one of the projects you did with your students that was called Drawing Speeds. It has a lot of interesting drawings. Could you tell us more about it? How do you draw speed?

Oh we weren’t trying to draw speed, actually, in that course we were trying to figure out how to work at different speeds. For example, I might work on a project for two or three or four hundred hours, but I also might make part of a sentence which is three or four words, which can also be a project. So in that course we were trying to figure out how to modulate speeds according to which work is produced—as part of a discussion.

Would that be by defining the scope? Like one of the points you highlighted during the lecture?

No, not those kinds of courses. I’m less worried about the scope. I normally set the terms and expose to the students why those terms are important, like a framework for something. So in courses or seminars, the students normally don’t ask to set the scope of the work up. Their thesis is part of the scope question. So part of what I try to do as a teacher is try to teach structurally and specifically. When you teach structurally, you are transcending the specifics that are at stake or at hand at the moment. So you are establishing deep principles essentially with the students. You know you’re asking them to do something specifically, but there’s also a corollary to that which is about structural teaching. This is not about what they’re specifically doing, but about allowing everyone to look at it from a meta view. I work a lot with students on how to construct a piece of work, I don’t mean on how to detail it, but on how to set the terms. They often work on things that are not traditional. How do you develop critical mechanisms and reflective mechanisms so you can move forward? We work as well a lot on transformation, on how to change the nature of the questions and the formations of the work over and through time. So I never set specific tasks for them—I normally set up jigs, moulds, rigs, ways that they can then figure out how to navigate something by giving them certain tools or skills or equipment.

So how do you set up those sort of jigs also for yourself? At one point you mentioned that if it’s not for a client it’s not for anything other than just doing it as your own project. So how do you decide what design principles you are going to use for any given project? And how that process comes about? Is it trial and error? Or trying a few combined with one another?

Mostly I just pursue my fascinations and what might be pleasurable to tease out. When I get those things and play, just because I’m old and have enough experiences both with myself but also with teaching, I know how to set out lots of options—means by which I might be able to deliver a work on something. That’s something that I’ve cultivated quite a lot—here’s a set of things that interests me, there are four key ways in which I might deliver that. One might be a manifesto, one might be thirteen bird houses in which I use design as a discursive rhetorical, another might be to work through other people’s work. Part of what I do is to have those kinds of experiences now where I know that I have certain kinds of options. Then I get a sense of what might be a better option than another option, relative to how I might start to chase something. But I also don’t try to predict things too much, I’m not interested in “well here’s the goal, and this is the way that I’m going to navigate.” I try to reflexively construct the piece of work as I go through it, and that’s just probably a matter or experience. I have a sense of this, these are the ambitions—I know I need to tickle these things, for those ambitions to be brought forward.

Is your inspiration always a response to ambition? Or could it be at times also emotional?

When I work on things, I work from multiple platforms—someone challenging me to think about some particular way, or working on something that I believe, is missing in the construction of my own education; it can be cultural interests, or trying to figure out how to navigate all those pieces, those moving parts together.

Is part of your goal to evoke the same sort of emotional response in your viewers?

A goal I would have? No. I try to understand my work culturally and outside of my own predilections and interests. If I care about what I think… I do of course. But ultimately it’s a cultural project. What’s relevant, what’s appropriate, what’s the scope of things to work on?

In some of your projects we noticed that there’s almost a motif of “hiding the best part.” It reminds us of a Native American tradition of hiding a casket away, like tucking it away in a sort of nook or cranny. What’s at the root of that urge? Is there a conceptual reason for that? How did you come up with that tactic?

It has to do with the desire to participate in something. But if it’s totalized and systematically deployed, so you know its entirety, you tend to shut it down. We navigate according to change and to an interest or desire to participate, so then determinacy and contingency come from that. It’s not really a motif of hiding. It’s a bit like a crime scene where there are clues that might make sense about something, but we’re implicated in trying to draw the sense out, trying to work through what’s on offer. Yes, the hidden stuff has to do with indetermination, contingent, partial accounts that allow us to participate, because it’s not all there for us. So if you think about something like repetitive openings in a building (windows), we don’t tend to stay with those kinds of things long because there’s no sense of change. We sense the total structure of it immediately and there’s no other desire, or seduction, or need to participate because we sense that we know it. So the things that are partial, that are not determinate, suggestive, just have to do with my desire to participate, to co-construct something rather than being told “this is how it is and this is the only way it can be.” It’s about co-construction.

We are curious about your drawing background. Were you classically trained in drawing? How important do you feel it is to be trained in drawing in a classical way, to then not necessarily use that style, but to perhaps find your own?

Yes. I was trained classically to draw. I don’t think that it’s essential but I think that it’s useful. When I was at Columbia, learning the classical orders was important so you could then know how to be a mannerist. I think that awareness is important, but I don’t think that to draw well you need to draw a lot. You need to be aware of a lot historically. This is the kind of work that this drawing does, these are the biases and predilections, etc. To be aware of the kinds of possibilities of drawings is to me much more important than being able to draw. So working outside yourself, looking at things, looking at drawings that have made a difference. If we’re narrowing the scope to drawings, how do they work? What structures them? What are the biases? What are the ways in which they potentiate our biases towards them? And it’s one of the ways that I, to help students do much better work, expose them to really high quality things. So for example in a drawing class, we’ll do something early on, where it’s sort of soft research for the students—I’ve got a list of one hundred or so great architects that have drawn, from Borromini and Michelangelo, to Zaha Hadid and Frank Lloyd Wright. So we begin to collect examples, each student is responsible for three or four architects, and four or five key drawings from those architects. Then we look at them critically—what kind of work does this drawing do in relation to this drawing? So we try to get behind the scenes again and figure out what’s actually going on, but they’re also high quality drawings so they’re immediately around things that I mean look cool, but in the discipline also have duration, have capacity beyond the immediate making of something. So I also get the students to be aware of other key schools in the world that are doing interesting work. When they are in the design studio or thesis they need to know what’s happening at a dozen or fifteen schools in the world. Those are your peers, so like drawing, when I offer a drawing course the first thing I say is “you will not learn to draw in here”—whether you’re drawing in Photoshop, composites or manual, that’s a proper discipline, but to get exposure to things that have made a difference and that are qualitatively important, that’s probably the most important thing that you can do, and awareness of the context in which you’re operating. But I think it is really helpful to be able to draw, to draw classically, but I also think it’s important to be able to take red lipstick out and draw quickly on the wall and pin six feathers on it and say “that’s potentially an architectural project as well.” So the speeds is part of that—being able to work fast to slow, being able to really move around, technical precision to really rough and cross ways of working. We talk about gradients and resolutions, I think all that stuff is really important. You have to develop parallel lives as well—you just have to be curious about things and willing to say “ok I’m willing to get up at 4 in the morning and make a series of drawings, and I’m just going to do that. Nathalie and Cruz aren’t telling me to do that, Aaron is not going to give me a diploma because I did that.” But because you have a burning genuine curiosity about it, just take on line work, and just work on line work—what’s entailed in that, could I turn that into a manifesto, a thesis, techniques, just probing something really deep, then you can draw in all kinds of ways. That’s also part of it. I don’t believe in skimming so much, if you know how to draw a plan with a rapidograph, you can make the lipstick drawing with feathers, you can make life-size drawings of the landscape, and you can do that easily if you understand the full discipline of one thing. I used to bike, road race, and I think a lot of what I do as an architect and teacher comes from the discipline of that. What to eat, how to prepare. It’s a moving chess game, what’s going on, what are the histories that belong, to just saturate that thing, and then you can make a film, do urbanism, write, you can do whatever, if you know something really well. So that’s part of the drawing thing. But developing an authentic curiosity, you just have to figure this stuff out. I’m going to talk to people, I’m going to look at things, and I’m going to get up at 4 am…

What if one has an authentic curiosity, but there is a lack of focus? What would you recommend?

That’s partly me, I’m quite jumpy.

It can become quite schizophrenic, it’s hard to demarcate one’s thoughts…

I don’t think its schizophrenic. For me it’s quite healthy to disperse interests and have things that you’re interested in. The difficulty is that most people that are artists, architects, also rehearse things quite repetitively. You are not going to sell work in a gallery if you turn up one day with a red lipstick drawing on the wall, the next day you are milling stainless steel objects, and the next day you are writing blind poetry. Because we talked about things driven by money, undependability, so it’s an anathema, where it’s a bit odd to be interested in lots of things, to try to be versatile and dexterous, which is something that interests me, but it’s odd in the discipline: it’s not rewarded. It’s a little like Saarinen, he did quite different work, but if you name the best architects most interesting architects you know or that you find provocative, their works are normally really similar. So you’re going to fight the tide generally, but also find out what’s relevant in particular situations. I’m interested in all kinds of stuff, but what’s relevant to the situation in which you find yourself, might be a site and a client, it might be a set of ambitions that you have to construct a body of research. Whatever that situation is, there are things that allow me at least to manage what’s possible within the range of things that might be infinitely open. So I think situationally. You know what’s relevant to what you are working on now. But I’m also fine with outsiders and marginal things, and them being totally tweaky. I’m interested in trying to handle differences in a piece of work—it’s just a harder hill to climb. Ask yourself, how old are you? Louis Kahn said “no one’s going to make a decent building until they’re 50” so I would just run the tables right now, just pursue your passions, I wouldn’t try to edit anything. I might try to focus but there’s also a lot of work in the world that does not have to do with focusing. Automatic practices by the surrealists for example; I mean they were all over the place when they were making a piece of work because they were shedding down logic and rational structure and so on. So there are models in the world that also have curiosity cabinets, three headed pygmies, you know funny maps from somewhere, stuffed parakeets, etc. There’s a cultural construction that allows schizophrenics, madness and so on. So I would probably try to cultivate that, rather than try to shut it down. I would just run the tables for a while, see where the fascinations really lie.

Curiosity cabinets?

Wunderkammer is “cabinets of wonder.” I think it’s from the seventeenth century. They are essentially collections of things that couldn’t possibly coexist. Often people in power would send explorers into the world to bring things back, then assemble them to demonstrate their worldliness. Someone like Barbara Stafford argues that the internet of a curiosity cabinet, is lots of things that couldn’t coexist. Now the Wunderkammer, cabinets of curiosity are historical, and then things like collage, assemblage, photomontage, those things are methodically linked to curiosity cabinets. Just bringing things together. Like the development of greenhouses and botanical gardens. You have species from Africa sitting in a space that is next to something from the Antarctic, sitting next to something… Zoos. There are lots of cultural demonstrations of things that—you know—how could a Polar Bear, a tiger, and a boa constrictor (what’s the possible milieu and context) in which they could coexist? Aviaries.

Something you briefly mentioned that we are wondering about, is what happens when you are just out of school and you feel that you have no meaningful input yet. How do you manage to “find your own input”, like you did?

Well I’m not sure I have any meaningful input—


You are here—luckily for us—lecturing at our school for a reason, so it is clear to us that you are doing something special. How did that happen? What was the transition like?

I mean, I guess I was awarded some things in school as a graduate student, so someone thought that I had something to offer. It was suggested to me that if I wanted to really participate, that I try to work with people who were making a difference, so I did. Aaron mentioned that I worked for Peter Eisenman for a while, and for Robert Stern, Denise Scott Brown and Bob Venturi. Essentially in those kinds of practices, at least in those days, or the way I felt it to be, is that I really needed to assimilate what they were about. It was really nice about working with Denise and Bob Venturi in particular. Denise always said this to me, she said, “Bob really enjoys working with you because you don’t rehearse simply what he already knows.” So when I worked with Venturi, I would often challenge everything, but I was already looking for a way out as well. The influences that I mentioned in the talk were heavy, so I knew that I needed to get out from them and I was just looking for ways that I could do that. So I moved to Los Angeles, started teaching at SCIARC and left Venturi’s office, because for me it was already a lot. I was with big players and I didn’t feel like I knew anything. The players at SCIARC were playing at a decent level. The influences at the office I felt were suffocating me, and Los Angeles was a place I didn’t know. It was a drifting experience in quite a few ways and I didn’t have a lot of legs to stand on. But what I did before I got there is that I had three projects and I knew that I needed to carry those out. So I did that, but then when I just looked at them, I thought, “they are all the same”; the houses, the early house drawings, they all seemed the same to me. Once I got the second one, I said, “I can’t imagine doing more of this, I need change and transformation.” I was in a milieu where people were doing work, we were sort of in a fishbowl at SCIARC. People looked at the school, and it was as if you just scrolled yourself away and did what you wanted to do, no one was going to pay attention. So I felt obligated to try to transform myself. There were a lot of people working on drawings in Los Angeles at the time, Neil Denari and Thom Mayne, lots of people, and it seemed like a place at SCIARC that I might be able to wiggle out some room for myself. But I also realized, that with my training, I couldn’t work on certain things I was thinking about. I just couldn’t. For example, take the nine Greek muses—how am going to inflect those into a museum project? I’m not going to turn up and draw the section and just say, “there they are!” So I had to work out how I wanted those kinds of influences to maybe manifest themselves, and I needed to invent ways to do that for myself.

It seems that you are very much interested in the architect as a “Renaissance Man”: being well rounded and knowledgeable in multiple areas. We would be interested to know if there was one movement, something, or somebody who you read that influenced you most?

Probably art criticism. I looked at a lot of art when I lived in New York, but when I moved to Los Angeles I realized that I looked at it passively. So I started to read Clement Greenberg and others. I would go and look at works in the museum and I would read accounts of that work and try to figure out how someone else was articulating what might be structured in the work, something I might have sensed. So art criticism was probably a critical thing for me. I am reading Gregory Babcock, Dave Hickey, Clement Greenberg, some of the classics. I had a language but I didn’t have a critical language for myself. I had a language that said “this seems more interesting to me than that seems”, but I didn’t have a way to critically reflect on anything, as a student or in the office. I needed some mechanisms to help me. Well this is how someone else thinks about it and this is how they frame the argument, and these are the lineages that come out of those people. So I did a lot of work on that front. I looked at minimalism for example, I looked at 60’s and 70’s abstraction, I looked at renaissance painting, both to figure out how other people would frame it, but also what’s being structured in work. Because ultimately that’s what we do, we structure certain communicative capacities, so if I can’t look at a renaissance painting and say, “these are the things that are being structured here.” The staff is sitting in relationship to a bowl of maggot infested fruit. The dog’s licking up the stuff on the floor and there’s a satin garment in the background. If I can’t assimilate what’s being structured there, then I have no business in architecture, because ultimately in my opinion we structure certain capacities in things. So it helped to look at art criticism to say, “well… what’s actually going on in a Velasquez painting?” That’s what it looks like, that’s how it’s formally structured, and these are its tendencies. But what are its cultural implications? What’s actually being structured? Both implicit and explicit, in which ways is it working? What are the cultural effects? How is it tapping into certain cultural ambitions and so on...

Have you ever work with film?

No, but a lot of people have been talking to me about it. Because I’ve been struggling with how to work, a lot of people have been suggesting to me hybrid film construct pieces, largely because of the temporal splits and jumps and possibilities to compress alternate realities together—the temporal disposition rather than the illustrative. But I don’t know anything about film. I might be able to do something but it’s hard to say.

Would you be able to describe the range of mediums you use in the physical drawing and collaging process? How do you decide what you are going to use?

It depends what I’m working on. Right now there’s a piece of work that I’m working on that I call 20-80. Some of what I do feels like I try to pack a lot in always. There’s a lot going on. What I’m trying to do is essentially this: in 20% of a spatial realm, I’m trying to get 80% of the juice. And then 80% of the spatial, whatever it might become, gets relaxed so that it might do other kinds of work—from indeterminate work to others participating, implicating themselves and so on. There’s a Korean artist that interests me quite a lot who does kind of composite body constructions, and so I’ve downloaded several images of him. I’ve begun to cut and splice and reassemble parts of those images in relationship to some vague traces of things that come from pieces of film. So there’s just sort of a visual trying to get a feel for certain aspects, traits that sort of tie the whole thing. There’s nothing drawn, it’s basically all assembled. Then things like the David’s Island drawing—there are animal x-rays, aluminum foil cut paper, pressed type letters, drawn parts, pieces of newspaper clippings, quotes from places, tape, photographic bits, and those sort of accrue over and through time. I don’t sit down and say, “Ok here’s what I’m going to do” and then finish and do it.

Of the 24 things you mentioned you liked, during the lecture, number 17 was Marcel Duchamp. We wanted to know why is he so significant to you.

There’s a piece that he made which he called 3 Standard Stoppages, in which he took a meter-long piece of string, then dropped the string and made a template for the profile of the string as it hit the ground. So it was a new meter. The interest has to do with how you take things that are instrumental, known or sort of standard things and reboot them so they’re still quasi recognizable on the one hand, but unrecognizable on the other hand. In many cases, he would take standard things like the bicycle wheel and the stool and put them into relational conditions that didn’t allow you to see them similarly. Duchamp is probably the most important person for me in my development. A) What constitutes art? B) Who can make it?—those were questions for him that were for me super important. Not to mention lots of pieces of work that have qualities that are interesting to me: appealing.

Are you by any ways influenced by Alfred Jerry?

Pataphysics. Alfred Jerry I don’t know well, but a good friend of mine Neil Spiller, who you might know was a key person at the Bartlett and now as the dean of University of Greenwich; he was the one who got me onto Jerry and pataphysics because he saw some tendencies in my work, such as surrealist tendencies, that he’s also interested in. So I don’t know enough about Jerry and pataphysics, but yes there’s a latent interest there.

You mentioned relational drawing at the beginning of your lecture…

Yes. Relational drawings are simply to work on. When I talk about relational thinking, I talk about the type of relational structure, the strength of the relational structuring, and the duration of relational structuring. When I grew up in architecture, I had great teachers, for example at Columbia, and they would talk about “you should relate to the urban context” and there was very little specificity in what they meant by that. Normally it meant that the building should be about the same height, fenestration should be similar and so on, but I understand it I think to be too generic to say “this relates to that.” So I try to increase the specificity of the type of relations, the duration of the relations, and the strengths or weights of the relations. So in relational drawing, I’m just trying to work on what I think about as relational assemblies that aren’t synthetic, that don’t necessarily have a direct manifestation spatially, but which you begin to visualize as certain relational properties that you are interested in, either that they may or may not be intelligible to other people. But you’re just working on a specific. In the relational drawings for the Bleached Out House, if I ever try to get that house done, I’m just trying to work on censorship and editing, recoding edited things, so it’s in that milieu of the relationships that the drawing emanates. It’s not a plan or a section, it’s just working relationally on certain things that don’t necessarily have an outcome or ambition. You’re just trying to discover what the potential of something would be in a relational drawing. That’s the way I use them. They are normally scorned I think in architectural education, because normally your ambitions are to prove a building, and if things aren’t not aimed at that, then you are normally in trouble in architectural education. Things are meant to march towards the highest court of appeals, that’s architectural building. I work on things because I need to figure something out, and whether it has spatial manifestations or not—I’m less worried about that.

You also mentioned the projects Red and Three Houses in One…

So if you took red, and said ok I’m an architect I’m going to do a thesis in red, that’s what I have to work with. Ok. Three houses in one—what would that be? They’re just conceptual, it’s just a play. Spatial ventriloquism—what would that be like? Architecture that forgets its own presence. I just like puzzling. It just seems interesting to me. I don’t think anyone else should be interested in those kinds of things, but I just am.

How do you interpret works like the ones of John Hejduk, which are symbolic and equally as mystifying as some of your drawings?

Yes, he’s much more—I think he uses attributes of theater and characters that seem to install some sort of enigmatic but tangible qualities. I’ve never been asked a question about a kind of adjacency or about Hejduk. Was that a question or an observation?

We think that you have very specific components in your drawings; for example, there’s exactly five hedges and they move this way, etc.

Increasingly in my teaching there are a lot of narrative constructions, fictions, characters, that the students are developing. I don’t mean characters as in people, but spatial and representational characters that carry certain kinds of messages, meaning and significances. So the hedges, the dancing hedges, the bird alphabet, topiary hedges, I think right now it’s a substitute because for my own work I can’t catch the strange pollinations and the funny shadows, things that is an immediacy to characters, characterization and fictions. If you imbue the work with those kinds of things, they seem to be capable of carrying certain potential that otherwise is more abstract to me, and I can’t figure out how to do it. It’s not cheating to me, but it’s a way in which I sense my work that is being constructed, that is being structured. Those characters structure things, they play roles, they do things. Relationships between things might be a sort of meta character. The trouble with any recent work that I’ve done is that I find them like still life. So they are a bunch of autonomous characters that might structure that or enable those things; then there’s something else that does that, and there’s something else that does this, but I’m not sure if they’re talking with each other. They are full for me, yet they don’t know how to socialize. The relational conduit between objects is not there, which is probably the most active way that I think about them. So things are getting installed in figures rather than in transactions. I’d rather be constructing the transactional space rather than the objects that make the transactions. It’s more the jigs and rigs problem: that when you make jigs and rigs, you’re implicitly structuring figuration or something else, but you’re indirect, it’s not the thing in itself. You’re pointing to them rather than doing them. And I’m more interested generally in pointing to them—that’s the indeterminate contingent, incomplete logic stuff.

That reminds us of a quote we read the other day about an architecture group called Stalker. Their whole moto is about wanting to design experiences rather than places—they were active since the 60’s and base their experiences on Guy Debord’s “dérive”, so they are interested in the paths rather than locations.

That’s really interesting I think. On the one hand, you are misusing governmental and institutional intent. It reminds me of what Ian Gordon writes about skateboarding in the city. Skateboarders are using things that weren’t intended for skateboarding, but they’re essentially constructing a new city.

During your lecture, you said that you wouldn’t take an undergraduate in architecture if you went back to study, but that you would rather chose religion or philosophy?

If I could I’d probably take somewhere between the world of philosophy, mathematics, religion—somewhere that implicates the history of ideas.

Earlier in the theater there was discussion between architects and artists, where do you personally draw the line between the two?

I don’t.

In the images you create, we see how much structure there is and how related they are to architecture—

I don’t think about that. I’m perplexed for example that at the University of Michigan everybody talks about inter, trans, cross disciplinarily, and the breaking down silos, etc. For me, I don’t even think about silos at all…. So my techniques might be effective relatively to certain topics that I’m trying to work on, and biological principles, mathematics, all those things might leak into my work too. I’m unperplexed quite honestly that there’s such a discourse around breaking territories down. I just don’t think about things that way.

Do you like to set principles for when you sketch?

I don’t really sketch. If I draw or when I draw, I like to draw with some precision. I never sketched. I never had a sketchbook where I sit in a room and sort of do it, I just don’t. It’s great to do that but it just doesn’t interest me. I draw with another kind of precision in the way I described.

In your presentation, you mentioned analogous thinking and the power of metaphors…. There’s an element of poetry in it too…no?

Metaphors I think are more related to the way I think, because metaphors operate on the tensional play between differences. Analogs are more likenesses. Someone talked about metaphors as miniature poetry—the sky is crying, a mantle of sorrow—you’re marrying things, again not curiosity cabinets, but they can’t quite coexist. Therefore there are probably more about poetic movement. There’s a tensional play, a dynamical movement in which you participate in metaphors that would have to do with poetic accomplishment. You participate in relation dynamics. Analogs are more parallel, they are more similar. You are not working on differences you are working on likenesses.

In that aforementioned sense, we could see a possible divide between artistry and architecture?

It seems that art is much more that way, and art education is the critical position: the refrain. Architecture is a rare education that has, as its primary core, value structure. I think of architectural education as much more complicit, narcissistic with a system, seldom as critical. In the 60’s and the 70’s, for example, you would find Archigram and Superstudio, etc. There were people pushing, but now it’s complicit. The trouble is that so many of them then graduate—then I get emails and calls and my students ask me “how do we recuperate the ways in which we were thinking about things.” But I always say to them that it’s really not a matter of techniques that you deploy, but rather about its relational understanding. You may be making a stair in a corporate office building, but there are latitudes in there in which you can actually contribute and participate, in a meaningful way. The criticality is a missing component of the profession for sure, the discipline is better. If you just look at architectural education in the States right now, it’s a little bit that way in most places. 95% of the schools are just rehearsing with no criticality, they’re just rehearsing what’s inherited. I think it’s critical to transform education to change the nature of the questions.


Perry Kulper is an architect and associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Preceding his arrival at the University of Michigan, he was a SCI-Arc faculty member for seventeen years as well as in visiting positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Arizona State University. Subsequent to his studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (BS Arch) and Columbia University (M Arch), he worked in the offices of Eisenman/ Robertson, Robert A.M. Stern and Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown.
Recently, Perry Kulper has published Pamphlet Architecture 34 "Fathoming the Unfathomable: Archival Ghosts and Paradoxical Shadows" in collaboration with Nat Chard, with whom he is currently working on a future book to be published by Routledge.

Perry Kulper's approach questions the roles of representation while rethinking design methods typically implemented in the production of architecture. His work pushes the boundaries of the architecture realm towards a broader spectrum establishing a new cultural vision.