Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Resolutions -- Going Back to Our Roots

For the New Year, DYWSC? has updated and expanded the its coverage of the jury that produced our namesake. Further, we've provided a link to a .mp3 recording of that fateful conversation in the right column, under our Mission Statement. Restricting DYWSC?'s content to exclusively cover conversations in Architecture has proven difficult time and again. These words remind all us architects that our professional values must mirror our society's, and divining concise illustrations of how the two overlap will prove a wonderful challenge for the New Year. Again, thanks for reading. May 2006 bring all of us strength, commodity, and delight.
Kenneth Frampton: ...You know, I would like to say something that is a bit to one side of the project. It has to do with a predicament, and this is the polemical that we're talking about...

One of the things we face (and I don't just mean architects) is a rapidly escalating society, in many different levels, where the question of, “What has value other than money?" becomes very problematic. Different people have said things at different times. This might be too aphoristic, but I read just recently a remark about a great work about memory. Without memory probably it’s very difficult to sustain any kind of human culture. The question of "What does one do with memory?" You know? From what should value come in any kind of building operation? [...]

There is an aphorism by [Adolf] Loos that goes as follows, “There's no point in inventing anything unless it's an improvement.” It’s an ironic remark, but also a challenge to this moment in time, where everyone seems to be losing it.

Commerce will tell you that this is ridiculous from the point of view of architecture. Now you can say "Well I don't give a damn about commerce, this is an artistic work!" But Architecture is not in that; Architecture is not Fine Art in that sense. [Architecture] is a modus, which has to deal with certain kinds of reality. Its poetic comes through its transformation of reality. Which reminds me of Alvro Siza, in a sense Architects don't invent anything, they transform reality!

The question is, "What are the limits in which this transformation can take place?" You have to talk to society in some way -- in a way in which you can appeal to some kind of evident values. It can be money values, but also can, at the same time, can it be other values?

Otherwise it's like a conversation between the deaf and the dumb! There's no reason why we're to do anything! I could tell you to cut six more slots into this thing, and it wouldn't make a difference. It's a negative critique of the project, but it's also a critique of the whole goddamn situation.

You have to have a principle; otherwise you cannot communicate anything to anybody. Why should I invest my money in this, as opposed to some other project? You have to have a reason! Otherwise the architects don't even talk to the society! Don't you see that predicament?

These computer renderings produce aesthetic affects very well, seamless, very seductive, but they are not about anything. They are delusions! They are mirages! I'm sorry, it's very aggressive to say this, but aren't we going to start talking? It's just ridiculous to say, "Ok -- individual interpretations," "So on and so forth." One has to talk about something fundamental; otherwise we're never going to talk about anything anymore!

Demitri Porphyrios: I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Frampton: I'm talking about the fact that there is a total degeneration in the capacity to discuss anything...

Porphyrios: Do you want some coffee?

Frampton: No, I don't. Sorry, I don't...


Porphyrios: Look, look, look. This is a disgusting situation. It's not right to get upset...

Frampton: It's something to get upset about! I’m sorry there is. We always have polite discussions; we have to sometimes get upset, because otherwise we just don't talk about the things that matter.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Architectural Abstractions

Photographer Todd Eberle has a show currently at SFMoMA that presents images of architectural details cropped out of context. Mr. Eberle's images of grids and textures reveal a larger theme of abstraction and rationalization in the modernist buildings that he photographed like The Lever House, Unity Temple, and the Seagram Building. The 13-image exhibition might be small, but sounds rewarding to those whom have a chance to visit before the March 7th closing date. Otherwise, here's a San Francisco Chronicle article, with images, describing the work.

"Redneck Taliesin"

Boing Boing points to Fred Bernstein's great Christmas day article on the Rural Studio's recent work. This article is in the travel section, so for anyone planning to visit the small Alabama projects there are excelent suggestions on where to stay, what to see, and where to eat. The last paragraph is a touching tribute to the work Sambo and his students have done, and continue to achieve. [Also, reader Mark Eckenwiler pointed to very interesting links to the National Building Museum in the comments of the post] From the NYT article...
[...] It's an open secret that Mr. Mockbee liked to work in Hale County because there was no building code enforcement - allowing the students to experiment with unconventional materials and forms.

A number of the houses are in Mason's Bend, a hamlet near Sawyerville occupied by four extended families. At the center of the enclave is a community chapel, its towering glass wall made of surplus Chevrolet Caprice windshields. When I was there, one of the windshields had shattered and others were in need of washing. But the power of the building - rising skyward with ambitions that belie its low budget - shone through. [...]

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nicolai Ouroussoff on Charlie Rose

The Charlie Rose website is now reporting that the Wednesday, December 28, 2005 broadcast will carry a half hour interview with Nicolia Ouroussoff, the new Architecture Critic for the New York Times. Hopefully his June 30th (scathing) article about the Freedom Tower redesign will be discussed and updated in some detail.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Wonderful Process Drawings

BLDG|BLOG recently posted about Benjamin Koren's award-winning proposal for a music pavilion in London's Hyde Park. Fifteen boards describing the project can be found at this very cool website. In this project, Mr. Koren re-appropriated a graphical method of illustrating harmonies to help propose new forms. Like many exploratory projects, the potential in the "process" illustrations breathe a life into the project that exceeds what the final solution, (or perhaps any final solution) can achieve. Nevertheless, the project is worth a visit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Snow Show 2006

The winter of 2005/2006 will start on the 21st of December, 2005, at 1:35 PM EST (18:35 GMT). It will end, and spring will start, on the 20th of March, 2006, at 1:26 PM EST (18:26 GMT). In celebration of today's importance, DYWSC? turns it's attention to the upcoming 2006 Snow Show, this year featuring the talents of Sir Norman Foster, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien, Lebbeus Woods, and many more. Flipping through the "Previous Snow Shows" is at worst an amusing way to spend a few minutes and at best an affirming look at what play and inventiveness architects still bring to such a well examined material. Happy Winter everybody.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

People (Aren't) Talking About Architecture - 12.19.2005

We're happy to report that for the next two weeks, there aren't many people talking about architecture. DYWSC? will still report on the happenings fit for review. There just isn't much, so updates might not be daily. Its time to celebrate other things.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Robert Venturi

DYWSC? would have loved to be there at the recent Robert Venturi lecture at IIT. Repeat and A Daily Dose both brought to our attention this report about the man on fire...
“We’re in the information age. We’re also in the electronic age . . . and to make architecture look like industrial buildings and to make architecture be abstract is no longer appropriate. The architecture that’s being built today is this awful historical revival—the neomodern modern revival. They’re being just as historical in their revival as they would be if they were reviving Renaissance architecture or Gothic architecture.” Venturi, who’s championed the idea of buildings as “decorated sheds,” said Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park was carrying on “the idea of the great American loft tradition. His buildings . . . are essentially a loft with applied ornament, which are these potato chips”—a reference to the billowing metallic forms around the stage. “So I feel at home when you acknowledge that his architecture is not only the potato chips, but the potato chips applied to a loft. And Frank was more than happy when I said that.”

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Architect's Newspaper on Curators

The architect's newspaper has it's new issue up this morning, spotlighting the departure of Terrance Riley from MoMA. The issue does a nice in-depth study of Mr. Riley's impact and a survey of the current players on the curatorial scene. They point out this most curios fact...
There’s a great demand at this moment for architecture and design curators, a job that’s evolving in pace with the fields to which it’s devoted. Several major curatorial posts in the U.S. are currently vacant: MoMA is seeking a chief curator to replace Terence Riley, who will leave in March, as well as a curator to fill the position left by Peter Reed, who was promoted within the museum last summer. The SFMoMA has been curator-less for nearly six months, since Joseph Rosa left to assume the architecture curator position at the Art Institute of Chicago. Rosa, for his part, has announced his intention to hire two associate curators to fulfill the Art Institute’s ambition to expand to include design and for its exhibitions to be international in scope. The National Building Museum claims that it still intends to hire a chief curator, though it’s been a more than a year since Howard Decker abruptly resigned from the post. The biggest news is that the Guggenheim is looking to hire a senior architecture curator, having recently hired a junior curator to assist contemporary art curator Germano Celant in producing a massive retrospective on Zaha Hadid, scheduled to open June.
... and never really explain why so many roles remain vacant. DYWSC? finds such positions interesting, (there are many similarities between a blogger and a curator?) and wishes to know why these somewhat coveted titles go unclaimed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.16.2005

Film - Antonio Gaudí
6:00 & 8:15 - The Gene Siskel Film Center, The Art Institute of Chicago
The film will play again both Saturday and Sunday. From the website, "The wild, undulating, joyously erupting forms created by Barcelona architect Antonio Gaudí inspired this popular cult film by Hiroshi Teshigahara."

Kurt Forester on Photographs and Surfaces

A transcript of a recent Kurt Forster lecture has been posted at DYWSC? heard Mr. Forester comments at a recent Eisenman Studio Jury lament the rise of "photoshoped" images without meaning or purpose attached -- as is a common complaint at many final juries. Here, he goes into welcomed detail...
...As a passive repository of an imprint, photographs lend themselves to the representation of surfaces like no other medium.

Proof that such claims are not groundless comes from the sensational rise of photography in recent decades — not just any genre of photography, but architectural photography. There may be reasons to regret the traffic in images and the concomitant loss of genuine encounters with things we have never seen before, or have never seen as they appear when we first lay eyes on them. True, images have reached flood level, we're drowning in them, hanging on to straws in our impulse to grasp them or at least capture one or another of their aspects. But where the calamity is as immediate as that, there also occurs a shift in the nature of images, as if to compensate for the loss of descriptive accuracy. For, if we may speak of recent architectural photography in such generalized terms, and I think we may, then it is because it shows us buildings under very particular conditions. Shunning the generalized approach that dominated the photography of architecture after World War II, exemplified by such firms as Hedrich-Blessing and Ezra Stoller, contemporary photographers strive to render "atmosphere" as intensely as they record material facts. Constantly shifting from larger views to the smallest details, they elbow the idea of a set format out of the picture and plunge viewers into images that belie their cultivated effects.

Today, materials employed in building have to a great extent lost stable connotations and symbolic meaning. Instead, it is their visual impact that elicits from us an ambivalent reaction. However, it is precisely the indeterminacy of these images that opens up the possibility of experiencing a building in unhackneyed ways. When impressions are pried from materials of all kinds, they convey both more than we can know and less than we spontaneously understand. In the gap between the picture's diffuse effect and our attempt to sort out its ingredients, the image of a building is capable of extending beyond the sphere we customarily attribute to it.

People Talking About Architecture - 12.15.2005

Bruce Mau - Discussion
6:30 PM - Tishman Auditorium (66 W. 12th St.)
A public conversation hosted by Parsons Dean Paul Goldberger. The series literature eludes to a discussion about his collaboration with Rem Koolhaas on the book "S, M, L, XL;" his work with Frank Gehry on signage for a biodiversity museum in Panama, and/or his monumental exhibition Massive Change: The Future of Global Design.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.14.2005

Mary Jane Jacob - Practicing in Public: Confessions of an Ex-Museum Curator
6:00 PM - Archeworks (625 N. Kingsbury)
Mary Jane Jacob will discuss projects that have evolved with her sustained work in Charleston, South Carolina. [1]

Michael Crosbie - Sacred Places/Sacred Spaces
6:00 PM - Rabb Lecture Hall in Copley Square
The editor of Faith & Form magazine will discuss "...the various ways in which religious architecture and art express timeless ideas about religious faith and how sacred environments respond to changes in the social context."

Interface in the Plastic Age

Cory Doctorow is co-editor of Boing Boing, and a week ago wrote this piece for the New York Times Circuts Section. The first two paragraphs are interesting for their architectural undertones, but the whole piece lends perspective on current advancements in democratic technology. From the article...
PLASTIC created the age of whimsical forms. Suddenly a radio could look like a moo cow. A chair could look like an egg. Toy ray guns could bulge and swoop. The exuberant designers of the golden age of plastic explored all the wacky, nonfunctional, decorative shapes that household objects could take.

Now that same plasticity is coming to microcontrollers, the computer chips that act as brains for the chirping, dancing, listening and seeing devices that line our knickknack shelves and dashboards and fill our pockets. The proliferation of cheap and cheerful programmable chips promises a new age of "whimsical logic," chips that power devices whose functions are as delightfully impractical as their forms, the sort of thing you find in a stocking but keep on your desk forever.

Monday, December 12, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.13.2005

Charlie Lazor - The FlatPak House
6:00 P.M. - Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue
The co-founder of the furniture design office Blu Dot, and Principal of Lazor Office discusses his innovative FlatPak house, which consists of a modular system of pre-manufactured house components that are assembled on site to reduce cost and environmental impact. [1][2][3]

The Expanded Roll of Drawing in 21st Century Design

For architects, the act of drawing has had two functions.

The function palatable to the rest of the world is ‘drawing as illustration.’ Avoiding the terrific expense of constructing architectural ideas to convey them, we are in the habit of borrowing the language of drawing to communicate design ideas. An extreme example of this lies within the American legal system. Litigious architects are careful to state that construction documents are sometimes only burdened to show design intent, and most architects release construction documents of any other legal performance. More often though, presentation drawings, fly-throughs, and any other ‘eye-candy’ have the purpose of selling, convincing, and inspiring. In these cases, drawings must transmit meaning. This deep mental connection is embedded in the double meaning of our language. One illustrates his ideas with ‘illustrations.’ One shows a client his plans by showing his client ‘plans.’

In contrast, for most architects, drawing is also the site of calculation. Sketches and rough drafts are the place where designers ‘work out’ ideas; one does code-checks in drawings; one figures out risers and treads in stair sections; one premeditates the construction of a building in the construction details. A friend recently described witnessing the design of Saarinen’s JFK Terminal ‘evolve’ by flipping through archived design development drawings in a school library. Accurate calculation is the primary importance of architectural drawings being to scale, and this purpose doesn’t compete with the first.

However, it is this second function of drawings that is being expanded and augmented by computational tools.

(In the past twenty years, architectural designers have had increasingly robust modelers come to market that accelerate the way one thinks in three dimensions. These include 3dStudio, Form-z, Rhino, and Maya. This has merely been an incremental improvement.)

The fundamental change in the site of calculation is being realized by designers using Building Informational Modelers. The value of these programs lie in the abstraction and legibility of the decision making process. By writing scripts of code to generate forms, we’re explicitly generating design decisions. Before, others would have to read a designer’s drawings to see the implicit design decisions, much like a handwriting analyst with love letters. Now, for example, when window placement is a function of solar orientation, designers literally compose ‘a function’ described mathematical terms and variables. Designers are removed from the instances of their composition, and address thoughts that describe their solutions immediately. In other words they are less likely to think of window #7, and more likely to describe why windows should orient north off a buildings face.

Being one step removed from the instances of a design allows designers to meditate on the system of decisions that create buildings, not merely the individual decisions. The innovative drawing ingredient that allows designers this new tool is control flow – and this is the start of a post later this week.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.12.2005

Cooper Union:
William Katavolos - Classicism: Organicism and Security Architecture
6:30 PM - Cooper Union, the Great Hall
The Pratt Institute Professor and co-director of the Centre for Experimental Structures, will discuss his view of the history of architecture, applications of his unique water structures and their uses relating to the heightened need for physical and environmental security. [Sponsor]

Final Jury - Princeton University School of Architecture
Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 16
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Information: 609.258.3741

Saturday, December 10, 2005

(Art Imitating )Life Imitating Art

The exploded Axonometric Drawing is an ideal drawing to diagram the architectonic nature of a project. Yesterday Gravesmore posted about sculptor Damian Ortega’s exploded VW Beetle (Cosmic Thing, 2002), an installation where one can walk around an exploded VW Beetle.

Some of this work's charm is due to it's reference to such drawings and the delight it extends to every individual component. Each of the car's parts was carefully removed, lovingly cleaned, and wryly hung in it's new home. The hanging logic is self-referential -- each component could be no where other then where it hangs beacuse the arrangement is about the object's assembly.

This reminds DYWSC? another sculptor who took an architectural drawing convention as his departure point.
Robert Lazzarini's Skulls (2000). Payphone (2002), Hammers (2000), and Chair (2000) brought a similar space warp to life, and remains a favorite.

Friday, December 09, 2005

2005 Beyond Media Festival

Wrapping up this weekend in Florence is the 8th annual Beyond Media festival. Since 2003, the festival has curated exhibitions of architetural research that illustrate the relationships between current architectural projects and the media of their communication. The theme this year is 'SCRIPTS,' and the second exhibition, SPOT ON SCHOOLS promises to be especially interesting. From the website...
"...Today, a more structured mode of investigation has led to the second edition of "SPOT ON SCHOOLS", exhibit curated by Paola Giaconia which explores the involvement of about 20 schools of architecture and design, selected worldwide, in the topic of the new media of communication. The invited institutions will tell, through the experience of the students and of the instructors, how the new technologies influence the various phases of a design, starting from the very act of creative conception."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Agenda in Architectural Tools

DYWSC? is interested in the meaning that is being assigned to new tools and shapes in Architecture. We admire Algorithmic Architecture, Algorithmic Architecture, and Algorithmic Architecture for the "Why to use these new tools." that this work supplies. But tools are just tools. We are still scrubbing the work for evidence of how these tools are being used, appropriated, commandeered, or usurped.

Consider the ideological background of Greg Lynn's arguement from "Intricacy" ...
...This notion refers, in the abstract, to a new visual and spatial language of folding, interweaving, and layering—parts relating to wholes—that has been heralded by the digital and genetic engineering revolutions. Intricacy announces a gestalt of production: not just CAD-CAM drawings for architects or digital video for artists, but a new way of thinking about the inter-relation of concepts and techniques on an abstract, holistic scale. This exhibition synthesizes a vast geography of ideas and practices drawn from many disciplines and cultural fields...
... DYWSC?'s point is, there is no big philosophy; the statement here is the fingerprints of 'more is more' is complexity.

In his inflammatory book From Bauhaus to Our House Tom Wolfe cleverly pointed out how Socialism donned the new materials of concrete, glass, and steel to distance itself architecturally from the gilded halls and carved stone of the Bourgeois. Clumsily paraphrasing Wolfe, modernism was the fulcrum with which socialist tendencies leveraged a machine aesthetic to promise a new social order. To quote Adorno, "in America, they already had their revolution in 1776..." and so when Modernism floated to this continent with Phillip Johnsons' MoMA exhibit "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922" it became the progressive image of corporate culture and lavish lifestyles.

Its ok. In some ways, this is how Architecture works. Architecture is palatable and carries a message, and therefore it is a medium. Any medium can be channeled, as painting, television and other mediums have been. Removal of the medium is censorship, and control of the medium is surveillance. All the other uses, the acceptable transference of architecture's message, is the traction that architecture has in society.

Not expecting all those theatrics, this is why DYWSC? is interested in the meaning that is being assigned to those new tools and shapes in Architecture. This forum welcomes anyone willing to comment on how these tools are being used, commandeered, appropriated, or usurped. Are we still so unfamiliar with computational tools to deftly use them in that manor? Have we moved outside an arena that still allows for politicizing or channeling of architectural messages?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.09.2005

Film - Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings and Legacy in Japan
6:00 & 8:15 - The Gene Siskel Film Center, The Art Institute of Chicago
The film will play again both Saturday and Sunday. From the website, "Magnificent Obsession explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s lifelong love of all that is Japanese, and details a six-year Tokyo sojourn, 1917-1922, that revitalized the Prairie-Style master’s flagging career. Meticulously researched, the film delves into lesser-known aspects of the Wright legend and illuminates Wright’s creative process while documenting his lasting influence and legacy in Japan."

"Architecture is..."

Professor Robert M Craig, of the Georgia Tech College of Architecture is known to impress on his students an quirky habit he picked up. [Paraphrasing,] "When ever I go to one of those lectures, when a famous architect comes to town, I bring along my notebook to write just one thing down. Invariably, the lecturer will start a sentence or defend a reply with 'Architecture is...' and what he says after that is what I write down. I've got hundreds of those sentences now..."

His notepad highlights an odd fact. As a profession, we don't even agree on a definition of architecture. It’s a blessing. It’s a curse. During those lectures though, at those times when someone is bold enough to make such a statement, we are afforded a chance to engage our work and the ages. The professionals analyze themselves. Without the myopia important during material choices or wall sections, we can address the current effort in a continuum.

Diving back into the Interview Archives affords readers several such moments. Perhaps it’s comforting to hear how designers go about seeking solutions [common for most articles], but one in four dare to talk about something larger. Below are excerpts from a few...
[September 2002 - Ben Van Berkel]

Laura Puliti: What could architects add to architecture itself?

Ben Van Berkel: I recently believe that architecture should be seen not only as a place where you "stay", where you separate the internal world with the external world. I don't believe actually that architecture today is any more having this classical role of sheltering spaces.

I think what is so interesting about today, especially when we use our new techniques, and we use imagination with them, I think that architecture today can also, for instance, mediate more. Maybe we can give more messages to the city with architecture, so that architecture can really communicate much more than ever.

And I think always architecture was doing that, maybe in the history before, but I do believe that we reduced architecture also a little bit too much with the modern age, where we said, well , architecture needs to be pragmatic, it needs to be functional, it needs to be "serving" the city.
I think that's all important, but I think that architecture should also create a complex set of iconographic qualities so that it becomes an emblem where you can read more things in, so that it works like art.

So that's what I describe lately in our latest publication, UNStudio: Unfold, where we describe that architecture should fall somewhere between art and airports. Because airports are very much functional, serving you, bringing you from A to B, but they don't have anything of the art, it's not having any sort of cultural effect, and I think these combinations I'd like to improve of (with) that what could be added to architecture.

[September 2001 - Jean Nouvel]

Marco Casamonti: Once you said that architecture must communicate the restlessness of the world. Taking into account the recent political events, what will it change in the expression of architecture?

Jean Nouvel: I do not think that this problem has a connection with architecture.

[May 2005 - Michael Sorkin]

Massimiliano Giberti: I have some questions, not only about your lecture but about the current situation or scenario of architecture and urban design. Do you think there is any relationship between the work of the urban designer and the work of the architect in terms of sharing ideas, instruments and research methods? ...

Michael Sorkin: I'm teach urban design in the United States and, having said that, I have to tell you that I think urban design is essentially a fake discipline. In order to understand what urban design is historically, we have to introduce the idea of planning, which is the predecessor discipline.
Essentially, what happened with planning was that over the years it became more and more socio-scientific, economic, quantitative, as it were.

And in order to recuperate the phisical aspects of planning for architecture this discipline of urban design was invented. So, for me, I think trying to draw a distinction between architecture and urban design is extremely unproductive.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.08.2005

[Several Designers] - Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses
6:30 PM - Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Avenue
A discussion with the architects and designers featured in the exhibition and join Michael Sylvester. Mr. Sylvester is the founder of and one of the leading proponents of modern modular architecture.

Sir Richard MacCormac - Spread, Height, Impact
6:30 PM - Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
The lecture is to discuss how have London projects evolved in the midst of the current building boom.

Zaha Hadid on CBS Sunday Morning

The Gutter brings a recent interview with Zaha Hadid on CBS Sunday Morning. On the good side, the producers organized a great, albeit quick, slideshow of all her recently completed work. The construction photos on Archinect prove more informative, because there were fewer wide-angle lenses used by those visiters. On the not-so-good side, they chose to include in the piece a tantrum she displayed in her office, culminating with especially curt treatment of Patrick [Schumacher?]. Sadly, its not too indepth for a 4-6 minute piece. The most interesting question may have been, "Where do forms like this come from?" [Link is to a page with the imbedded report in quicktime format.]

Perspecta 37 Pub Date - February

The Yale School of Architecture is preparing to release issue 37 of Perspecta; the topic of this year's journal is "Famous." (Unintuitively, the journal is not published through the Yale Press.) Perspecta's editors solicit articles from distinguished scholars and practitioners from around the world, and this year it will be interesting to see the level of celebrity that weighs in. From the publisher's website...
Celebrity permeates all levels of contemporary society; architecture, academia, the architectural press, and the mainstream media all play a role in promoting the mystique of the designer genius. The tradition of learning through apprenticeship and the struggle to have projects commissioned and built perpetuate the importance of the famous architect. Does this serve architecture or only the architectural star? The contributors to Perspecta examine both sides of the argument: Architecture moves forward through a process of innovation; fame provides the architect with the leverage needed to accomplish innovation. Or is it that fame, because of its relationship to the media and popular tastes, inevitably dilutes the quality of the architecture? Does "famous" architecture glorify only itself and neglect the people, the values, and the functions that it must serve?

People Talking About Architecture - 12.07.2005

Happy hump day.

New York:
Leslie E. Robertson - The High-Rise Building: How High Can We Go?
5:30 PM - The New York Public Library- Donnell Library Center
A technical lecture (for continuing education credit) that examines the possible height of very tall buildings and structures.

Cooper Union:
Gerald Guland, FAIA - The Decline and Fall of the American Architect?
6:30 PM - Cooper Union
A discussion centered on the future of the architectural profession. [More Info].

Steven Holl - Urbanisms
6:00 PM - Rubloff Auditorium, Art Institute of Chicago
DYWSC? hopes the founder and principal of Steven Holl Architects will find time in his lecture to mention the addition he just completed to Pratt's Architecture school. The Publisher at the Princeton Architectural Press really liked it, so why shouldn't we?

Ann Hamilton - Recent Work
6:00 PM - Gund Hall - Piper Auditorium
More info here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

People Talking About Architecture - 12.06.2005

Gregg Pasquarelli - Versioning 2.0
6.30 PM - Chemistry Lecture Theatre, Christopher Ingold Building
Gregg's been giving this talk for a while now, but here's you chance to hear it in Europe.

People Talking About Architecture - 12.05.2005

This is the start of Jury Week for a ton of schools. However there is one professional event today...

New York:
Jayne Merkel : Jayne Merkel on Eero Saarinen
6:30 PM - The Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place)
Jayne Merkel will talk about his new book Eero Saarinen. This site mentions how Merkel will outline the life and career of the architect best known for the St. Louis Arch and the CBS/Black Rock building in Manhattan. [More info.]

Final Jury - Yale School of Architecture
Monday, November 05 through Friday, December 10
11:00 AM to 6:00 PM - 4th & 6th Floors
Information: 203.432.2288

Final Jury - Columbia GSAPP
Monday, November 05 through Friday, December 10
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Avery Hall
Information: 212.854.3414

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cool Tour of Koolhaas's Casa da Musica has recently posted some great 360 Panoramas of Rem Koolhaas's recently completed Casa da Musica in Portugal. (Link at the bottom of the 360portugal page.) DYWSC? is preparing for a big post on Rem, so to get in the zen, here are interesting segments from two articles on the Casa da Musica, a building that admittedly is a bit of a mystery...
What's most striking about Casa da Musica is that Koolhaas cites from his own work. Spatially it contains traces of the Netherlands Dance Theatre in The Hague and the Grand Expo in Lille; the tunnel idea and the resulting organisation are more intelligent versions of the Kunsthal in Rotterdam; and the total concept is nothing but an attractive 'excavation exquis'. But one can nonetheless question this 'Koolhaasination', which could be seen as evidence of extreme opportunism without any clear ideology. The architecture and ideas of Rem Koolhaas still influence current discussion and practice, and rightly so, but they are only interpreted when they hit the earth. Perhaps it's time to uncover the universe from where this meteorite comes, since only a critical and intelligent approach towards it can save us from the prevailing onslaught of 'no context, no ideology' urban spacejunk. Ground control to…

- Bert de Muynck on Archined

... I can see every reason to hate the Casa da Musica. It is swaggeringly egotistical. Its very shape wants to topple over, requiring below-ground structural heroics to keep it upright. It is daft. It is also wonderful. To understand it, you must experience it. Then you will be glad, because what you will experience is the pure rush of raw, cask-strength architecture, undiluted, at its best.

Hugh Pearman of London's Sunday Times

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thom Mayne on Charlie Rose (2).

The Charlie Rose site just posted that the Thom Mayne interview will be tonight. Looks like a full one-hour with the 2005 Pritzker Prize Laureate. [Update: "caste" on Archinect pointed out this recording of the show.]

"Unfold Your House!" Day

Almost simultaneously, Future Feed brings Adam Kalkin's "Push Button House" (top), and BLDGBLOG brings Andrew Maynard's Holl House (bottom) to our attention. The former was probably posted because of the New York Times article yesterday, but the latter is a welcome surprise. He wasn't the first to toy with the re-appropriation of shipping containers, but when Wes Jones published Instrumental Form those Shipping Container Houses sure did capture a lot of people's imagination. (Really, really nice drawings.) Speaking of nice drawings, does anyone talk about Rudolph's Oriental Gardens anymore? Its a hard segue, but one of DYWSC?'s favorites might be the Dwell Competition award winning house by Resolution 4 Architecture. (They proposed a system, like legos, not just a home.) Not much unfolding there. [PreFab]

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thom Mayne on Charlie Rose

Archinect discussed that last night Thom Mayne was to have an appearance on Charlie Rose, a show whose namesake is known to interview architects, sometimes monthly. His interview was shuffled out of the line-up at the last minute.

It's always a treat to have an hour, or a half hour dedicated to Q & A with the worlds most famous architects. DYWSC? will try to keep an eye on the roster to see when the interview, and other architecture-related interviews will air.