Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SO CAL: LATE 1970's AND EARLY 1980's

While Thom Mayne shot this image of the 2-4-6-8 house, several blocks away Richard Diebenkorn labored on his Ocean Park series. In the garage below a shaper built a surfboard while in Malibu Ron Davis cast his resin paintings. This was all going on while I finished my undergraduate studies at UCSB. I thought it was so cool that Thom did his own photography of his project and shot the house from the alley, power lines and all. He did it himself, with his own hands. Like an artist, or a surfboard builder he controlled the design and how the project would be represented to the world. He created his own version of reality. Diebenkorn abstracted a sunny Ocean Park afternoon into flat planes of color and he got to build his painting to communicate his view of the world.

As architects, we should fight for keeping our hands in our projects and how our projects are communicated to the world. If we could, we would pick up the plane and cut our own foam. Obviously constructing buildings is a completely different process than an artist making a painting. However, we need to learn to manipulate the standardization and industrialization of the construction industry to our unique voice. It is a fight, and most of our architectural heroes have done it.
...Robin Donaldson, AIA

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